When ESPN’s “College GameDay” broadcasts live from Northrop Mall on Saturday, the University of Minnesota will become the 75th different school to make an appearance on the show, with Minneapolis being the 89th host city.
Minnesota will also be the fourth school this year making its debut on the popular TV show, which started in 1993. The Gophers will clash with rival Wisconsin at TCF Bank Stadium later that afternoon.
Here’s what’s happened with the other debutantes this season, including what antics famed panelist Lee Corso concocted and what creative fan signs grabbed attention:
When and where: Sept. 14, Ames, Iowa
The result: No. 20 Iowa 18, Iowa State 17
Corso’s pick: He said he was going to pick Iowa, even reached for the Hawkeye head. But at the last minute he had a change of heart, donning Cy the Cardinal (even though the team’s nickname is the Cyclones).
Best sign: “College AmesDay” Simple. To the point. Wonderful wordplay.
When and where: Oct. 26, Brookings, S.D.
The result: North Dakota State 23, South Dakota State 16
Corso’s pick: North Dakota State literally has an unofficial live bison mascot named Corso that the human Corso met six years ago when “GameDay” broadcast from that campus. So of course he put on the bison head, saying, “There’s no way I’m picking against my family!”
Best sign: “South Dakota has never been this famous, so I don’t know what to put.” That’s the kind of stream-of-consciousness Midwestern self-deprecation people know and love.
When and where: Nov. 2, Memphis, Tenn.
The result: No. 24 Memphis 54, No. 15 SMU 48
Corso’s pick: Corso hyped up Memphis, only to hover the tiger head above his own before ruthlessly tossing it to the ground in favor of a mustang. Boos rained down upon him.
Best sign: “We paid players before it was cool.” Too soon to make light of SMU’s death penalty? Considering how hilariously topical this was, the answer is no. Honorable mentions to “Got the horses in the back” and “Do I really feel the way I feel” for the song references.
When and where: Nov. 19, 2016, Kalamazoo, Mich.
The result: No. 14 Western Michigan 38, Buffalo 0
Corso’s pick: The Broncos, though he did it while commenting on how “freezing” it was on a windy and sleeting day with the temperature feeling like 21 degrees. But about 2,000 fans turned out for Western Michigan’s first time hosting in what would be P.J. Fleck’s last season there as coach before joining the Gophers.
Fleck said “GameDay” is “program-changing” and helps put otherwise overlooked teams on the map.
“There’s only 12 places they go during the entire season. We’re one of them,” Fleck said Tuesday. “Bring your family, bring your friends, your kids, your grandkids, bring whoever you want. It’s a very unique experience. I’d like to be able to have the largest crowd ‘GameDay’ has ever seen somehow, some way.”
Best sign: “P.J. please stay to 2 Row the Boat another day” …. Awkward.