ESPN’s College GameDay made their fifth appearance in Columbia and their first at the Horseshoe this week. The immensely popular show has become an icon in the college football experience. The show, which began in 1987 with Tim Brando and Lee Corso as hosts, has kicked off Saturdays in the fall for college football fans across the nation.
In it’s previous four appearances at USC, the GameDay crew has broadcast from the state fairgrounds with Williams-Brice as it’s back drop, but today, ESPN opted to set up camp on the scenic Horseshoe that is the centerpiece of Carolina’s campus. It was the right call. When you think of the traditional schools across the landscape of college football, several schools come to mind. Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, Georgia, and Alabama, are just a few of those schools and provide great atmopsheres created by their on-campus stadiums. It is something that USC cannot offer. That is not to say that a great atmosphere cannot be provided at Williams-Brice. However, the on-campus stadium does give the game day experience a college feel.
Today, College GameDay gave the USC/Alabama game a college feel. Not only did the University of South Carolina get to showcase their beautiful campus to the country, the crowd in attendance appeared to be made up by a majority of students and young people.
I have always believed that students should be the focal point of a university and its athletics. Today, they were. The state of South Carolina has become the punch line of many jokes in recent months due to the actions of a few. Today, ESPN reminded everyone that this is a great state, with great people, and great universities. South Carolina has a lot to offer its citizens and visitors alike.
I ponder how many parents saw the show today and thought, “What a nice place to send my son/daughter”. After all, isn’t that what it is truly all about?
A few notes:
- The USC baseball team cannot be forgotten for their positive impact on the state image over the summer
- Kirk Herstreit chose USC to win, Lee Corso chose ‘Bama
- Kudos to whomever displayed the Wofford Terriers sign
- Herbstreit said on-air that the horseshoe was the nicest location they had ever set up shop