History of Oregon Football and College Gameday

I have been watching College Gameday religiously for 12 years now.  Back when I was an infant in elementary school I looked forward to this show that I found entertaining and was fundamental in teaching me about football.  At the time I didn’t totally understand why I watched it and got up at 7 in the morning to watch it with the fervor of Dr. Drew to fix the addiction problem in America.  Nothing made me happier when I got a twitter from @CollegeGameday that

Oregon is hosting College Gameday for the first time this season, and the second time Oregon is playing in the featured game (the first time being at Dallas when taking on LSU.

The first Oregon game that had College Gameday was in attendance for was when the #12 Ducks traveled to Pasadena to take on the #2 ranked Bruins.  The Bruins won 41-38 in overtime.

The second time Oregon was featured the #8 UCLA Bruins were at unranked Oregon on September 23, 2000.  Oregon had gone to the O on the helmets and Joey Harrington was slinging the rock everywhere.  Oregon won 29-10 and Maurice Morris ran for 139 yards and two touchdowns.  I believe Gameday was where PK park is now.

In 2007 #11 Oregon hosted #6 Cal in the game that is best known for Cameron Colvin fumbling the ball through the end zone on a play that would have forced overtime.  This is the first Gameday I got to see live and I left at 2 am from Portland, Oregon, which is now a time where if you line up you may or may not get in to the inner circle.  I made a sign that read “Our mascot can beat up your mascot” since the Duck had beat up the Houston Cougar in the season opener.  It got on TV multiple times and made it on a Gameday site as a best sign of the day.  Bragging is now over.

The Gameday crew made a return trip to Eugene when #5 Oregon hosted #4 Arizona State.  A paper tiger if I’ve ever seen one.  The Ducks handily beat the Sun Devils.

2009 had 3 Oregon games the stage for Gameday.  First, the #5 Trojans visited the #10 Ducks.  I made it to this Gameday also only to have all my signs broken over a guys knee because they were deemed “inappropriate” or whatever that means.  The signs were funny, and I will not apologize.

When #11 Oregon traveled to Arizona Gameday was there also to witness the Arizona student section show their predisposition to prematurely climaxing on events.  The students saw Jeremiah Masoli lead a 4th quarter drive that resulted in an Ed Dickson touchdown and a Duck win in overtime.

Gameday always makes it to the Rose Bowl, you know, because that’s broadcasted by ESPN and ABC, where Oregon played Ohio State.

Last season Oregon had four total games featured on Gameday.  It started when #9 Stanford visited #4 Oregon in what was a dominating performance by LaMichael James.  Four weeks later Gameday was in Southern California to see #2 Oregon beat USC.  Then five weeks later Gameday was in Corvallis, only to see the Ducks, crush the Beavers en route to the National Championship game.  At the national championship game Gameday was also present.

The trip to Eugene Saturday will be the 11th show and will be the first one taking place on campus.  Knight Library will be the backdrop.  It was a concern that the building Lillis didn’t have an O on it, so the school bought a humongous yellow O to put on the windows on the front.  The construction at Autzen caused Gameday to look away from where the show was last time and apparently they needed an environmental permit to film where they did in 2007, in the grassy field across the bridge from Autzen.

There have been a few traditions on Gameday consisting of:

On October 4th, 2003, Washington State began a tradition of having a Cougar flag at every Gameday to help gain support for a show in Pullman, Washington.  It has been a staple of the viewing experience to find the Cougar flag in the audience.  A few years ago it was a challenge and normally took twenty minutes without pausing (since they show the crowd for only 10 seconds at a time) but now it’s pretty easy to find one.  Often there are multiple flags.  They have this down a science.  Word on the street is that there is a manual emailed to people who are in the area and gives specifications on where to stand, what flags to use, and even the height of the pole.

The weekly tradition of Corso donning the mascot head of the team he picks to win began in 1996 when the show was at the Horseshoe to see Penn State take on the Buckeyes.  Since then it’s one of the notable parts of the show.  Only one time Corso hasn’t put on the duck head, and that was the game against LSU.

He better put on the duck head Saturday, or by god the audience will raise holy hell.

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Rusty Ryan

About Rusty Ryan

Rusty once robbed three casinos at the same time with a team formed by Danny Ocean. He's also stolen the Corronation egg and crashed the GRECO security system, effectively ruining a casino. Laying low for the time being he now follows sports, betting, and pop culture a little too closely.