Fans brought signs to the “Paul Finebaum Show” on Friday. (Photos by Noah Watson)
“SEC Nation,” one of ESPN’s college football shows, comes to Columbia this weekend.
The show will air live from the Horseshoe on Saturday at 9 a.m., ahead of the Gamecocks’ home matchup against No. 5 Tennessee. The Horseshoe will be open for students and fans to watch the show, with gates opening at 7 a.m.
SEC Nation travels to a different college campus each week for its Saturday broadcast, previewing the college football games scheduled for that day.
The show chose to come to the University of South Carolina to follow Tennessee’s football team and decided to use the Horseshoe as a venue, said Charles Bloom, USC’s executive associate athletic director.
“It’s an opportunity to showcase our university,” Bloom said. “We look forward to having them here.”
“The Paul Finebaum Show” and “Marty and McGee” — other ESPN programming — also are coming with SEC Nation.
Ryan McGee, an analyst on “Marty and McGee,” said he has become the de facto tailgate guy for the show and said he’s going to do “all the tailgates” before the game, except for the “Frat Lots,” a tailgating lot used by USC fraternities.
“I did tell you I’m bringing my daughter,” McGee said. “I’m not taking her to the ‘Frat Lots.’”
About 80 to 90 crew members worked since Thursday to assemble a set that includes two stages, a large LED screen, sponsorship displays and more, according to Sarah Tamer, a production coordinator at ESPN.
The day starts early for the crew. Carl Snipes, a security guard for the set, said he got to the Horseshoe at 6 a.m. Friday and that he’ll have to be there at 5 a.m. Saturday.
Snipes said he wasn’t ready for the cold morning temperatures.
“No, I didn’t have any gloves,” Snipes said when asked if he prepared for the chilly weather. “I saw a girl over there, passing out some, I almost hollered at her.”
Saturday’s kickoff is at 7 p.m.
The “SEC Nation” set is ready to go on the Horseshoe ahead of South Carolina’s matchup against No. 5 ranked Tennessee.
Co-host Ryan McGee plans to tailgate at the Cockaboose Club this weekend.
Members of the set construction team started building the show’s set on Thursday.
Michael Jefferson, a member of the set construction team, worked to fix dead pixels on an LED screen.