BYU-Coastal Carolina matchup takes center stage on ESPN’s GameDay

Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune ESPN's "College GameDay," cast Rece Davis, L, Lee Corso, C, and Kirk Herbstreit, R, share a laugh during a past broadcast at the University of Utah. The trio, along with Desmond Howard, landed in Conway, S.C. Saturday to put their huge college football spotlight on Saturday's BYU-Coastal Carolina game.

With a game like the one unbeaten BYU managed on Saturday to pull off at similarly undefeated Coastal Carolina, and at the last minute no less, it’s no surprise that the matchup captured the college football world’s imagination.

How big of a hit was the Cougars-Chanticleer’s showdown? Big enough that it drew ESPN’s College GameDay, including regulars — Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, Lee Corso and Rece Davis — plopping down in Conway, S.C. Saturday to put their huge spotlight on two 9-0 teams who are fighting for so much more than just an undefeated record.

As is his custom at the end of the telecast, Corso also picked BYU to win, donning Cosmo’s Cougar head to wrap things ip.

“Coastal is 9-0 and 18th in the playoff ranking,” Corso said. “And they’re playing at home — that’s really good stuff. But BYU is 9-0 and 13th in the playoff rankings. BYU will play anybody, anywhere, anytime — so I’m going with BYU. Go Cougars!”

Earlier Saturday morning, on Countdown to GameDay, hosts Christine Williamson and Jason Fitz changed things up a little. Inspired by Myrtle Beach, which is a short drive away from Coastal Carolina’s campus, the hosts changed their usual Hot Take segment to Vibe Check.

Williamson started things off by asking what the CFP Committee is on, as one might say. She made an argument for the committee to show more love for teams like Cincinnati, BYU and Coastal.

“Typically, the CFP doesn’t allow teams in the Top 10 that are blown out,” Williamson said. “Now we see a team that got blown out at A&M in the Top 6 — that’s odd. We also have, currently, three teams with two losses in the Top 11 — that’s odd. Last week we saw the Big 12 have two teams jump eight and five spots. So I’m just trying to figure out what exactly the CFP is doing.”

Co-host Fitz rebutted by saying the committee doesn’t have an easy job, and supports them. He believes they are doing the best of an impossible situation.

But he also recognizes the opportunity Saturday’s game presents for both teams, but more so for BYU.

“BYU gets the opportunity to make some sort of a statement for the committee to see some reason to move up,” Fitz said. “And everyone can watch Zach Wilson, the guy that keeps riding all the way up the NFL mock draft listings.”