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'GameDay' show to be 30 percent Bison

A massive North Dakota State banner is hung from the Loretta building Friday in anticipation of ESPN's "College GameDay" broadcast from Broadway in downtown Fargo.

FARGO -- There won't be many references to the movie. Yah sure, you betcha that.

It was also revealed Friday that the celebrity guest picker for this morning's ESPN's "College GameDay" pregame show will have "Bison roots." So that eliminates Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Kristin Rudrüd or any other actor from "Fargo."

So what exactly will the show that originates today from downtown Fargo look like for viewers across the country?

For starters, it won't be a three-hour homage to North Dakota State or Fargo when the show begins at 7 a.m. Senior coordinating producer Lee Fitting estimates that 30 percent of the show will focus on the local angle, with the other 70 percent on the national scope.

"We are obliged to do our main mission, which is to cover the country nationally," said Chris Fowler, the host of "GameDay." "We will have as much on North Dakota State as we have for any other host school for 'GameDay,' I will say that."

Fowler spent time this week in Austin, Texas, with a one-on-one interview with embattled University of Texas head coach Mack Brown. Fowler got to Fargo late Thursday night.

Look for part of NDSU's attention to be a national education on Division I FCS football. The two-time defending national champion Bison are 2-0 and ranked No. 1 in both the media and coaches top 25 polls.

"It's not that they are winning these championships with smoke and mirrors," Fowler said. "It's just old-fashioned basic football getting the most out of the players they attract. That's what we'll try to get across."

ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi, who has been in town since Tuesday, interviewed eight Bison players for his feature story.

Rinaldi relayed the story of senior cornerback Brendin Pierre's recruiting visit to NDSU.

Pierre, from Miramar, Fla., told Rinaldi:

"More than anywhere he has been, the warmth of the people convinced him that this where he wanted to be, where he wanted to play and where he wanted to spend years of his life. If that doesn't say something about the quality of a city and its people, I don't know what does."

The network put a microphone on NDSU head coach Craig Bohl for one entire practice, media access that Rinaldi said was "great."

"This week is a little different," said Lee Fitting, senior coordinator producer for the show. "We're going to educate the viewer a little bit more on North Dakota State and the FCS division as a whole. It's going to be a little bit more of an educational show than it has been in the past. I think that's a good thing."

Kolpack's NDSU media blog can be found at