With Sunday’s announcement that ESPN’s College GameDay is coming to UCF for the first time ever, one of the big questions this week is who will be the show’s celebrity guest picker?
Here is a link to list of the some of names that GameDay has had on the show over the years. I speculated a bit about it when I first brought up the idea of GameDay coming to UCF back on October 7th. But here is an in-depth look at the top ten people that I think could be the choice.
LeBron James is one of the biggest names in all sports. James happens to be in Orlando that day as his Lakers take on the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. However most NBA teams have shootarounds in the morning. Plus James has already appeared on College GameDay back on October 25th, 2008, during his first stint with Cavaliers.
The two-time Masters champ lives in Orlando and attends Orlando Magic games. Watson is big sports fan and has appeared on GameDay before, most recently on the January 8th edition.
Watson is a Georgia grad and his recent appearance on GameDay makes a return unlikely, especially with a Georgia-Alabama SEC Championship on the horizon in Atlanta in couple of weeks.
Culpepper put the UCF Knights’ program on the map. UCF even had a Heisman campaign for Culpepper in 1998. It would be full circle that on the biggest day in school history that Culpepper would be selected as guest picker, like Drew Bledsoe was for Washington State a couple of weeks ago. However, Bledsoe had a better NFL career, and is more well-known than Culpepper. Culpepper also has not really been around the program much.
Sapp is from Apopka and has been to UCF in the past for practices. Sapp played in the NFL for the Buccaneers and won a Super Bowl in 2003.
The Top Ten
10. George O’Leary
GameDay from time to time likes to use former head coaches and George O’Leary helped take UCF to such high levels to the point where he has a statue on campus and was the face of the program for a decade.
9. Michelle Akers
Akers is the greatest athlete to ever come out of UCF. She played at UCF (85-88) and was a four-time NCAA All-American. Akers is the all-time leading scorer at UCF, won the Hermann Trophy in 1988, led UCF to the College Cup in 1987 and has her #10 jersey retired by the school. Akers keeps a low profile and does not seek attention which is why she is not ranked higher on list.
8. Phil Dalhausser
UCF alum Phil Dalhausser is an American professional beach volleyball player who won Olympic gold at Beijing in 2008 and in Rio in 2016.
7. Alex Morgan
2nd Soccer player on the list. Akers was the face of Women Soccer in the 1990s, Currently Morgan is the face of Women’s Soccer. Morgan plays for Orlando Pride in the NWSL and is the most recognizable athlete across the country by any athlete that currently plays in any sport in Orlando. Morgan is a Olympic gold medalist, and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion.
6. Daniel Tosh
Tosh is one of the most high-profile UCF alumni as the host of the Comedy Central television show Tosh.0, and as a stand-up comedian. But he is known for his deliberately offensive and controversial style of black comedy, which makes him a long shot to be chosen for the appearance.
5. Cheryl Hines
Hines graduated from UCF in 1990, and went on to star in the TV hit Curb Your Enthusiasm. There are rumors that a new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm could air on HBO by the end of 2018. If that is the case, that could be a good spot to plug the season, although HBO is not owned by Disney.
4. Steve Spurrier
The Head Ball Coach may seem like an odd choice considering he never coached at UCF. But Spurrier will be coaching the Orlando Apollos at Spectrum Stadium in the spring with the new AAF league. Also, Spurrier is close friends with Lee Corso as they go back to the USFL when Spurrier coached the Tampa Bay Bandits while Corso was coaching the Orlando franchise.
3. Mickey Mouse
When you think Orlando, Who is first person (mouse?) many people think of? Who is the person most people come to Orlando to see?
And before you say he doesn’t talk, College Gameday has had a mascot on before in Philadelphia 2015 for Notre Dame and Temple when “The Phillie Fanatic” was the guest picker.
Plus, you know, Mickey Mouse is Disney and Disney owns ESPN.
2. Shaquille O’Neal
You can make the case that Shaquille O’Neal put Orlando sports on the map. O’Neal played for the Orlando Magic from 1993-1996 and help give the city national attention for sports.
O’Neal had an NBA Hall of Fame career and is currently part of TNT’s NBA Inside the NBA show. Shaq has never appeared on College GameDay and still has a place in Orlando. Could Shaq come to Gameday and a UCF game for first time ever?
1. Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin
Currently with the Seattle Seahawks, the Griffin brothers are the clear favorites to be the choice. Shaquem Griffin became a national story last year that ESPN covered through the NFL Draft.
On Sunday, the Griffin brothers were featured on CBS’ 60 Minutes.
The Seahawks host the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night. Spectrum Sports’ Despina Barton reported Saturday that the Griffin brothers will be at the Cincinnati game.
With that being the case, look for the Griffin twins to be the choice for GameDay.
Got any other creative choices? Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the comments below.