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MU Homecoming culminates on the Quad with TV powerhouse ESPN

Junior engineering major Ian Goodwin shares his 2010 memory of joining with thousands of fans for ‘College GameDay.’

Multimedia and text by Monica Ayala-Talavera

The Missouri Tigers started their 2010 football season hopeful. Junior quarterback Blaine Gabbert was injured for much of the previous season, and all eyes were watching to see if he'd be able to deliver after his recovery. On top of that, it was the last year before the Big 12 Conference became 10 teams. As the date approached for MU's Homecoming game against the Oklahoma Sooners, things looked good. The Tigers were 6-0 and the Sooners were 6-0. Still, the BCS standings ranked Missouri at No. 11 and Oklahoma at No. 1 — not an ideal situation for a Homecoming game.

The game did manage to gain national attention, though. ESPN's “College GameDay” announced it would host its weekly football show live from MU for the first time. The programming branded the Tigers’ match-up with Oklahoma as the best college game of the week. Excitement on campus was palpable. Preparations on Francis Quadrangle began immediately. The stage arrived in pieces on trailer trucks with the “GameDay” logo, and on Oct. 22, the festivities began.

“In the afternoon, some of the anchors were on campus hosting games and some other activities and shooting promos for the show,” Ian Goodwin said. “By 11 p.m., there was already a long line forming to be first row for the show the next day.”

Students had sleeping bags, umbrellas and food packed in preparation for the night ahead. For Goodwin and other hardcore fans, “GameDay” events lasted 13 hours, and they still attended the game afterward.

ESPN and the university estimated that Saturday's crowd in the Francis Quadrangle was the largest in the show's history, with 18,000 people in attendance, the Missourian reported. That evening, the Missouri Tigers beat Oklahoma, 36-27.

Although it was a tiring ordeal for many, Goodwin said he would not hesitate to go to “GameDay” if it came to MU again. “It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Goodwin said.

"By 11 p.m., there was already a long line forming to be first row for the show the next day."

— Ian Goodwin