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[Photo Story] College GameDay’s 2019 Trip To Happy Valley

ESPN’s flagship college football morning show traveled to Penn State for the third year in a row this weekend, bringing a host of College GameDay analysts, over-the-top setups, and signs making fun of Jim Harbaugh along with it.

In case you didn’t tune in or have been living under a rock for the past few days, here’s everything you missed from College GameDay’s trip to Happy Valley:

The Announcement

Shortly after Penn State football’s nail-biting 17-12 win over Iowa last weekend, College GameDay announced it was coming to *our* city for the Penn State White Out against Michigan.

The trip was College GameDay’s third consecutive visit to Penn State, and its eighth time in Happy Valley overall.

The Arrival

College GameDay’s trucks arrived on campus on Wednesday, just a few days after the crew’s weekly destination was announced Saturday night.

In order to move its equipment to the HUB Lawn, the GameDay crew needed to back up a tractor-trailer into a College Avenue driveway. Don’t try this one at home, kids.

It took a few days to set up on the HUB Lawn — a first for the show. College GameDay opted to set up shop behind the HUB due to the ongoing construction on Old Main’s bell tower.

Friday’s Festivities

Before the main event on Saturday morning, College GameDay’s hosts and analysts joined fans and the media on the HUB Lawn to chat about everything from Penn State’s upcoming White Out to the State College vinyl record scene.

Closet Penn State superfan Kirk Herbstreit also noted that the Penn State White Out is “the best atmosphere in college football.”

College GameDay host Rece Davis also met with the media and joined his cohosts in praising James Franklin, referring to him as “one of the top coaches in the country.”

Later that day, College GameDay’s annual cornhole tournament took over the HUB Lawn. Teams of two competed in the legendary tailgate sport for prizes including backstage College GameDay passes, tickets to the White Out, and branded cornhole boards.

The Broadcast

Penn State fans of all ages flocked to the HUB Lawn bright and early Saturday morning to save their spots ahead of the 9 a.m. broadcast.

Penn Staters came in droves all morning long, eventually covering the HUB Lawn in a sea of white.

In traditional GameDay fashion, fans in attendance brought some homemade signs to make fun of Michigan, Jim Harbaugh, and everything in between.

We already rounded up the best signs from the weekend for you, but we’d be foolish not to include a few of our favorites once more for your viewing pleasure.

If you’re reading this, you’ve won just as many Big Ten titles as Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Who wouldn’t want a smooch from College GameDay’s devilishly handsome analyst?

How nice of Jim Harbaugh to follow the White Out theme! What a guy.

Plenty of good boys and doggos joined fans on the HUB Lawn ahead of the broadcast to get in on the action.

This good boy was certainly ready for his College GameDay close-up.

Love was certainly in the air throughout College GameDay’s broadcast, as one Penn State-Michigan couple got engaged in the middle of the crowd.

We hope that drive home after the game wasn’t too awkward.

Washington State alums brought their iconic ‘Ol Crimson flag to Happy Valley — this time joined by a Purdue flag to honor Boilermaker superfan Tyler Trent, who died last year following a battle with cancer.

The flag and those who hold it continue their mission of destigmatizing mental illness in the memory of former Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski, who took his own life in January 2018. They added his No. 3 to their red flag last year.

Finally, at the end of the show, Lee Corso and the gang made their picks for the winner of Saturday’s White Out match-up. The GameDay crew was joined by Penn State alum and Good Morning America host Lara Spencer, who didn’t receive the warmest welcome.

Michigan homer Desmond Howard expectedly sided with the Maize and Blue, but Spencer and Corso gave fans exactly what they wanted at the end of Saturday’s broadcast.

Followed by a 28-21 Penn State win over Michigan, College GameDay’s third-straight trip to Happy Valley was certainly a blast. Here’s hoping to another visit next fall.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt is a junior majoring in journalism and is Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football aficionado, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza. His favorite shows include Community, Seinfeld, and Arrested Development, and he'll probably talk your ear off about them. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ for bad sports takes or email him at [email protected]

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