The Gophers may have gotten stomped by the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday, but their first time hosting ESPN's "College GameDay" has to be considered a success. The college football pregame show broadcast live from Northrop Mall on the U of M campus and received many positive reviews.
Gopher fans flooded area as early as 5 a.m. Saturday, waiting in the cold to have an up-close look at the broadcast which didn't start until 8 a.m. Once the show got rolling, even more Gopher fans showed up and were ready to party.
ESPN's Pat McAfee was one of the most vocal supporters of the Gopher program throughout the broadcast, even cutting a terrific promo vowing to go full Minnesotan if the Gophers beat the Badgers.
The fun continued as Minnesotans also flooded the backdrop with signs that have become a tradition for the Saturday morning telecast. With everything from "Paul Bunyan hates cheese curds" and a scoffing Prince that said "When she thinks Culver's is fine dining," one of the best signs came about when they had no clue what to put on it.
The show even had a little star power outside of the program as Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders dropped by during an interview with Gophers coach P.J. Fleck.
In the end, the show's trademark was the picks segment that featured Gopher great Eric Decker in a bomber hat and carrying a giant axe to make his picks. However, the big moment was when analyst Lee Corso picked the Gophers and donned the head of Goldy Gopher.
Corso's headgear pick wrapped up a successful morning for the Gophers, even though they would lose The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe later in the afternoon. With the continued improvement of the Minnesota football program, however, hopefully this won't be the last time the GameDay crew sets up shop in Minneapolis.