STILLWATER — ESPN's “College GameDay” host Chris Fowler stood inside Oklahoma State's Willard Hall, taking a brief break from a production meeting to talk about the highly anticipated matchup between the No. 10 Cowboys and fourth-ranked Baylor.
Three months ago, he didn't necessarily expect the popular college football pregame show to visit Stillwater for this particular game.
But with Baylor's status as a national title contender, plus the Cowboys' resurgence following a stunning loss to West Virginia in late September, the prime-time contest in Stillwater is, without a doubt, Saturday's premier game.
“Bedlam is the only time we've ever been here, so it's neat,” Fowler said Friday afternoon. “Before this season, you wouldn't have predicted this to be the game (we'd visit). People might have looked and saw that Texas A&M was playing LSU. We would have predicted that that would be (the game).
“But this is good. This place has been No. 1 on the grid for the last few weeks and as long as (Baylor and OSU) didn't stumble.”
Fowler called the OSU-Baylor showdown a “very fresh matchup” between two nontraditional programs that have recently risen to national prominence. He also called the game “by far Baylor's biggest test” of the season because of the quality of opponent, the anticipated atmosphere in a sold-out Boone Pickens Stadium and, perhaps, the weather.
But GameDay, of course, isn't just about the actual game. There is an entire production involved.
Saturday's live show from 8-11 a.m. — along with periodic live hits that already hit airwaves Friday — essentially serves as a three-hour commercial for OSU. The Edmon Low Library will be the backdrop. Fans decked out in orange and black will wake up before dawn and brave the freezing conditions to support the Cowboys and perhaps get their 15 seconds of fame on TV.
Here's an unofficial guide to Saturday's GameDay Festivities.
Loyal and true, indeed
Fans can begin arriving at the GameDay set at 6 a.m. Many will travel from other parts of the state — and beyond. And with a 7 p.m. kickoff, that makes for a long day for Cowboy supporters.
Here's a look at how some fans plan to spend their day:
Blaine Cook, Edmond: “My older brother is flying in from Calgary (Friday night) at 11:30. We are going to Stillwater (from Edmond) before 7 a.m., and staying the whole day for GameDay and the game. We don't have tickets yet but are hoping that we can meet up with an OSU fan on Twitter to buy his tickets tomorrow … I went to the game last weekend in Austin and didn't plan to go to this game. (My brother) texted me last Sunday and he is coming because he can't miss this game.”
Christopher Snodgrass, Tulsa: “I will be attending GameDay tomorrow with my wife and four friends of ours. We are coming in from Tulsa and plan to leave town at 5:30 in the morning … GameDay has only been to Stillwater a handful of times and we are determined not to miss the experience. We have lived through some rough years of OSU football, but that's only made us more appreciative of the current status and direction of the program. I can't think of a better way to spend 17-plus hours than supporting the Cowboys!”