New England Patriots

New England Patriots

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 18: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on during pregame warm-ups prior to the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 18, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Ever since it was announced that Gillette Stadium will host this year’s Army-Navy Game, one of the biggest questions has been how much and in what ways New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will be involved. Belichick is a long-time and vocal supporter of the Naval Academy, where his father Steve was a coach and scout from 1956-1989. In the past, Belichick has talked at length about the Army-Navy Game each year the week the game is held.

While Belichick’s full plans for the game remain unknown, he will play one staring role early in the day. On Thursday night, ESPN’s College GameDay announced Belichick will be the celebrity guest picker for Saturday’s show in Foxborough.

College GameDay is ESPN’s flagship college football show. Featuring host Rece Davis with a panel of Desmond Howard, Pat McAfee, Kirk Herbstreit, and Lee Corso, the show broadcasts each week from the site of college football’s biggest game. Each broadcasts concludes with the panel picking the winners for that week’s slate of games, while joined by a celebrity with a tie to the host school/team. This week, that will be Belichick.

For the Army-Navy show, the Gameday crew typically picks the games for the upcoming bowl season, as well as the Army-Navy Game itself. That means Belichick will have quite a few picks ahead of him.

Belichick will be the 15th current or former Boston sports figure to be the guest picker on GameDay. How have the previous 14 stacked up? Here’s a look from worst to first.

  • Marcus Smart: 5-6

    Two Celtics are the only two Boston representatives to have their picks go under .500, both with 5-6 records. The first is Smart, when his alma mater Oklahoma State hosted the show late in the 2013 season. However he did get his school’s pick right, as the Cowboys rolled Baylor 49-17.

  • Bill Walton: 5-6

    A title and Sixth Man of the Year Award winner for the Celtics, Walton is now best known for his job calling late night Pac-12 basketball games. He joined GameDay to talk football in 2021 at his alma mater UCLA and went 5-6.

  • LeBron James: 5-5

    James has never played for a Boston team, but he is a partner of Fenway Sports Group, making him a part-owner of the Red Sox. The Ohio native was the guest picker when Gameday went to Ohio State in 2008, and he went .500 on his 10 picks.

  • Jonathan Papelbon: 5-4

    The former Red Sox closer also helped close the show in 2014 when his alma mater Mississippi State upset No. 2 Auburn. He also may have been the best dressed of any of the Boston guests.

  • Rick Pitino: 6-5

    Prior to his last season in Louisville in 2017, Pitino was the guest picker when the Cardinals hosted the defending National Champion Clemson. He may have ruined the Celtics, but he didn’t ruin the picks going 6-5.

  • Eric Decker: 6-5

    A year after he spent a training camp with the Patriots, Decker was the GameDay picker when his Minnesota Golden Gophers hosted the Wisconsin Badgers. Decker went 6-5 on his picks.

  • Matt Ryan: 6-4

    Ryan may have played collegiately for Boston College, but was a picker on behalf of the Falcons when GameDay was in Atlanta for the SEC Championship in 2012. He went 6-4.

  • Jake Peavy: 6-3

    Peavy joined GameDay just a few months after winning the World Series with the Red Sox in 2013 when Alabama hosted LSU. Peavy is an Alabama native but actually had an offer to pitch for rival Auburn before getting drafted out of high school.

  • Tedy Bruschi: 6-3

    tedy

    FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 16: Tedy Bruschi #54 of the New England Patriots recovers a fumble from the Indianapolis Colts during the AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2005 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Colts 20-3. (Photo By Elsa/Getty Images)

    Bruschi played in college at Arizona, but represented Boston College when GameDay came to Chestnut Hill in 2009. It was Bruschi’s first year of retirement, but he remained competitive that Saturday going 6-3.

  • Jim Plunkett: 7-3

    Unknown date & location, USA; FILE PHOTO; New England Patriots quarterback Jim Plunkett (16) in action. Credit: Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

    FILE PHOTO; New England Patriots quarterback Jim Plunkett (16) in action. Credit: Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

    In 1971, the Patriots made Plunkett the first overall pick in the NFL Draft out of Stanford. 40 years later Plunkett was back at his alma mater for a top-10 matchup between Stanford and Oregon.

  • Trace McSorley: 8-3

    Before McSorley was a training camp quarterback for the Patriots in 2023, he was a legend at Penn State. When GameDay went to Happy Valley in 2020 McSorley was there and did an excellent job picking the games.

  • Blake Griffin: 9-1

    Griffin, who spent last year with the Celtics, was coming off of his first of six All-Star seasons in 2011 when he joined GameDay at Oklahoma for that year’s Red River Shootout. He nearly went perfect with his picks.

  • Chris O’Donnell: 10-3

    The lone non-athlete on this list, the NCIS: Los Angeles star is a Boston College alum. He was the guest picker when GameDay was in Chestnut Hill in 2018 and did better than most of the players and coaches on this list.

  • Drew Bledsoe: 11-3

    No Boston-linked guest picker had more wins than Bledsoe. His Washington State Cougars were hosting the Oregon Ducks in a ranked matchup in Pullman that week, and gave Bledsoe won of those wins.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.

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