ESPN’s College GameDay is an integral part of college football Saturdays for many fans, setting the tone for the conversation around the sport. It begs the question, how much power does the show hold in terms of the public opinion of teams around the country?
On several occasions, things that Pat McAfee, Kirk Herbstreit, Rece Davis, and Desmond Howard have said on the show have led to real-world impact and major decisions. They also have an outsized ability to shape the discussion around certain players and teams. So it’s easy to wonder if the narratives they focus on, including which schools the College Football Playoff selection committee should put in the CFP and which ones they shouldn’t, might find their way into their decision-making.
Rece Davis, who has been a host on the program since 2005, recently spoke about how the narratives that are discussed on the show, can play a role in the sport.
“I was asked a while ago if I felt that we have any power,” said Davis on a recent episode of the College GameDay podcast shared on his Twitter/X account. “My response was ‘Define power.’ If we say something on there, does it give the power breakers or decision-makers something to think about and go hmm? I would say the answer is yes, there is power.”
New @CollegeGameDay pod is out. Look ahead to @ArmyWP_Football @NavyFB and more on the @CFBPlayoff decision with @PeteThamel @ESPN_BillC @StanfordSteve82 here’s the link: https://t.co/2mGghMRS60 here’s a clip: pic.twitter.com/1ZSc7jFWx5
— Rece Davis (@ReceDavis) December 8, 2023
While there is obvious influence that comes with being on a show like College GameDay, it doesn’t mean that it is intentional, according to Davis. He added that they don’t dictate to people in high positions like the CFP committee on purpose.
“If you mean by power that we make phone calls, dictate to somebody, or have such influence over grown successful human beings that they are going to align themselves with whatever opinion was offered on GameDay or any other ESPN platform, then no I don’t think we have that power.”
Power, to a certain extent, exists for any media member with an opinion. But Davis feels as though the commentary that he and his fellow GameDay hosts provide can only go so far.
[Rece Davis on Twitter/X]