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Recapping College GameDay’s Fifth Straight Trip To Happy Valley

College GameDay, ESPN’s flagship college football morning show, traveled to Penn State this weekend to somehow bring an over-the-top White Out atmosphere to the next level.

The show brought ESPN personalities, fancy setups, and plenty of hysterical fan-made signs 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

College GameDay wasted no time letting fans know it was heading to Penn State. The big announcement rolled in just about an hour and a half after the Nittany Lions beat Ball State in their home opener.

The trip to Happy Valley was College GameDay’s fifth straight, marking Penn State as the only school to host the show in each of the last five years.

The Arrival

College GameDay’s trucks rolled onto campus at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening. Unlike in years past, the show set up shop on Old Main Lawn and came in through Pollock Road.

It took a few days to set everything up, but before you knew it, GameDay’s huge set took up the lower half of Old Main Lawn. The setup was complete with glamorous signs and even a cornhole tournament for fans.

Friday’s Festivities

Before the main event, College GameDay’s personalities joined media members Friday afternoon to talk all things Penn State. Naturally, Kirk Herbstreit, Rece Davis, and Chris Fowler gushed over the White Out and Beaver Stadium.

“To me, this is the place to be on this college football Saturday to celebrate the sport as a whole,” Davis said on Friday.

Later that day, fans played in a huge cornhole tournament to warm up for Saturday’s tailgates. Teams of two competed for glory and prizes, including branded College GameDay cornhole boards.

The Broadcast

At long last, the big day was finally here. Fans started lining up on Old Main Lawn at about 5:30 a.m. just to get the chance to fill in the front row of the College GameDay pit.

Penn Staters showed up in droves to eventually cover Old Main Lawn with countless fans. Some Auburn folks made the long trip up, too.

In traditional GameDay fashion, fans brought homemade signs to make fun of Auburn and hype up the Nittany Lions. We already rounded up our favorite displays, but we’d be foolish not to include a few of the best once more for your viewing pleasure.

What the heck?! Is this true?!


GameDay’s broadcast also featured a number of four-legged friends. How cute!

Toward the end of the show, Saquon Barkley returned to Happy Valley to serve as College GameDay’s celebrity guest picker.

Fortunately, both Saquon and the legendary Lee Corso chose Penn State to win Saturday night.

A 28-20 Penn State win over then-No. 20 Auburn capped off an incredible weekend. College GameDay’s fifth straight trip to Happy Valley was a blast, so here’s hoping for No. 6 very soon.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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