How to Navigate ESPN's College GameDay

Everything you need to know about attending ESPN's College GameDay at TCU this Saturday.

Photo from GoFrogs.com

By Ryan Terry

The bye week is over, TCU football is finally back in Fort Worth — and so is ESPN’s College GameDay, arriving on the TCU campus for the second time since 2009.

College GameDay will highlight the matchup between No. 8 TCU and No. 23 West Virginia (or “Western Virginia,” as many TCU fans call it in jest), with the show starting at 8 a.m. Saturday. The game itself kicks off at 2:30 p.m., in what should be one of the best matchups of the weekend. The Horned Frogs are, after all, one of the most exciting teams in the country after starting the season 4-0 and landing a spot in the Top 10.

College GameDay first came to campus in 2009 when then No. 4-ranked TCU played No. 16 Utah. TCU has already played in five games featured on College GameDay, making this weekend the Horned Frogs’ sixth appearance on the show in nine years. TCU is undefeated in College GameDay matchups and is favored to continue that streak this weekend.

So get out your air mattresses and poster boards and get ready for GameDay. If you’re waking up early for the show Saturday morning, here’s what you’ll need to know:

Where the Deal Goes Down

The College GameDay set will be erected at the Campus Commons adjacent to Brown-Lupton University Union, near the intersection of Stadium Drive and Main Drive.

When It Starts

The show will start at 8 a.m. and run until noon. You’ll need to get there early if you want to watch it though, as many students and fans will be camping out in the Campus Commons to reserve a spot. The north and south entrances of the Campus Commons will open at midnight Saturday morning and will remain open to the general public throughout the program. Another entrance will open through the Brown-Lupton Breezeway at 6 a.m. The pit area will open at 5:30 a.m..

Where to Park

Donor and season ticket holder parking lots will open up at 6 a.m. in preparation for GameDay. If you don’t have a permit to park on campus, free parking will be available at McKinney Bible Church starting at 6 a.m. with free shuttles to the Brown-Lupton University Union. There will also be free parking at Travis Avenue Baptist Church and a free shuttle starting at 11:30 a.m. Paid parking and tailgating for the game are available at University United Methodist Church, St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, and Paschal High School. Free shuttles will be running from these sites as well, starting at 11:30 a.m.

What to Do

Watch the Show

Show up early to get a good view. There will be two filming stages set up, and either one will make for a great place to watch the show. If you show up late, don’t worry, you will still be able to enjoy the show from farther back in the crowd via large screens.

Make a Sign

Of course, College GameDay is famous for the signs its fans hold up in the background of the set. Bring your own sign, but remember that ESPN has strict rules about what can appear on television. While the show highlights the snarkiest of sports signs, the following are not allowed: political messages; vulgarity; “.com,” “.net,” or “.org” signs; and religious signs. If you follow these guidelines, and get a little creative, there’s a good chance you and your sign will be shown on air.

If you don’t want to buy the materials yourself, College GameDay sponsors Home Depot and Pizza Hut will be sponsoring a station for fans to stop and create their own signs.

Get on TV

If you’re looking for your 15 seconds of fame, get there early and get a spot on the front row. If you miss your chance for the front, just find the cable-suspended aircam and wait for a crowd shot.

Get Rowdy

Sing the fight song, chant with the crowd, and show the nation how rowdy Frog fans can get.

What Not to Do

Don’t bring outside food or drinks, markers, pens, pencils or dry erase boards. Book bags, purses or bags are not allowed in the pit area. Also, don’t throw objects in the pit area.

What Else

ESPN will also be airing a program on Friday afternoon from the Campus Commons called College Football Live. Fans are encouraged to come to the set to watch the show. The show is set to be taped at 2 p.m. but is subject to change.