ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith Revealed as ‘College GameDay’ Guest Picker at Jackson State

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by: Paula Lobo/NBC via Getty Images)

Can you believe it’s already been eight weeks since the start of the 2022 NCAA football season? We’re now on Week 9 of ESPN’s College GameDay, which takes place on the Jackson State campus in Jackson, Mississippi.

ESPN has welcomed some fantastic celebrity guest pickers thus far, including WWE Superstar and University of Tennessee alum Bianca Belair; country star and App State alum Luke Combs; and NFL legend and Tennessee alum Peyton Manning.

This week, they’re continuing their string of high-profile celebrity guests with First Take and SportsCenter star Stephen A. Smith, who broke the exciting news on Twitter.

“Jetting to Jackson, Mississippi,” he wrote alongside a video of himself walking toward a Mississippi-bound private plane. “I am the celebrity guest picker on College GameDay – Jackson State University vs. Southern University this morning. Hanging with my boy Coach Prime aka Deion Sanders. Tune in to ESPN around 11:30 [a.m.] Eastern to ‘see me make my picks.'”

“What’s up, y’all,” the ESPN star said, stepping out of a black SUV in a truly incredible Kobe Bryant letterman jacket. “You know who this is, your boy Stephen A. Smith. Guess who the celebrity game picker is this week for College GameDay? That would happen to be me.”

“Yes, I’m heading to Jackson, Mississippi,” he continued. “I’m heading there to see my man Primetime and the rest of the crew. GameDay crew – I’m coming, y’all. I promise you I’ll be there.”

‘College GameDay’ Fans React to Stephen A. Smith as Guest Picker

As with many of the guest pickers on College GameDay, Stephen A. Smith’s announcement received mixed reactions. Though thankfully for Stephen A., GameDay fans’ reaction wasn’t nearly as violently negative as it was for Jack Harlow, the guest picker for Week 1 who clearly wasn’t a fan of college football at all.

“McAfee and Stephen A on the same set is going to be ELECTRIC,” one fan raved. “Yay!!!!! This is gonna rock!!!” another wrote.

That said, it hasn’t exactly been overwhelmingly positive, either. While some were excited to see the TV personality on the way to Jackson, others expressed disappointment in ESPN’s choice of guest.

“Well that makes my decision easy this morning. I’ll go watch the grass grow,” one annoyed fan said. “Good reminder to turn the volume way down around 11:30 a.m.,” added another.

Stephen A. Smith will make his picks at the end of the show. However, Jackson State is 7-0 entering today’s game against Southern, and head coach Deion Sanders is clearly a close friend, so it’s probably safe to guess what his pick for the featured game will be.