Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Experiences

ESPN College GameDay: Was it Worth The Hype..?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

There is no doubt that Colorado football is a huge topic of conversation all over the United States. Every major news outlet has featured some type of story on Colorado’s football team some time since the beginning of the season. It has gained national attention from all sorts of notable celebrities like The Rock, Lil Wayne, Offset, and more. CU has even had FOX Big Noon Kickoff live from campus two weeks in a row, and FOX will be returning for the game against USC on Sept. 30th. Another memorable appearance that rocked CU’s campus is ESPN College Gameday, which is a widely popular, premier, nationally televised pre-game show. I was lucky enough to experience this show from the second row on CU’s beautiful campus for their rivalry game against Colorado State. This show is such a big deal for college football fans, and arguably, a once in a lifetime opportunity. However, this begs the question: is going to the show worth the hype? Let’s talk about it. 

Being a college football fan and CU student, I understood the significance of ESPN College Gameday visiting my campus. I knew that it was something I wanted to be a part of. I woke up at 3 a.m., knowing that I wanted to get a spot as close as I possibly could. When my friends and I were finally allowed into the pit section at 5 a.m., I was so excited that I was able to be in the second row. This meant that I was actually able to see the whole show live, and I also got exclusive merch that was handed out to people in the first couple of rows. This included a limited time Lee Corso 400th Pick shirt, an iconic Home Depot College Gameday Hard Hat and a fathead cutout of Deion Sanders’ Head. This made the whole experience so memorable because I knew that such a small number of the audience members got their hands on this merch. 

When the show finally started airing live at 7 a.m. mountain time, the energy was electric. The iconic members of the Gameday show were not more than 30 feet in front of me, and the whole audience was so excited to be able to experience the show live. The atmosphere was buzzing with interviews, discussions and stories relayed by the hosts. It was like listening to one of your favorite podcasts in real time, surrounded by people who share the affinity, all while being starstruck in the heart of your own campus. The excitement I felt was unimaginable. 

One of my favorite parts of the whole show was when The Rock made an appearance. I was able to see him speak the day before on the same stage for an exclusive interview before the show, so seeing him speak at my school two days in a row was something I never imagined I would have experienced. He was so funny, told great stories, and gave inspirational advice to the audience. Although there were hundreds of people in attendance, it felt like such a personal experience. 

Another memorable part of the show for me was seeing Lee Corso do his 400th headgear pick. This is when he puts on the head of the mascot associated with the team that he thinks is going to win. It is such an iconic part of ESPN College Gameday, and some fans just tune in specifically for that portion of the show. If you asked your dad who Lee Corso is, I’m sure he would be able to answer because he is a football legend. One section of the show was dedicated to his legacy and the impact he has had on the community surrounding it. It was really nice to be a part of such a sentimental moment.

The show went on for three hours and it seriously was the experience of a lifetime. The members of the show were so interactive with the audience. During commercial breaks, there was music and dancing and lots of giveaways. This was obviously a hit as you know how college kids feel about free things. While this experience was great for me personally, I can completely understand how people could have had the opposite. 

If college football is not your thing, you might not have enjoyed something like this. I wouldn’t encourage you to wake up at 3 a.m. because chances are you might regret it. It’s cold and dark, and you’re surrounded by a bunch of college kids who either haven’t slept and are still out from the night before, or woke up at 3 a.m. and are grumpy because of that. If that doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time, then it’s not the place for you. However, if you’re still thinking about going, it would be in your best interest to get there relatively early. If you are standing all the way in the back it can be hard to see, not only because of the large number of people in attendance, but also because there are lots of signs and flags being held up by fans. But, if you happen to be up at 7 a.m. and you’re within walking distance, I think you should definitely go and check it out. It’ll be like nothing you’ve seen before.

If you are a college football fan, I highly recommend that you go to ESPN College Gameday if it is in your area. The energy is thrilling and there is so much excitement not only from the fans, but from the hosts of the show as well. Being a part of something that is so widely popular is a ton of fun, and the vibes are just so good. If you’re able to get up early and make it close to the front, you should definitely try. There’s just something about being up close and getting to see the whole show with your own eyes, not just through the big screen. The show is so well-put-together and it’s really neat to see everything that goes into the production of a live TV broadcast. Personally, I thought it was the opportunity of a lifetime and I am so glad I pushed myself to get up early and truly experience the whole show. If you are able and willing, go make some memories that you can brag about! You’ll be glad you did. 

Katie Baxter

CU Boulder '26

Katie Baxter is a contributing writer and member of the social media team for Her Campus at the University of Colorado-Boulder chapter. She is a sophomore studying Strategic Communications and minoring in Business. She loves to keep up with and write about trends, sports, pop culture, and more. She will often write about her own experiences tied in with topics that fascinate her. Katie has always loved to write for fun, but has never gained any professional writing experience. She is looking to gain experience from Her Campus both in her writing and social media talents. Social media is something she has always been interested in, and potentially wants to continue working with it in the future. She loves to stay busy and is always thinking of new articles to pitch! When Katie is not writing or doing school work, you will oftentimes find her spending time with her roommates and friends. She is a Colorado native and loves watching/ playing sports, going to see the newest movie, or finding a new restaurant and places to shop! She is not a big coffee lover, but she absolutely loves chai and is on the hunt to find the best one in all of Boulder.