Fort Worth the center of football universe for a day

08/29/2014 6:14 PM

08/29/2014 6:16 PM

While the leaves have yet to turn, a new season is upon us.

College football season.

If you happen to be anywhere near downtown Fort Worth this weekend, that’s a reality you can’t avoid.

And frankly, if you did, you’d miss all the excitement.

During the last several days, Sundance Square Plaza has been transformed into a mecca for sports fans, as ESPN’s wildly popular college football pregame show, College GameDay — known for its devoted fans and energetic hosts — has made a temporary home in Fort Worth’s bustling city center.

Downtown event coordinators are expecting huge crowds of spectators on Saturday morning — estimates range between 5,000 and10,000 people — when the three-hour sports analysis program previews the Florida State-Oklahoma State game to be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington later in the day.

So while the big game will take place a little farther east, there will be plenty of commotion in Cowtown.

Fort Worth is familiar territory for ESPN, too.

College GameDay anchored one of its programs at Texas Christian University’s campus back in 2009. And ESPN successfully broadcast from Sundance Square during the NCAA Men’s Final Four in April, as well as before the Super Bowl in February 2011.

While it’s too hard to think about the end of college football season — especially during the week it commences — it’s worth noting that College GameDay also will make its final stop of the season in Sundance Square to preview the inaugural College Football National Championship, also at AT&T Stadium, on Jan. 12.

But if you prefer to avoid the downtown crowds or your loyalties lie a little closer to home, you might find yourself at TCU’s Amon G. Carter Stadium on Saturday, watching the Horned Frogs battle it out with the Samford University Bulldogs in their season opener.

Either way, it will take some serious work to avoid college football fans this weekend.

As one of GameDay’s co-hosts said in a promotional press release from the network, “Texas is a great football state.”

We’ll forgive him the understatement and let the excitement of the weekend speak for itself.

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