On the Beat: College GameDay has become part of the routine at Ohio State

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — When the biggest, most entertaining circus in college football rolls into town, the risk of distraction for a team obviously goes up.

Unless, of course, having College GameDay around just becomes part of the routine.

The ESPN crew is coming back to Ohio State’s cit-ay, and that doesn’t just mean they’ll be rolling on in Saturday morning to help dial up the hype for another top-5 showdown in the Horseshoe. But even with all the festivities going on Saturday before the Oklahoma game, there’s really not that much disruption for the Buckeyes players — seeing as Ohio State is again tying Alabama for the most appearances at a GameDay location with 39.

At this point, after an almost-unthinkable run of four consecutive games — dating back to the Michigan showdown last season — that have included live GameDay coverage, it’s almost become a standard part of Ohio State’s preparations.

The change to the normal schedule that Urban Meyer holds so dear, though, actually comes earlier in the week, typically on Mondays or Tuesdays when much of the interview footage is shot. Ohio State’s ace sports information director Jerry Emig will welcome in a camera crew and a reporter or two from the network, then arrange for Meyer and a handful of his veteran players to come into the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for the question-and-answer sessions that help provide the background for the broadcast.

Having been involved in that process before, it’s clear just how much the players love the opportunity to be included on the most popular show in college football. When Chris Worley earned his first invitation as last season, he made sure to pass off his phone so I could snap a picture of the setup on the practice field — making sure that his face in the HD monitor was in the frame.

And while Meyer himself might not love the idea of disrupting his normal approach, he has built friendships with many of the national reporters thanks perhaps equally in part to his numerous appearances on the show and the year spent as a broadcaster himself with ESPN. Despite his serious approach in public, I’ve seen his face light up when he sees Tom Rinaldi. I actually heard him crack a few of his famous jokes when the cameras weren’t rolling.

Plus, everybody involved with the program knows the value of the exposure afforded by a visit to campus — especially when the video cameras happen to be set up in the trophy lobby.

No matter where GameDay gets the footage during the week, by Saturday the Buckeyes routinely find themselves front and center of the show’s coverage. And the circus is always welcome on Ohio State’s campus.

The post On the Beat: College GameDay has become part of the routine at Ohio State appeared first on Land of 10.

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