Darius Rucker, Lainey Wilson and the Cadillac Three‘s revamped version of “Comin’ To Your City” debuted as the new opening theme for ESPN’s College GameDay on Saturday (Sept. 2), ahead of the game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the South Carolina Gamecocks.
The new version of the song marks the end of an era, since Big & Rich previously held a 16-season run with their original version of “Comin’ to Your City.” The country duo gracefully passed the torch during an announcement late last month, saying that it’s “been an honor” to be the soundtrack to the college football theme for so many years.
Even though the revamped GameDay theme is still based around the same song, the transition to the new version was still a change — and some fans weren’t feeling so enthusiastic about Wilson, Rucker and the Cadillac Three’s rendition of “Comin’ to Your City,” which features a few small lyrical tweaks and, of course, all-new voices.
“The new college gameday intro song stinks,” one fan wrote on Twitter. “We need hype,” not a sleepy, spacey snoozefest,” another opined.
But not everyone was disappointed in the switch-up. “Honestly I might like the new one more. Big and Rich were just kinda lackluster for me and the new one has more energy,” one Twitter user said. Another described the new version as “immaculate.”
Then again, there were another group of people that didn’t see a whole lot of difference between the new College GameDay song and the old one.
Originally penned by John Rich, Kenny Alphin and Paul Worley for Big & Rich’s 2005 album of the same title, “Comin’ to Your City” has become a staple of college football over the years, and each of the artists involved in the new version spoke to their admiration for the original when the switch-up was first announced.
“I’ve watched that opening so many times,” said Rucker, who’s a South Carolina native and was also the guest picker on College Game Day on Saturday. “I used to sit in my room and go, ‘I’ve gotta write a song so I can do the opening of GameDay.”