The 2020 college football season will be unlike any we’ve seen in our lifetimes. The Big Ten, Pac-12, and several Group of 5 conferences won’t be playing this fall. The typically loaded September non-conference schedule has been drastically pared down. Bowl season is likely going to either be reduced or filled with even more mediocre teams.
But as expected, the season will look different on-screen too. On Wednesday, ESPN revealed both a new graphics package and a new theme for their 2020 college football season.
First, here’s a look at the new scorebug, via ESPN.
It’s a drastic shift from last year’s graphic, seen below in the LSU-Clemson title game (ignore the little ESPN button in the bottom left corner, that’s a YouTube thing).
My initial take? It’s large, and sort of reminds me of ESPN’s new NFL graphics package.
A variety of other graphics will also be included (following a theme ESPN refers to as the “Football Test Facility”), but let’s be honest: the scorebug is what we focus on and obsess about the most.
Additionally, the network’s coverage has a new earworm of a theme song. Following in the footsteps of Fall Out Boy and Imagine Dragons (among others), this year’s theme for college football on ESPN is “Come & Go” by Juice WRLD and Marshmello.
Here’s a hype video for the season featuring the song.
Yep, that’s not going to be stuck in your head by Halloween *at all*.
Also, ESPN revealed their schedule for Weeks 0 and 1 of the season. Because of all the postponements and cancellations, a normally loaded schedule features a total (a total!) of nine games, airing on just ESPN proper and ESPN3 (as opposed to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, and ESPN3).
Here’s a table of the schedule (via ESPN). Of note, Matt Barrie and Mike Golic Jr will call this Saturday’s Austin Peay-Central Arkansas game from ESPN’s studios, with reporter Lauren Sisler on site. Also, the top broadcast crew for week one is the odd trio of Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, and Allison Williams, and I’m assuming that’s because of Chris Fowler’s US Open work (the tournament is scheduled to begin on August 31st, though ESPN hasn’t announced their coverage plans yet) and Maria Taylor’s NBA work (the second round of playoff games will be starting in the first week of September, and Taylor is the primary host of NBA Countdown).
The release also makes no mention of College GameDay. Last week, The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch reported that GameDay would still be traveling to campuses this season, though fans would not be in attendance. With such a limited schedule in Weeks 0 and 1, it makes sense for GameDay not to travel, and I don’t think we can draw any conclusions from the lack of anything official on GameDay quite yet.