ESPN’s College GameDay opening theme will sound familiar in 2023, but look much different. Big & Rich are out, and a trio of country hitmakers are in to sing “Comin’ to Your City.”
Lainey Wilson, Darius Rucker and the Cadillac Three are set to open each Saturday’s slate of games this fall. College GameDay made the announcement on Monday afternoon (Aug. 28) with a video that finds each artist talking about what it means to be the soundtrack for the season.
On Aug. 24, Big & Rich revealed they were not going to be back for a 17th season:
“Comin’ to Your City” was written by John Rich, Big Kenny Alphin and Paul Worley for the duo’s 2005 Comin’ to Your City album. It neared Top 20 on country radio charts and became a famous anthem for college football a couple years later.
Each of the new artists involved referred to admiring the song in the video released by ESPN.
“I’ve watched that opening so many times,” Rucker shares. “I used to sit in my room and go, ‘I’ve gotta write a song so I can do the opening of GameDay.'”
Hank Williams Jr. was the long-running performer on Monday Night Football. He was once banned for several years for comparing President Obama to Adolf Hitler, but would return with Florida Georgia Line until 2020.
Big & Rich took the news that they were being replaced gracefully, saying they’re excited to pass the torch.