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For the first time ever, ESPN will be setting up shop for college football's biggest show right in the middle of Westwood.

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UCLA has no shortage of famous alumni with big personalities.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Russell Westbrook, Troy Aikman, Katelyn Ohashi and of course the one and only Bill Walton have all called Westwood home through the years.

And that’s just in sports – Jack Black, Carol Burnett, Nicholas Cage, Cari Champion, Will Forte, Jaleel White, Ben Stiller, Sara Bareilles, George Takei, Gabrielle Union and Dax Sheppard also attended the university and went on to achieve fame and fortune of their own.

Mark Harmon, former UCLA football starting quarterback and long-running star of "NCIS," actually double-dipped into both of those categories.

So with ESPN’s College GameDay coming to town on Saturday, the question becomes which one of those celebrities will join Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and co. as the much-anticipated guest predictor?

"I would pick Bill Walton," said coach Chip Kelly. " I just thought he would be the most entertaining, that’s the fun part of that. I think Bill Walton and coach Corso would – I would pay to see that."

Kelly isn't alone in tossing Walton's hat into the ring on his behalf, as he has been a favorite on polls and threads all over social media and message boards since ESPN first announced it would be setting up shop in Westwood prior to the UCLA-Oregon game on Saturday.

Receiver Logan Loya said he would pick Aikman. Defensive lineman Odua Isibor suggested Westbrook and James Franco. Although he came in fourth place in Bruin Report Online's poll, UCLA men's basketball coach Mick Cronin has been thrown out there as well.

The Bruins haven't played on GameDay since 2015 and they haven't hosted since 1998, so the roster and community surrounding it doesn't have a lot of experience with the weekly show.

Cornerback Obi Eboh played for Stanford when the Cardinal were on College GameDay in Eugene in 2018, and his team came away with a 38-31 overtime win over Oregon. Linebacker Ale Kaho played on GameDay eight times when he was with Alabama from 2018 to 2020, and he said he is well aware of what hosting the show and playing in the national spotlight is like.

"GameDay is obviously fun and a good time here, especially in a place like LA," Kaho said. "It’s great for people and, like I said, the fans, but at the same time, it’s us staying focused on our assignments, our jobs, what we’ve got to do to dominate the opponent across from us."

The construction crew pulled onto campus late Wednesday afternoon, and they will build the set right in Wilson Plaza throughout the day Thursday.

Gates to the viewing area will open at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, and the live broadcast will run from 6 to 9 a.m. Kelly will join the panel live at 7:30 a.m., and the team plans to depart for their 12:30 kickoff at the Rose Bowl just as the show is wrapping up.

All UCLA students and faculty who attend the event in the morning will earn themselves free tickets to the game against Oregon that afternoon if they don't have tickets purchased already. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test from within 72 hours will be required at both College GameDay and the game itself for everyone over 12 years old, with Saturday marking the first contest impacted by Pasadena's recently passed health and safety orders.

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Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaafb/ucla-prepares-for-espns-college-gameday-surprise-guest-predictor-coming-to-campus/ar-AAPLxYz

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