BTN Tailgate to air live from Bloomington during Homecoming

Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports /

Well, it might not be College Gameday, but its close enough for Hoosier fans.

Last year the entire Indiana community came together and pushed to get the famous show, College Gameday, to make a trip to Bloomington for the IU-Ohio State game. It almost became reality, and even College Gameday producer Lee Fitting recognized the campaign by stating on Twitter, “would be a blast.”

The College Gameday official Twitter account also recognized the Hoosiers, tweeting, “We see you. #iufb4gameday.” The campaign even had celebrity appeal as IU alum Sage Steele and Dan Dakich were making pushes for the show to come to B-town as well, but in the end it fell just short. Gameday took its talents to South Carolina for the #6 Notre Dame vs. #12 Clemson showdown on October 3rd.

While its not Gameday, BTN Tailgate proves to be a huge improvement for Hoosier fans this season.

The Big Ten Network recently announced their new show, BTN Tailgate that consists of a 90-minute pre-game show previewing football match-ups specifically in the Big Ten every Saturday morning at 10:30 ET. The show is similar to one of ESPN’s most popular shows, College Gameday that also airs on Saturday mornings.

Similar to College Gameday, Tailgate will travel to Big Ten campuses every Saturday to chronicle some of the best games in the conference that weekend.

Fans and students will have an interactive experience with the show and the ability to create signs that mock the opposing teams and coaches, or praise their own. The signs can be anything imaginable, from Harbaugh’s khakis all the way to Katy Perry.

Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports /

Big Ten network is trying to follow along the likes of the SEC Network and their college football show, SEC Nation which is the same concept as Tailgate, except they travel to SEC campuses instead of the Big Ten. Both shows are piggybacking off of College Gameday, due to its renowned success across the nation.

Tailgate is entering its inaugural season and has set the sites for the first six weeks on Big Ten conference play. The show decided that they would visit B-Town on October 15th for the Hoosiers’ Homecoming dual against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

The show will set up shop on the south side of Mellencamp Pavilion and will be open at 9 a.m. ET to all fans an hour and a half before the show officially starts. The contest between the Huskers and Hoosiers will kickoff at 3:30 p.m. ET, giving Hoosier fans some free time between the conclusion of the show at noon.

The game will most likely be televised on Big Ten Network since all of the other announced sites being featured on BTN Tailgate are also being televised on BTN. The Nebraska game will be IU’s third conference contest of the season.

IU will have a strenuous month come October. The Nebraska game comes after two grueling meetings against the Spartans and the Buckeyes in the two previous weeks, respectively. Both teams currently rank in the top 10 of the AP poll – Michigan State sits at #8 and Ohio State at #2.

The show proves to provide a certain level of excitement for the IU fanbase during Homecoming when many alumni come back to Bloomington to relive their college days.

“Those tailgates are still there, if you buy a good enough cooler, stuff will stay cold for you. Let’s ride out the second half, man. Let’s play ball.”

The atmosphere should be electric for an up-and-coming program, assuming that IU fans can step away from the tailgate fields to attend the show.

Kevin Wilson recently made some comments about how fans needed to learn to stay until the end of the game and stay away from the tailgate fields.

“Those tailgates are still there, if you buy a good enough cooler, stuff will stay cold for you. Let’s ride out the second half, man. Let’s play ball.” Wilson said.

Coach Wilson is referring to how most IU fans, especially students, leave before the game is over and head back out to their tailgate fields to continue their drinking, in fact, most of them even leave at halftime.

This has always been a problem at IU and has sadly persisted throughout the years. Incoming freshman were made aware of it last week against Ball State where, at the start, the student section was packed all the way to the top of the stands, but as the game progressed, the crowd dwindled to the point where it was less than half full by the start of the 4th quarter.

Like Wilson said, the fans and crowd are needed to help the team win down the stretch in crucial moments. Hopefully this pattern disappears by the start of the conference season on October 1st when IU takes on Michigan State in primetime at 8 p.m. ET.

The season plans to bode well for the Hoosiers and possibly the spark of BTN Tailgate will electrify the crowd enough for them to stay longer at games.