TCU students line up early Friday night ESPN's College GameDay

Students started lining up at 5 p.m. Friday to claim the best spots for ESPN's College GameDay, which will telecast live from the campus commons from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday before TCU's football game against West Virginia.
By
Up Next
Students started lining up at 5 p.m. Friday to claim the best spots for ESPN's College GameDay, which will telecast live from the campus commons from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday before TCU's football game against West Virginia.
By

TCU

TCU students arrive early for College GameDay campout

By Stefan Stevenson

sstevenson@star-telegram.com

October 06, 2017 11:20 PM

There is a purple hue taking over Fort Worth, and it’s coming from the campus of TCU.

The center of the college football world will emanate from TCU’s Campus Commons Saturday morning when ESPN’s College GameDay show will go live to the world at 8 a.m.

Sleep-deprived TCU students, in all their purple, will be on display in front of ESPN’s cameras. The first five students to line up for the show arrived at 5 p.m. Friday. Four male roommates and one of their girlfriends wanted the best possible spots.

Fort Worth is ready for @CollegeGameDay to be at @TCU! pic.twitter.com/G0xdkGdKTp

— Betsy Price (@MayorBetsyPrice) October 7, 2017

“We knew we had to be here early to get a good spot and a good view,” said James Flowers, a sophomore from Richmond, Va.

Why not? It has been eight years since the show made its first and only other previous appearance on campus. Most of these students were in elementary school then.

“I can remember being in the second grade waking up on a Saturday morning watching college football and GameDay,” said Los Angeles sophomore Mitchell Lefevre.

TCU students from left, Mitchell Lefevre, Ben Auten, Caroline Culver, John Merkle and James Flowers, were first in line to camp out over night on the campus commons for ESPN’s College GameDay, which airs from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday.
Stefan Stevenson sstevenson@star-telegram.com

Hundreds of TCU students began setting up tents and unrolling sleeping bags by 8 p.m. on one end of the commons. Students at the other end were congregating in front of another stage for an X Ambassadors concert. It was a busy night of logistics and security for TCU and Fort Worth police. Student IDs were thoroughly checked, bags were scanned, and students lining up for GameDay were stamped on the hand with their place in line.

TCU assistant director of student activities Brad Thompson remembers the 2009 GameDay well.

“It’s definitely bigger [this year] with the addition of the concert. A much bigger production. We have more security with what happened in Vegas. We’re trying to be mindful, but also let our students have a great time and enjoy GameDay.”

Houston sophomore John Merkle, one of the four dorm roommates first in line, said they didn’t bring sleeping bags because they plan on staying up all night.

Hundreds of TCU students started setting up tents and unrolling sleeping bags to spend the night on the campus commons lawn for ESPN’s College GameDay, which is going live to the world from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday.
Stefan Stevenson sstevenson@star-telegram.com

“We’ll sleep 24 hours from now, maybe,” he said. His girlfriend, freshman Caroline Culver, also from Houston, said she watched GameDay with her dad and brother.

If they haven’t dozed off, TCU is bringing out a large screen and showing “Jurassic World” at 1 a.m. and then Disney’s “Moana” at 3:30 a.m. TCU is buying the campers pizza and serving two rounds of donuts, once at 3:30 and again at 6:30 when Chancellor Victor Boschini and athletic director Chris Del Conte will help pass them out.

Both were here when GameDay came to campus in 2009.

FunkyTown going for the Horned Frogs! #BeatWVU pic.twitter.com/s7yw7AIgZl

— Horned Frogs (@TCU_Athletics) October 7, 2017

“It’s unbelievable,” said Del Conte, who had arrived on the job from Rice only a month earlier. “For us to get it back just speaks volumes to what Gary [Patterson] has built. It’s a great way to show off our university, our football program and our conference. Everything about it is pretty awesome.”

Flowers and another roommate Ben Auten of Charleston, S.C., are both dreading Monday morning tests.

“Two tests and a quiz on Monday, so my Sunday is going to be rough,” Auten said.

But the memories they’re making Friday night and Saturday morning will be worth it.

“I plan to go get the signs and hopefully catch some of the Nationals-Cubs game as well,” Flowers said. “It’s a big sports weekend and huge for TCU.”

Hundreds of TCU students started setting up tents and unrolling sleeping bags to spend the night on the campus commons lawn for ESPN’s College GameDay, which is going live to the world from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday.
Stefan Stevenson sstevenson@star-telegram.com

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST