Oh, to be a student again. As soon as ESPN announced College GameDay was coming to Morgantown for the WVU vs. TCU game, excited students began camping out on the Mountainlair Plaza.
Over the course of 6 days, students set up nearly 250 tents on the green, decking them out with festive Christmas lights, signs, games, furniture and TVs. They even created a website and Twitter handle.
As Dave and I walked through the populated Tent City, the energy felt like almost heaven. The students were more than happy to share their stories about how long they’d been camping out and their many notable visitors.
I marvel at the dedication and commitment of these diehard students who camped out for days just to show College GameDay – and the nation – just how deep Mountaineer pride runs through West Virginia University.
Tent City built up a contagious level of school spirit as distinguished guests stopped by throughout the week bearing gifts of the tomato-sauce-and-pepperoni kind. On Halloween, WVU Head Coach Dana Holgorsen waded through the crowded and colorful Tent City to deliver pizzas to the students.
The Mountaineer Maniacs also gave out free pizzas and supplies to make signs for College GameDay.
We will be out on the Mountainlair Green this Friday at 10AM with posters & markers for everyone to make a sign! FREE PIZZA at 12 & T-Shirts — Mountaineer Maniacs (@WVUMANIACS) October 30, 2014
The staff from the student newspaper, Daily Athenaeum, sweetened last Friday morning by bringing them the official breakfast of champions.
WVU President E. Gordon Gee joined in the fun as well.
On Thursday before the game, ESPN selected West Virginia native and country music star Brad Paisley as College GameDay’s guest picker.
I think it’s safe to say the ESPN announcers were blown away at the uniquely wild and wonderful reception they got in Morgantown.
Thank you WVU for a great weekend. Know it was a very tough game to lose, but what an incredible experience in Morgantown. Thank you again! — Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) November 2, 2014
In its 30 years of broadcast, this was only the second time College GameDay came to Morgantown. The last time was in 2011 when WVU played LSU.
We hope that the unmatched hype and display of school spirit by WVU students makes ESPN choose Morgantown again soon as a College GameDay destination.