Stars of ESPN’s “College Gameday” excited to be back in Happy Valley in front of fans

Story posted September 17, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Logan Bourandas

Only one day remains until the White Out at Beaver Stadium where the Penn State Nittany Lions will host the Auburn Tigers.

Making its return for the big game is the set of “College Gameday” and the stars that host the show including Kirk Herbstreit, Rece Davis and Lee Corso. This is the fifth straight year State College has hosted “College Gameday”, they are the only city in college football to do so.

Despite coming to State College last year, no fans were allowed both at the show and the stadium due to the coronavirus. Herbstreit mentioned how different that game felt last year against Ohio State and how this year won’t look the same way.

“We were at dinner last night [Chris] Fowler and I and it was so bizarre to do the game last year if I remember right it was just family in the stadium,” Herbstreit said. “Of all the games I called, this one last year with Ohio State was a microcosm of the entire year and now to come back and I know it’s not back to normal yet but to have a full stadium is gonna be electric.”

The last time Penn State hosted it’s White Out in front of a full stadium was in 2019 when the Michigan Wolverines came to town.

This year will feature a different experience as the Nittany Lions welcome an SEC opponent for the White Out in the Auburn Tigers. It’s the first time the Nittany Lions have hosted a school from the SEC since the 2011 season when Penn State played the Alabama Crimson Tide for its White Out that season.

College Gameday analyst David Pollack played his college career with the Georgia Bulldogs, another SEC school. Despite playing in several loud environments during his college career, Pollack believes that the atmosphere in Beaver Stadium can compete with any stadium in the country.

“Very similar to an SEC field, we come here it seems like every year and with the White Out it’s just fun to watch, it’s fun to be a part of,” Pollack said. “I’ve been saying this on TV the last couple days when we’ve been asked, it’s not bobblehead day or bring this or bring that everyone’s committed, everyone’s in and it’s white everywhere. With all the chants and cheers, the first time I saw it I was blown away, definitely comparable to any atmosphere in college football.”

For the fans in State College returning to watch the show Saturday morning, there will be new changes designed to keep fans engaged during the broadcast according to Davis.

“You get a jolt of adrenaline going up there and knowing the people are eager for the show and I think also for the people who come,” Davis said. “We’ve added some things that make this even more enjoyable, we got a new DJ who’s tremendous, there’s some crowd participation things I think they even throw some stuff in the crowd every now and then, we do things to try and engage the people who are there.”

This year’s “College Gameday” will be set at Old Main Lawn and will start at 9 a.m on Saturday.

Logan Bourandas is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email lxb5412@psu.edu.