GameDay comes to Waco

Baylor fans participate in ESPN's College GameDay television program Dec. 6, 2014, outside McLane Stadium. Photo credit: Lariat File Photo

Watch our broadcast video above of when College GameDay stopped by Waco last year!


Each week avid college football fans wait to hear the news of where ESPN’s College GameDay will set up shop. This week, GameDay will stop in Waco to visit the Bears.

It is a symbol of pride around campuses all over the nation to be dubbed as ESPN’s game of the week. To wake up and see your team being talked about by Rece, Herbie, Dez and Corso is a sign that you are being noticed.

Baylor football has made itself a contender that can no longer be ignored, based on the selection by the major television network. The Bears are one of only three programs in the country to host the show on its campus in 2014 and 2015, joining Alabama and Michigan State.

Head coach Art Briles is pleased that experts are starting to take notice of the Bears and knows there’s a golden opportunity to make a statement with the country watching.

Briles said this is awfully good for our football program, it’s awfully good for our University and it’s awfully good for Waco, Texas.

“So all of those are positives. They’re going to get to come in here, they’re going to get to see what kind of people we are, how great this University is, and how great Waco, Texas, is. So from that standpoint, on a national scene, it’s a big, big deal. Now, we have to play football, and we have to win,” Briles said.

Players on the team also recognized the significance of the game on Saturday night, but are treating it like every other game.

“We know it’s a bigger game, with more talent on the other team, but we’re taking it like every other team [that we’ve played],” sophomore nickelback Travon Blanchard said.

Saturday presents the Bears with the biggest game of the season so far, and it’s on the biggest stage.

Junior wide receiver Corey Coleman, a Heisman candidate said he’s looking forward to the spotlight to showcase Baylor’s ability to play football and hopes the nation takes notice.

The Bears’ strength of schedule has been under constant scrutiny by analysts and the College Football Playoff committee. But Baylor gets a chance to put an end to the critics, thanks to the primetime kickoff.

“It’s great [for Baylor], but one thing that College GameDay] can bring is distractions,” Blanchard said. “We need to make sure that we keep our priorities straight. We know that we’re here to win the football game, no matter if College GameDay is here or not.”

Those distractions are expected to be at an all-time high for Baylor, as the most watched pregame show in college football takes place at 8 a.m. Saturday. However, the team doesn’t expect GameDay to throw off its focus, several leaders on the team said.

“We do a pretty good job of ignoring distractions,” senior left tackle Spencer Drango said. “As far as GameDay, we’ll be in the hotel. Coach may go out if he needs to talk to somebody, but other than that, we’ll just watch it on television.”