GameDay in Eugene: 'I love the passion the fans have for this team'
EUGENE, Ore. - It's do or die for the No. 2 Oregon Ducks and the No. 12 UCLA Bruins this Saturday.
The Ducks - 2nd in the AP ranks but 3rd in the crucial BCS rankings - are favored to win.
But UCLA could climb the ranks with an upset.
For college football, it's a big game.
No wonder ESPN College GameDay is back in Eugene for the 5th year in a row.
"I love the passion that the fans have for this team," GameDay's Kirk Herbstreit said Friday on the University of Oregon campus.
So which team does Herbstreit think will win the day?
"My thought is UCLA's offensive line: they've got a lot of freshman," he said, "and I'm wondering how they're going to handle this crowd and this environment.
"I'm looking forward to a great turnout this weekend," Herbstreit added. "Hopefully lots of people screaming, showing america that this is one of the best fan bases in the country."
Herbstreit should know: This is GameDay's 8th visit to Eugene. The show was last here Nov. 17, 2012, when the second-ranked Ducks lost to No. 13 Stanford. | Photos from GameDay 2012
Football analyst Lee Corso has picked Oregon to win in each of the previous seven visits, going 5-2. Corso infamously lost his head at the Oregon Civil War in Corvallis in 2010.
(Not to be outdone, the Oregon Duck lost its head in a skydiving mishap ahead of the Stanford game in 2012).
The Ducks have already been on GameDay this season when the show visited Seattle for the showdown between Oregon and the Washington Huskies.
Hosted by Chris Fowler, GameDay features analysts Corso and Herbstreit, plus Desmond Howard and David Pollack, with reporting by Samantha Ponder, Tom Rinaldi, Scott Van Pelt and Gene Wojciechowski.
On the road all season long, Herbstreit sees a lot of the country.
"Everywhere I would go, Florida State, Georgia, Alabama, people would always ask where's my favorite place," he said, "and I would always say Eugene, Oregon."
GameDay goes live from sea to shining sea at 6 a.m. PDT Saturday. Fans can get into the memorial quad and be part of the action starting at 3 a.m. Saturday.
If you go, here's the checklist: food, friends, poster boards and an extra jacket.