JMU College GameDay Itinerary: Breaking Down the Schedule of Events

Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications

By Bennett Conlin

When College GameDay visits your school, two things are guaranteed. 1) You’ll have a fun week and 2) You’re going to be exhausted. 

It’s an incredible experience, and it’s also tiring. To help explain the potential exhaustion, here’s a rundown of the major events happening on campus this week. JMU’s website includes a more detailed breakdown that includes parking information, but we wanted to highlight the major events and add context. 

We’ve included a rating from 1-10 of whether we’d bypass the event (1) or do everything we could to attend (10). That’s just our opinion! It’s a fun week, and you can’t go wrong with any of the events on the schedule. 


1 p.m. – The College GameDay bus/trucks arrive. 

In theory, a bus arriving on campus shouldn’t be very exciting. Yet, this bus entrance is awesome. In previous years, the Marching Royal Dukes were in attendance to greet the bus, and fans tossed streamers over the bus as it slowly drove onto the Quad. It’s a cool scene. Attend rating: 9/10

7 p.m. – If you really want to get into the JMU sports spirit, the women’s basketball team hosts Longwood. The Dukes should win this one. Attend rating: 6/10


10:30 a.m.-noon – Not a major event, but you can stop by the Warner Commons to make signs for Saturday’s show, if you’re inclined. Attend rating: 3/10


12-3 p.m. – Pat McAfee hosts his show live from the Quad, and JMU head football coach Curt Cignetti will reportedly join during the first hour. 

3:30-4 p.m. – ESPN’s College Football Live will record live from the Quad. 

Heading to the Quad for one of the Friday live shows is worth it. It’s fun to get a feel for what it’s like on the Quad during a broadcast. Attend rating of the shows: 6/10

Friday evening-Saturday morning – Camping out! If you want to camp out overnight on the Quad, you’re allowed. You just can’t use a tent. Of all the events, this one will make you the most tired if you do it. Attend rating: 4/10

5 p.m. – The JMU Sports News live podcast from Three Notch’d! 

If you’re a student not camping out or an alumni, come hang with us at 5 p.m. on Friday as we discuss all things JMU athletics at our favorite brewery. Attend rating: 10/10, duh

7 p.m. – JMU men’s basketball hosts Radford

The JMU Sports News crew will be there. Come hang out with us in General Admission (or watch without us, we understand) as the nationally ranked men’s basketball team looks to stay undefeated against a decent Radford team. Attend rating: 7/10

10 p.m.Editor’s note, 9:20 p.m. ET on Tuesday: We’ve updated this section to relay the latest info from JMU. The line for the 450-person “Pit” begins to form. Essentially, you need to stay on the Quad overnight to have a spot in the Pit, which gives you the best chance to get on TV during Saturday’s show. The line for the Pit formed at 5 p.m. back in 2017, but with a basketball game at 7 p.m., JMU wants to incentivize students to attend that game. Attend rating: 3/10 … 10/10 if you want to be in the Pit


6 a.m. – The Pit begins to get filled, with 450 students (bring your JACard) going into the area three hours before the show begins. 

9 a.m. – The show opens! 

Being there for the introduction is definitely worth it. The crowd is electric, and the energy for the show opening will stick in your memory for a long time. Attend rating: 9/10

11 a.m. – The Jonas Brothers and Bailey Zimmerman perform. Attend rating: 5/10 … sorry, Jonas Brothers die-hards who disagree. 

11:45 a.m. – The show starts to wind down. Lee Corso will make his headgear selection at approximately noon ET, when the show ends. Being there for that is always a blast. Attend rating: 10/10

2 p.m. – The game kicks off against App State, and it will air on ESPN+ for those unable to attend. Attend rating: 10/10


2 p.m. – If you’re sticking around for the weekend, the women’s basketball team faces VCU in what should be a compelling game. Not a bad way to cap off a fun weekend of JMU sports! Attend rating: 7/10

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