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Game Day Timeline: Skull Session, College GameDay, Big Noon Kickoff, Senior Day and other festivities fill the hours leading up to the game

With a top-three game between Ohio State and Michigan in The Game’s 118th edition, there’s going to be quite a scene on campus in the hours leading up to kickoff.

Skull Session, FanFest, College GameDay and Big Noon Kickoff, TBBITL’s entry into the Horseshoe, and Ohio State Senior Football Day activities are among the many events taking place before noon Saturday.

To help you navigate through all the hustle and bustle, we’ve created a game day timeline that can serve as an early morning itinerary for your trip to campus for the Buckeyes’ battle against the Wolverines.

Game day timeline

5:00 a.m. – Car parks open

Click here for the 2022 Ohio State Football Parking Card.

Ohio State uses each of its on-campus lots and garages for game day parking, sold only on game day. The fields and garages closest to the Ohio stadium are called “proximity fields” and marked in red on the downloadable map for $30. In contrast, those farther from the stadium are called “non-proximity lots” and marked green cost $25.

All-match day parking is sold on a first-come, first-served basis on Saturdays, meaning there is no presale to park in the car parks and garages. All parking sales are cashless, and lot attendants will only accept debit cards, credit cards and smartphone payments.

8:00 a.m. – Doors to the Skull session open

In 1932, Eugene J. Weigel improved the band’s performance by having its members memorize the music before games each week. The legendary frontman of The Best Damn Band in the Land called his final rehearsals before game time the “Skull Session,” allowing the members to reflect on the show ahead. They were rehearsing in a rehearsal room with a few hundred seats.

When St. John Arena was built in 1957, the band eventually moved the Skull Session to the sports venue to accommodate the growing crowds that were overflowing in their previous rehearsal room. It is still held at St. John Arena today.

The Skull session begins approximately one and a half to two hours before the kick off of each home football game. It is a popular concert and cheering rally, with over 10,000 fans in attendance. Seats for skull sessions are in high demand and it’s not uncommon for dedicated fans to arrive up to two hours before the band.

Michigan’s pre-game Skull session is scheduled to start at 9:40 a.m. The marching band will play a short list of songs for the participants. The football team is also expected to do its traditional walkthrough, including speeches by Ryan Day and an assortment of coaches and players.

November 12, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Zach Harrison addresses the crowd during the Skull Session before Ohio State’s game with Indiana. Photo credit: Brooke LaValley – The Columbus Dispatch

8 a.m. – Opening of the ticket office

The Ohio Stadium box office will open at 8 a.m. for fans needing assistance with mobile ticketing. The office is located outside Gate 5 on the south side of the stadium.

Earlier this week, the Ohio State Athletic Department instructed fans where and how to purchase tickets for The Game to prevent people from buying fraudulent tickets before Saturday. Here is the full version:

The Ohio State Department of Athletics strongly encourages fans to protect themselves against potential ticket fraud ahead of Saturday’s game between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan .

The Ohio State Athletics Box Office, Ticketmaster and Buckeyes Ticket Exchange are the only authorized sources for tickets to Ohio State Athletics events.

All mobile tickets must be presented with a dynamic (mobile) barcode or on your phone’s digital wallet using tap-n-go technology. QR codes and screenshots are NOT valid for Ohio Stadium entry.

Fans who purchase tickets from unauthorized sources (including StubHub, Vivid Seats, CraigsList, EBay, and ticket brokers) assume the risk that tickets purchased may be counterfeit or barcodes may have been invalidated. Any fan attempting to enter Ohio Stadium with counterfeit or invalid barcodes will be denied entry.

9 a.m. – FanFest opens

FanFest is the place to be if you’re looking for a tailgate open to the public on Saturdays. The tailgate is located on the south side of St. John Arena and across from Ohio Stadium. There will be live vendors, lawn games, live music and other fun activities starting three hours before kick-off.

9 a.m. – ESPN’s College GameDay and FOX’s Big Noon Kickoff Open

With a top-three game between Ohio State and Michigan, ESPN’s College GameDay and FOX’s Big Noon Kickoff will both be in Columbus on Saturday.

Here’s everything you need to know about the two pre-game shows:

College GameDay

GameDay will be live from the south side of St. John Arena, as was the case for Ohio State’s season opener against Notre Dame. Fans are welcome to arrive as early as 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, but keep in mind that the broadcast won’t start until 9:00 a.m. It will last three hours until kick-off at noon.

As always, a panel including Rece Davis, Desmond Howard, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, David Pollack and Pat McAfee will provide pre-game coverage for Ohio State vs. Michigan and the rest of the weekend’s slate. There will also be featured guests on the show, including a guest selector that has yet to be announced.

GameDay FAQs:

What is ESPN’s policy for booth attendees?

The following items are prohibited in the pit: bags (of any kind), food and drink, pens, pencils, markers or dry erase boards, and stick signs. It is strictly forbidden to throw objects into the pit. A number of signaling rules are also required.

How do I get selected to stand in the pit during the live stream?

Students and fans have the opportunity to view the show up close by standing in the pit right next to the stage. Selection is on a first come, first served basis for all fans. Students admitted to the pit are encouraged to wear school colors and must have a numbered wristband. Entrants are subject to ESPN’s security procedures and policies.

What are the College GameDay board regulations?

One of the most beloved traditions associated with College GameDay is sign making. No vulgar signs, .com, .net, .org, political or religious signs are allowed. For fans entering the pit, panels cannot be on poles or oversized. All signs brought to Saturday registration will be inspected prior to entry and must follow College GameDay signage policies or be removed.

Midday kick-off

Like GameDay, Big Noon Kickoff will also be at the same location it was at the start of the season – outside the PRPP on the southeast side of Ohio Stadium.

Fans are encouraged to arrive before 9 a.m. to participate in the experience. In fact, it can be encouraged, as the first 200 fans to enter “The Pit” will receive free t-shirts and a chance to win an Xbox Series X, Playstation 5, gift cards and other prizes.

A panel of Rob Stone, Reggie Bush, Brady Quinn, Matt Leinart and former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer will provide pre-game coverage for Ohio State vs. Michigan and other matchups across the college football landscape. If you’re watching Big Noon Kickoff from home, keep your TV locked to FOX, as The Game airs on that network starting at noon.


For those wanting to experience both College GameDay and Big Noon Kickoff on Saturday, the setups are only 0.3 miles apart, or about a seven-minute walk.

Map of pre-match shows

9:40 a.m. – Beginning of the Skull session

As mentioned above, the Skull Session will begin around 9:40 a.m. The marching band will play a few songs and the football team will walk through the St. John Arena, with Ryan Day and a combination of coaches and players expected to address to fans. present with short speeches.

10:00 a.m. – Ohio Stadium Gates Open

The gates to Ohio Stadium will open at 10 a.m. If you can get to your seats fast enough, you can greet the Buckeyes in the Horseshoe as they march from St. John Arena through the stadium and into the locker room.

11:40 a.m. – Group Ramp Entrance

The Best Damn Band in the Land will enter the stadium to the tune of “Buckeye Battle Cry” and “Across the Field” at approximately 11:40 a.m. The marching band will then greet the football team on the field as they get closer. to kick off.

11:50 a.m. – Seniors Day recognition begins

Not all of the Buckeyes will be running on the field at the same time on Saturday. Twenty-three Ohio State players will be honored during the Seniors’ Day festivities ahead of Saturday’s game.

Seniors Day Participants

No.

Pos

Player

0

WR

KAMRYN BABB

3

KG

TERADJA MITCHELL

6

DT

TARON VINCENT

8

OF

JAVONTAE JEAN-BAPTISTE

9

OF

ZACH HARRISON

ten

WR

XAVIER JOHNSON

14

S

RONNIE HICKMAN

15

S

TANNER MCCALISTER

21

KG

GAOTEOTE PALACE

24

RB

MARCUS CROWLEY

26

BC

CAMERON BROWN

34

AND

MITCH ROSSI

41

S

JOHN PROCTOR

42

BC

LLOYD MCFARQUHAR

42

LS

BRADLEY ROBINSON

54

OF

FRIDAY TYLER

55

GR

MATT JONES

60

LO

RYAN SMITH

76

LO

HARRY MILLER

79

TO

DAWAND JONES

86

DT

JERRON CAGE

95

K

NOAH RUGGLES

96

P

MICHAEL O’SHAUGHNESSY

Notable players on the list include Ronnie Hickman, who announced Tuesday he will declare for the NFL Draft after this season, and Marcus Crowley and Harry Miller, who will both walk on Senior Day even though they both retired from football in the offseason for medical reasons.

12:14 p.m. – Kick-off

A few minutes after noon on Saturday, it will officially be time for war.

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