By Bridget Sjoberg and Michael Knight | News Editor and Reporter, Video by Igor Stepczynski | Broadcast Reporter
ESPN’s College GameDay invaded Waco Saturday, and Baylor students reflected on their experiences camping out and spending hours in the cold in an effort to make it on the popular program.
Chicago junior Hannah Schwandt said she viewed College GameDay’s presence at Baylor as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that she wanted to take advantage of during her college experience
“I wanted to be a part of something that I think I’ll never have the opportunity to do again and have the experience,” Schwandt said. “I didn’t want to regret not camping out, as many of my friends were also camping. I think it’s a fun college memory we will all share.”
Waukee, Iowa, senior Audrey Crites, who also camped out for College GameDay, said that despite not being a huge football fan, she viewed camping as a unique opportunity to share with other Baylor students.
“My friends really love football and College GameDay,” Crites said. “I’m not the biggest football gal and had never even seen College GameDay but I wanted to go have a fun time and make memories with my friends, We had so much fun camping out and stayed warm throughout the night. There were a lot of people, but everyone was hype so it was super fun.”
Schwandt said that the camping experience was well organized, and she had the chance to see some familiar Baylor faces.
“Whoever organized the night did a really good job because we got to meet coach [Matt] Rhule, Linda and Brad [Livingstone] and the athletic director,” Schwandt said. “They gave us a lot of free food and were really good with updates throughout the whole night. The logistics of getting everyone in the pit was also well organized.”
Crites said that camping out paid off, as she was able to be in the pit close to the front for College GameDay. Schwandt also said that her experience camping overall led to a solid position during the program.
“We were second row in the pit, eventually in the front, but I think that students and fans who woke up early enough got other good spots outside the pit,” Schwandt said. “However, I don’t regret my choice to camp because the atmosphere and people I was around kept my spirits high throughout the whole night and day.”
Although Baylor didn’t come through with a win, game attendance was still packed Saturday and fans displayed energy throughout the game, and especially for College GameDay, something Spring senior Brett Randall said he viewed as a unique opportunity for the Baylor community.
“It was an awesome experience to get to show up early and go to College GameDay,” Randall said. “It’s a show that I have been watching for over 15 years.”