GAMEDAY ARRIVES ON CAMPUS
What was once considered only a dream, became a reality on the campus of UCF Thursday, as crew members of College GameDay officially arrived in style. Escorted by a campus police car sporting UCF National Championship artwork, the famous GameDay bus found its parking place for the weekend just outside of Memory Mall. As the band played and cheerleaders cheered, the hundreds of Knights faithful surrounding the bus reached a fever pitch as select members of the football team unloaded into the crowd.
It was a scene that officially set the tone for the weekend ahead, and perhaps signified UCF’s arrival on the national landscape of college football.
The benefits of having College GameDay on campus may not be felt for many years to come. Then again, it may take a select few just as long to recover from having them here in the first place.
HERBSTREIT PREPARES FOR WILD WEEKEND
Thursday was also the beginning of a media frenzy surrounding Saturday’s game against Cincinnati. ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit conducted a teleconference from his hometown of Nashville, prior to his late Friday arrival in Orlando.
Herbstreit, who has been one of UCF’s biggest critics throughout their boisterous run of 22 consecutive victories, was quick to clarify his stance on the Knights after comments he made a few weeks ago made him the fan bases biggest target among national pundits.
“I don’t have any personal vendetta against UCF. I simply watch a lot of film, watch games every week that a lot of these teams play and unfortunately I get asked to make opinions.” he said. “I’ve been doing this 23 years and you can’t always say everything to make everybody happy.”
Herbstreit is prepared to embrace his role as a villain during his visit to Central Florida.
“It’s college football, it’s a subjective world that we live in, it creates a lot of excitement, a lot of energy, and a lot anger and hostility, and I totally get it. I don’t blame UCF for being upset that people are not respecting their team. If they weren’t that way I’d be even more concerned. I think it’s great. I look forward to coming down there and feeling that energy they’re going to provide and I think it’s going to be an awesome show.”
UCF will be GameDay’s 71st different campus visit, with Orlando becoming the shows 83rd different city. Having played a role in a majority of those trips, Herbstreit knows the importance of what having the show come to town means for a program.
“It’s close to a 48-hour infomercial for a school when we go to the campus, so it’s a huge opportunity. I think the timing of it is really good. The fact that Cincinnati has turned their season around from where they were a year ago to what they’re doing, creates even more attention for the conference and to UCF.”
FRIDAY’S ON CAMPUS FESTIVITIES
Friday on campus, fans are encouraged to stop by Memory Mall for a chance to take photos sitting at the GameDay desk. Photo ops will be available 9AM-4:30PM.
ESPN’s College GameDay Live will produce a show 3:30P-4P, where fans are also encouraged to attend, giving the country its first glimpse of what to expect when GameDay officially kicks off at 9AM Saturday morning.
“The Pit” behind the GameDay set will open at 6:30AM Saturday morning. No tickets are necessary for any portion of ESPN productions.