The most-hyped CyHawk game in history, going down six days from now in Ames, is set to get even more hype, both this week and especially on Saturday morning, as ESPN's College GameDay pre-game show will be broadcasting live from Ames next weekend.
College Ames Day Is Back.— Cyclone Football (@CycloneFB) September 5, 2021
The selection makes sense given the high profile of both Iowa and Iowa State heading into that game -- Iowa State is currently ranked #7 and while Iowa is currently ranked #18, they ought to vault into the Top 15 in the next set of rankings given results this weekend. Only one other game next weekend is currently set to pit two ranked opponents -- #11 Oregon at #4 Ohio State. That game is probably a bit bigger than Iowa-Iowa State (certainly on a national scale), but the CyHawk game has the added benefit of corporate synergy: Iowa-Iowa State is set to air on ABC, while Oregon-Ohio State will air on FOX. GameDay doesn't always broadcast from the site of an ABC/ESPN game, but all else being (relatively) equal, that's a powerful tiebreaking factor.
(There was some chatter recently that GameDay would broadcast from the Air Force-Navy game next week, given that next Saturday will be the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. Either those rumors were unfounded or plans changed, evidently.)
This news means that the CyHawk game will serve as the host of College GameDay for the second straight game in the series; GameDay was also present when Iowa State hosted Iowa back in 2019. (As you probably recall, there was no CyHawk game in 2020 due to COVID-induced scheduling restrictions.) Not counting Army-Navy (which has hosted GameDay for the last seven consecutive years and benefits from being the only game played that particular weekend), no series has hosted GameDay on back-to-back occasions since Alabama and LSU in 2018 and 2019. Iowa-Iowa State and Alabama-LSU: basically the same thing!
The last time GameDay was around for an Iowa-Iowa State game, we were treated to an enthusiastic crowd before the game and then, shortly after the game began, a lengthy weather delay due to lightning strikes in the area. Iowa prevailed 18-17 thanks to four Keith Duncan field goals (in rotten conditions) and one play in particular that you probably remember:
Who could forget the last time College Gameday was in Ames. pic.twitter.com/sp489lSP8H— Go Iowa Awesome (@IowaAwesome) September 5, 2021
What will this year's showdown bring? TBD. Hopefully the same result as the last five Iowa-Iowa State meetings (a Hawkeye W), though doing so figures to be harder than ever. We're not picky how that outcome is achieved, though.
And one final note: it's heavily suggested by the imagery Iowa State used in their tweet (above) announcing that GameDay was headed to Ames for this game, but are they really going to wear black against their biggest rival whose colors are black and gold for the biggest-ever CyHawk game and one of the biggest games in the history of Iowa State football? Little brother gotta little brother, I suppose.