Katy Perry’s Ole Miss connection: Star singer’s legendary ‘College GameDay’ appearance, revisited

Katy Perry's Ole Miss connection: Star singer's legendary 'College GameDay' appearance, revisited

“College GameDay” is headed to Ole Miss on Saturday for the 15th-ranked Rebels’ home game vs. No. 11 Texas A&M — only the show’s second visit, ever, to the famed Grove.

The show’s first such visit came on Oct. 4, 2014. It’s an episode remembered as much for the 11th-ranked Rebels’ upset of No. 3 Alabama as for the show’s guest picker: singer/songwriter Katy Perry. To date, Perry remains one of the show’s most iconic (and most talked-about) celebrity guest pickers to ever appear on the show. That’s unlikely to change as the show makes its triumphant return to Oxford.

MORE: Where is ‘College GameDay’ this week? Location, schedule, guest picker for Week 11 on ESPN

Perry was a dark horse candidate for the role — a California girl with no obvious connections to Ole Miss, let alone college football. Her appearance was nothing less than a teenage dream, as she consistently drew a roar from the crowd at her continued banter with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and Desmond Howard. There was nothing hot and cold about her appearance, except of course, the hot toddies she brought to the crew.

For those who don’t remember, Perry — wearing a fuzzy pink and black jersey and sporting two red buns in her hair — was the star of the show. She gave a performance like few other guest pickers have, which included breaking out a giant pencil to combat Lee Corso’s famed, “Not so fast” catchphrase; flirting with Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight; and flinging corn dogs at the mere mention of LSU.

Here is her 2014 appearance, in all its glory.

With that, Sporting News breaks down everything you need to know about Katy Perry and Ole Miss, including her 2014 appearance, her prediction record that day and whether she will revisit “College GameDay” once again in 2021:

What is Katy Perry’s Ole Miss connection?

As Perry mentioned in her first appearance on “GameDay,” her manager Bradford Cobb — who received a bachelor’s degree in English from the university in 1996 — is an Ole Miss alum. Perry claimed to have been invited to Cobb for 10 years when she finally made good on the offer in 2014.

Perry also claimed her mentor, Glen Ballard, as a reason for her Ole Miss support. The songwriter, lyricist, and record producer was born in Natchez, Miss. and attended Ole Miss in the 1970s. An article from the university notes he majored in music and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1975.

That was enough for Perry to finally attend her first college game; per a report from AL.com, she didn’t just stick around for the show and leave, either. She also watched the game in its entirety and, according to some who were at the game, rushed the field when the Rebels shocked Alabama 23-17. She was also seen celebrating the upset in the aftermath as well.

MORE: Lane Kiffin coaching timeline: Tracking career path from USC through Alabama to Ole Miss

Katy Perry’s record as guest picker

Perry’s appearance on “GameDay” wasn’t notable only for tossing corn dogs or flirting with Oklahoma’s quarterback. She also turned in a 7-2 record, which is tied for 29th all time in win percentage (.778) among the show’s guest pickers. She also had the best day when it came to predictions, beating out Howard (6-3), Corso (5-4) and Herbstreit (2-7). Moreover, the two games she incorrectly predicted were lost by a combined five points.

And, finally: She was the only one person on stage to correctly predict an Ole Miss victory over Alabama. Here’s the rundown of her record as a guest picker:

Prediction Outcome Record
No. 12 Mississippi State over No. 6 Texas A&M Mississippi State wins 48-31 1-0
Tennessee over Florida Florida wins 10-9 1-1
No. 5 Auburn over No. 15 LSU Auburn wins 41-7 2-1
No. 4 Oklahoma over No. 25 TCU TCU wins 37-33 2-2
No. 20 Ohio State over Maryland Ohio State wins 52-24 3-2
No. 10 Michigan State over No. 19 Nebraska Michigan State wins 27-22 4-2
Rutgers over Michigan Rutgers wins 26-24 5-2
No. 9 Notre Dame over No. 14 Stanford Notre Dame wins 17-14 6-2
No. 11 Ole Miss over No. 3 Alabama Ole Miss wins 23-17 7-2

MORE: SEC releases statement after Tennessee fans pelt Lane Kiffin in Ole Miss win: ‘Unacceptable’

Is Katy Perry the ‘College GameDay’ guest picker in Week 11?

It’s uncertain whether Perry will reprise her role as one of the show’s top all-time guests, as “College GameDay” did not have an announcement as of Friday night. That said, she was in the region earlier in the week: She was a presenter at the 2021 CMA Awards in Nashville, Tenn.

Perry also gave Rebels fans hope in early September when she replied to a Lane Kiffin tweet asking for a full Vaught-Hemingway Stadium for Ole Miss’ game vs. Nevada:

The show’s Twitter account did nothing to quell growing excitement, putting together a compilation of her greatest moments on Friday:

Regardless, several people involved with the show and the program have expressed hope she will make yet another appearance at The Grove.

“My favorite (‘GameDay’) memory was Katy Perry,” Howard said (via The Clarion-Ledger). “That’s it. Everything else was a blur. She was outstanding, one of the best celebrity guest pickers we’ve ever had. She was entertaining. She gets it. I hope she can come back, but I heard she’s not.”

Rece Davis, the show’s current host who wasn’t involved with the show in 2014, also told the Ledger he hoped she could show up again.

“That’s part of the culture of college football, too, historically is the fun stories, the inside jokes. Katy Perry — who we would love to see again on Saturday, by the way — throwing corn dogs as she made picks,” Davis said when discussing fun moments on the show. “All that stuff is fun.”

Kiffin knows better than most what happened that day in Oxford, as he was Alabama’s offensive coordinator at the time. On Monday he said he would like for Perry to do it again:

“That’s a no-brainer,” Kiffin said. “I just like when things have worked before. Like, when coaches come up with plays and want to run it, I say, ‘Well, show me it being run before.’ I’ve seen this script before, this movie where Katy Perry shows up and Ole Miss wins. I was on the other side of it. It worked before, let’s do it again.”





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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.