11 August 2011

College GameDay

Mizzou to host basketball edition Feb. 4th
by MizzMatt 8/11/2011
Columbia, MO- On October 16th, 2010, the nation awoke to the same routine it usually does. But with it being in the middle of college football season, the anticipation of the announcement for the next broadcast of ESPN's College Football GameDay was at it's peak. Fresh off of a big win at Texas A&M, many Missouri fans were pleading their case to host the broadcast the following week as the Tigers would play host to the new no-1 team: the Oklahoma Sooners. Their wish was Chris Fowler's, Desmond Howard's, Kirk Herbstreit's, Lee Corso's and Erin Andrew's command. On that Monday, Fowler made the announcement via Twitter:
"I see you, Columbia, MO"

The party was set.

October 23rd, 2010. 2:00am. The line starts behind Jesse Hall on Conley Avenue. By 3:00, there's already over 500 in line. By the time the Quad opens at 3:45am, more than 2,000 have braved the early time, cool temperatures and periods of on and off drizzle and rain. By the time the broadcast concluded at 11:00am, Mizzou event staff, as well as ESPN staff members estimate the crowd to be over 18,000- the largest crowd in GameDay history (previous record was 15,500 set by Nebraska). On Friday, October 22, Mizzou also set a record attendance for the largest crowd for a Friday broadcast.

Fowler added this at the end of the broadcast: "This is the largest crowd we've ever seen. You guys are awesome! Great job, Mizzou!"

The eyes were certainly on Columbia that day, as Brent Musberger came to town to pair with Kirk and Erin for the Homecoming showdown against the Sooners. That broadcast put Mizzou on the map. Now, the eyes of the nation will again turn to Columbia as the basketball edition of College GameDay will make its way to Mizzou Arena for the first time ever in advance of the Mizzou vs Kansas Border War on February 4th, 2012. The announcement came this morning on mutigers.com. Helping mark the 266th meeting between these bitter rivals, the show, presented by State Farm, will be in the new home of Mizzou basketball, which was built in 2003.

"What an honor to have GameDay come to Columbia," said new head basketball coach Frank Haith. "We are obviously proud of what we have to showcase here."

Haith takes the reigns after an eventful off season for the Tigers, who return all but 2 to the court. Justin Safford is the only graduate from the 2010-2011 team, and sophomore Ricky Kreklow has transferred to UC-Berkley. Led by star guard Marcus Denmon, who is currently on the National Collegiate Team, guard Kim English and forward Lawrence Bowers, the Tigers are looking to be better than they were last year under coach Mike Anderson, who led the Tigers to an even 8-8 in conference play, but a dismal 1-7 on the road. The lone road victory was at Iowa State, while the lone home loss was to the Jayhawks.

The GameDay broadcast brought the football team some luck as they were the third consecutive team to knock off a no-1 ranked opponent, and the second consecutive team to score on the opening kickoff (upsets, in order: South Carolina beat Alabama, Wisconsin scored on the opening kick and went on to beat Ohio State, Missouri defeated Oklahoma). Could the broadcast bring luck to the basketball team against their most hated rival? The Tigers have only won one game against the Jayhawks since 2007, a thrilling 62-60 victory in 2009. The last time before that was in 2006, with an 89-86 win in Columbia.

Looks like Kim English's sign at the football GameDay broadcast paid off..

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