A Guide to College GameDay: What to expect

Margaret Wirick

College GameDay announced on Twitter on Sunday Oct. 3 that the show would head to Dallas, Texas to cover the Red River Rivalry showdown between No. 21 Texas and No. 6 Oklahoma this Saturday. 

If you’re planning to attend the game or tuning in at home, here’s what to expect from the renowned pregame show:

College GameDay travels to the headlining game of the week, hence why they choose the Cotton Bowl. The show usually sets up on the hosting team’s campus in a central area with enough space to support the mobile stage set and the multitude of fans who come to support their team.

Students and fans flock to the production site, sometimes the night before, for a chance to get on camera and show their school spirit. A staple of the “fan-cam” is the extravagant signage attendees make and bring to the show. If there’s any hope of getting on camera, you need to show up early and show out. Be prepared to fight for a good spot, but keep in mind that half the audience is on your team, so don’t go too crazy with the elbows. 

When the show came to Austin in 2019 for the game against LSU, students camped out on the LBJ lawn the night before to get a camera-centered spot and hundreds of fans joined the event early the morning of, along with the Texas Spirit Squad, The Longhorn Band and Bevo. 

The almost three-hour show packs segments featuring in-depth game analysis, behind-the-scenes looks and team interviews along with more entertaining bits, including comical interviews and celebrity guest hosts. 

Fans won’t forget Matthew McConaughey riding down Bevo Boulevard in a burnt orange, longhorn-studded Ford Thunderbird to make one of the most dramatic entrances of a guest host on College GameDay

The analyst’s pick of the winning team is the most recognizable segment of the show. Longest performing on-air host, Lee Corso, makes his pick by donning the mascot head of his chosen team. 

Since the show’s inception in 1993, it has aired at the Cotton Bowl six times, the most recent being the 2018 game in which all four analysts were proven wrong after they favored Oklahoma to win. 

College GameDay follows the numbers when making their game predictions. Expect a heavy debate between analysts this Saturday as the two teams have contending strengths and weaknesses, along with records that may not reflect the strides or stutters each team has encountered.

When comparing Oklahoma and Texas this season, it’s a difficult pick to make. The Sooners are undefeated, but have issues executing on offense. Texas is No. 2 in the nation for third-down conversions, but deep-thrown balls sail right over the cornerbacks’ helmets. 

The lively College GameDay show will match the intensity and energy of the Red River Rivalry, so whether you’re at the Cotton Bowl or watching from home, make sure to get a glimpse of the show that embodies the spirit of college football.