On Saturday, the statue of William Oxley Thompson will have some company, as ESPN’s College GameDay will be broadcasting live on the Oval in anticipation of the game between No. 3 Ohio State and No. 9 Michigan State.
Despite all of OSU’s success on the gridiron, it has been years since College GameDay has come to Columbus for a game.
“I can’t believe that we have not been here since 2010,” College GameDay analyst and OSU alumnus Kirk Herbstreit said. “We used to come here, kind of like what we are doing right now with Alabama where we would come once or twice a year.”
Every week, College GameDay picks a highly touted game where it will broadcast its show live on Saturday morning. The show typically is on the particular campus from Thursday to Saturday.
Regardless of whether or not ESPN is broadcasting the game, the show will go wherever the week’s most anticipated matchup is.
“We do tend to travel no matter where the game is … we just travel to what we think is the best game,” Herbstreit said. “It’s been a lot of fun to see the fanbases when we show up. It’s like that that campus will become the face of the sport for 48 hours.”
With such a popular show finally making a pitstop in at OSU, many students are excited for the chance to witness it in person.
Jarrett Forkey, a fourth-year in chemical engineering, students are planning on arriving the Oval, where the set is placed, early in the morning to get hyped for the game, which is scheduled to kickoff at 3:30 p.m.
“It will be a lot more rambunctious than people think,” Forkey said. “It’s been awhile since GameDay’s been here. It’s been awhile since Michigan State’s been here. There are a lot of seniors playing their last game.
“There is a lot of excitement here at Ohio State.”
Herbstreit agrees that the students will be ready for the game come kickoff.
“I expect to see that typical Ohio Stadium nutty atmosphere,” Herbstreit said. “You have one or two games a year where Ohio State feels (the Buckeyes could be upset), and then it’s a proactive atmosphere. It’s where you are creating the sacks or you are creating the interceptions. My guess is that’s the kind of crowd it will be and it will help Ohio State’s defense and their cause.”
The hype for College GameDay and for the game that afternoon, according to Herbstreit, really shows the growth of college football as a sport.
“Fans get crazier and crazier. That just speaks volumes about college football,” Herbstreit said. “The sport has never been more popular and there’s never been more buzz. The passion is universal and we embrace it. That’s what makes this sport so special.”