ESPN GameDay Takes Over Campus

On Thursday, West Virginia University senior athletic coaching education major Chris Armel sat proudly with his Mountaineer Maniacs t-shirt in a chair stationed right in front of his tent adorned with an ESPN logo.

He has been there for much of the last three days.

On Friday night, more than 70 tents joined him in their quest to make it on ESPN's College GameDay.

"This could be the biggest football game we've ever played," Armel said. "We're getting national recognition; we're getting debated to be in another conference. If we beat LSU, how can they say no to us?"

Armel and his friends spent most of their time in or around the tent, taking turns while going to class on Thursday and Friday.


"I had class at 8 a.m., and when I woke up, they were just starting to set up the stage," Armel said Thursday afternoon.

Others who joined over the next two days stationed their tents throughout the Mountainlair Plaza, eventually stretching and expanding so there were just a small pathway from North High Street to the upper entrance of the building.

"I just love the visual behind the set. We've never had something like that, so it will capture a different view than we've ever had before," said GameDay host Chris Fowler. "I've been here for big games before, and I know Mountaineer fans will show what they're about."

Cheers of "Let's Go Mountaineers!" could be heard deep inside the Mountainlair on Friday, as doors opened periodically and let the sounds of college football and Mountaineer Nation into the student union.

It was the first time in GameDay's 25-year history that the crew of Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and others made their way to Morgantown.

And, it's safe to say they won't ever forget it.

With frat row in the background and yards after yards of creative signs, WVU showed up in masses.

"That was the best treatment I've had at a school. Even my own school hasn't treated me that well," said sideline reporter Erin Andrews. "The crowd was awesome today, and I'm so happy for West Virginia, because they wanted us here so badly."

The show started at 9 a.m. and continued all the way up until noon. WVU head men's basketball coach Bob Huggins was the guest picker in the final five minutes of the broadcast. As no surprise, Huggins picked the Mountaineers to pull the upset tonight against No. 2 LSU.

"You hear so much about night games in Baton Rouge. We'll they've never been to Morgantown," Huggins proclaimed to cheers from the crowd.

Corso, on the other hand, surprised the crowd by holding a photo of himself with a coonskin cap on before picking up and placing a tiger head on.

Boos ensued.

Prior to the start of the program, students and other fans were given tickets to stand and cheer in the closest section to the GameDay set up. Others crowded around the area in thousands. The estimated crowd number was 13,000.

"It's great to bring GameDay to Morgantown. Have fun and enjoy yourselves. Take care of the furniture," Fowler joked with the crowd prior to the start of the show.

Cameras were spotted throughout, and even a roving one soared through the sky to catch glimpses of fans.

"Traveling to new places and seeing the different cultures and environments is something that we appreciate and look forward to," said analyst Desmond Howard. "I've heard a lot about West Virginia … But it's nothing like experiencing it firsthand."

BlueGoldNews Top Stories