College Gameday is Coming to Kalamazoo


It is not the everyday College Gameday venue that one would expect. Western Michigan University will be hosting its first ever College Gameday. This is only the second time ever that a MAC school will host the event. Bowling Green did so in 2003, according to Western will face off against lowly conference opponent Buffalo University.

Somehow, the Broncos are one of two unbeatens left in college football at the moment. Western finds themselves standing alone alongside powerhouse Alabama. The crew at ESPN has two weeks left of the regular season, and it seems like the stop at Kalamazoo is only because the Broncos are undefeated.  The slate of games on Saturday will be a lot less intriguing than the games just a week prior.  Plenty of drama unfolded then, leading up to the four-team Playoff that will be announced in just a few weeks.

The star studded cast that appears on your TV screen every Saturday morning made sure to book a trip to the unthinkable site for the popular show among college football junkies. At the beginning of the season, most would have never imagined such a triumphant story to come from the Broncos. Head coach PJ Fleck has installed a new atmosphere around Kalamazoo. The team’s motto, “Row the Boat” has undoubtedly caught fire as the so called mantra of the Western Michigan football program.

In a 2013 interview with Mlive, Fleck said, “I had ‘Row the Boat’ a long time ago, but I never brought it out. It’s very simple when you break it down. There are three parts to rowing a boat. There is the oar, which is the energy behind rowing the boat. There is the boat, which is the actual sacrifice of either our team, or the administration, or the boosters, or the audience, or whoever is willing to sacrifice for this program. There is also the compass. Every single person that comes in contact with our football program, fans or not, they are all going for one common goal, and that is success.”

Western Michigan is certainly rowing the boat this year and will try to wiggle their way into a New Year’s six bowl game after a potential undefeated regular season and MAC championship title. All that remains is Buffalo this weekend, then another home game to close out the regular season against Toledo. After that, the Broncos will face their last conference opponent in the MAC title game.

For now, the focus remains on Buffalo. The game kicks off at 3:30 pm on Saturday at Waldo Stadium. Gameday starts officially at 9:00 am, and the setup will be in the heart of the campus at Sangren Pedestrian Mall. If you are debating between going or not, I suggest going. Gamedays are very fun, and they are not a normal occurrence in our area, especially with what the future looks like in East Lansing.

Three pieces of advice I leave you with:  show up wearing the right colors, make a trip to Sweetwater’s Donut Mill after the game, and take your time arriving to the pre-game festivities.

Wear the right colors: I love my Buckeyes, but you would be surprised to hear what some Spartans had to say to the thirteen year old Peyton when Gameday was at the Michigan State and Ohio State game in 2012.

Make a trip to Sweetwater’s: If you are in Kalamazoo, you have to make a short trip just off campus to Sweetwater’s Donut Mill. Their store is open 24/7 and makes killer donuts.  43 different kinds to be exact.

No point of showing up at the crack of dawn: I suggest showing up around 9:00 or 10:00 am. There’s no point in showing up at the crack of dawn for this special event, because it is inevitable that the students take that role upon themselves. So get some extra sleep, make a crazy sign and take in the sights and sounds of a College Gameday in Kalamazoo.