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

With a top three match between Ohio State and Michigan on the 118th edition of The Game, 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, TBDBITL’s entry into the Horseshoe and Ohio State Football Senior Day activities are among the many events taking place before noon on Saturday.

To help you get through all the hustle and bustle, we’ve created a gameday timeline that can serve as a morning itinerary for your trip to campus for the Buckeyes vs. Wolverines fight.

Matchday timeline

5am ​​- Parking lots open

Click here for the 2022 Ohio State Football Park Map.

The State of Ohio uses each of its on-campus parking lots and garages for game-day parking, which is for sale only on the game day. The lots and garages closer to Ohio Stadium are known as “Proximity Lots” and are marked red on the downloadable map and cost $30. In contrast, those farther from the stadium are referred to as “Non-Proximity Lots” and are marked in green and cost $25.

All parking spaces on the day of the game on Saturdays are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, which means that there is no presale for parking in the parking lots and garages. All parking spaces are sales cashless, and pilot attendants only accept debit cards, credit cards and smartphone payments.

08:00 – The doors of the Skull Session open

In 1932, Eugene J. Weigel enhanced the band’s performances by having their members memorize music each week before games. The legendary leader of The Best Damn Band in the Land dubbed his final rehearsals before the game the “Skull Session,” which gave members a chance to reflect on the upcoming show. They would practice in a rehearsal room with a few hundred seats.

When the St. John Arena was built in 1957, the band eventually moved the Skull session to the gymnasium to accommodate the growing crowds that were filling their previous rehearsal hall. It still takes place today at St. John Arena.

The Skull session begins about an hour and a half to two hours before each home soccer game kicks off. It is a popular concert/pump rally with over 10,000 fans in attendance. Seats for the Skull session are in high demand, and it’s not uncommon for die-hard fans to arrive up to two hours before the band.

The pre-Michigan skull session is scheduled to begin at 9:40 a.m. The marching band will play a short list of songs for those in attendance. The football team is also expected to do their traditional walkthrough, including speeches by Ryan Day and a selection of coaches and players.

Zach Harrison

11/12/2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Zach Harrison speaks during the skull session ahead of Ohio State’s clash with Indiana. Photo Credit: Brooke LaValley – The Columbus Dispatch

08:00 – Ticket office opens

The Ohio Stadium ticket office opens at 8:00 a.m. for fans needing assistance with mobile ticketing. The office is in front of gate 5 on the south side of the stadium.

Earlier this week, Ohio State’s athletic department directed fans on where and how to buy tickets to The Game, to prevent people from buying fraudulent tickets before Saturday. Here is the full release:

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

The Ohio State Athletics Ticket 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 (moving) barcode or on your phone’s digital wallet with Tap-n-Go technology. QR codes and screenshots are NOT valid for entry into Ohio Stadium.

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

9am – FanFest opens

FanFest is the place to be if you’re looking for a tailgate open to the public on Saturday. The tailgate is on the south side of St. John Arena and across from Ohio Stadium. There will be live vendors, lawn games and 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

Featuring a top-three match between Ohio State and Michigan, ESPN’s College GameDay and FOX’s Big Noon Kickoff will both take place in Columbus on Saturday.

Here’s everything you need to know about both pregame shows:

college game day

GameDay will be broadcast live from the south side of St. John Arena, as was the case with Ohio State’s season opener against Notre Dame. Fans can arrive as early as 5:30am on Saturday, but remember the broadcast doesn’t start until 9am. It lasts three hours until kick-off at 12:00 p.m.

As always, a pre-game panel featuring Rece Davis, Desmond Howard, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, David Pollack and Pat McAfee will cover Ohio State vs. Michigan and the rest of the weekend’s games. Celebrity guests will also appear on the show, including a guest selection that has not yet been announced.

Frequently asked questions about GameDay:

What is ESPN’s policy for pit attendees?

The following items are prohibited in the pit: bags (of any kind), food and drink, pens, pencils, markers or dry erase boards and signs on sticks. Throwing objects is strictly forbidden in the pit. A number of signage regulations are also required.

How will I be selected to be in the pit during the live broadcast?

Students and fans have the opportunity to see the show up close by standing in the pit right next to the stage. The selection is made for all fans according to the principle “first come, first served”. Students admitted to the pit are encouraged to wear school colors and should have a numbered wristband. Entrants are subject to ESPN’s security procedures and policies.

What are the regulations for College GameDay signs?

One of the most popular traditions associated with College GameDay is making signs. No vulgar characters, .com, .net, .org, political or religious characters are allowed. Signs must not be on poles or oversized for fans entering the pits. Any signage brought into the Saturday admissions will be inspected prior to entry and must comply with College GameDay signage guidelines or be removed.

Big lunchtime starter

Like GameDay, Big Noon Kickoff will be held in the same location as earlier this season – outside of RPAC on the southeast side of Ohio Stadium.

Fans are welcome to arrive before 9:00 a.m. to participate in the experience. It may even 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 of Ohio State vs. Michigan and other matchups from across the college football landscape. If you’re watching Big Noon Kickoff from home, keep your TV tuned to FOX, as The Game will begin airing on that network from noon.


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

Prelude shows map

9:40 am – Skull session begins

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

10 a.m. – Ohio Stadium Gates open

Ohio Stadium gates open at 10:00 am. If you get your seats fast enough, you can welcome the Buckeyes to the Horseshoe as they walk through the stadium and into the locker room from St. John Arena.

11:40 am – Entrance to the band ramp

The Best Damn Band in the Land will enter the stadium at around 11:40 am to the tunes “Buckeye Battle Cry” and “Across the Field”. The marching band will then welcome the football team onto the field as they near kick-off.

11:50 am – Senior Day recognition begins

On Saturday, not all horse chestnuts come into the field at the same time. 23 Ohio State players will be honored during Seniors’ Day celebrations ahead of Saturday’s game.

Participants in Seniors’ Day

no

position

player

0

WR

Kamryn BABB

3

LB

TERADJA MITCHELL

6

DT

Taron Vincent

8th

EN

JAVONTAE JEAN-BAPTISTE

9

EN

ZACH HARRISON

10

WR

XAVIER JOHNSON

14

S

RONNIE HICKMAN

fifteen

S

TANNER MCCALISTER

21

LB

PALACE GAOTEOTE

24

RB

MARCUS CROWLEY

26

cb

CAMERON BROWN

34

TE

MITCH ROSSI

41

S

JOSH PROCTOR

42

cb

LLOYD MCFARQUHAR

42

LS

BRADLEY ROBINSON

54

EN

TYLER FRIDAY

55

RG

MATT JONES

60

OIL

RyanSmith

76

OIL

HARRYMILLER

79

OT

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 be drafted for the NFL draft after this season, and Marcus Crowley and Harry Miller, who will both run on Senior Day, though they both signed up retired from football during the off-season for medical reasons.

12:14 p.m. – Kick-off

Just minutes after Saturday noon, it’s officially time for war.

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