I took a drive up to Columbia this morning to check out the segment that ESPN’s College Game Day was taping for a broadcast later on Friday and I bumped into Athletic Director Mike Alden, who was kind enough to spend a few minutes talking with me about the atmosphere around campus and how excited he was that Missouri was back on the national scene. He says in the 12 years that he’s been at Mizzou, he doesn’t remember a bigger buzz around campus for the football team.
Through all the hype of College Game Day, Homecoming, the parade, etc., there is a football game that needs to be played and Gary Pinkel is 0-6 against the Sooners. I asked Alden about that and he says what impresses him about Coach Pinkel is his ability to take all of the pregame hype in stride and just focus in on the task at hand.
Missouri students and fans have been making a concerted effort to break the all-time attendance record for a College Game Day broadcast which was set in 2001 by Nebraska before a game against Notre Dame when there were 15,808 corn heads who showed up. There have been over 12,000 fans who confirmed their attendance so far on Facebook. Alden says, despite the call for rain, they could see as many as 20,000 fans cheering and waving signs behind Lee Corso.
There were a few under fans who had gathered around the set Friday morning to catch a glimpse of what is to come Saturday when the festivities begin live at 8 a.m. in front of the columns in the quad. Several of the students I talked with said they planned on camping out at 3 a.m. in the morning when they’ll open the quad up so that they can get close to the action when ESPN goes live.
Justin Mulligan says he and his buddies are excited about the game, one that he thinks Missouri can finally win.