Pat McAfee on College GameDay, live from Columbus, Ohio. (Credit: College GameDay on ESPN)

Pat McAfee’s presence on College GameDay is a polarizing one.

A viewer survey in The Athletic recently revealed that McAfee hasn’t exactly endeared himself to the viewers of GameDay. And while his presence has offered a lot of split opinions, one thing that can’t be argued about the host of The Pat McAfee Show is that he knows how to play to a crowd.

With GameDay live from Columbus Saturday for Ohio State-Penn State, McAfee fired up the crowd with a rendition of “We don’t give a damn for the whole state of Michigan.”

Well, based on Desmond Howard being continuously booed and the majority of signs at GameDay having to do with Michigan’s sign-stealing scandal, which has allegedly been in place since at least 2021 and worse than both the Astros and the Patriots,” you can’t say that Ohioans don’t care about the Wolverines. Perhaps, it’s more of a mutual distaste.

Saturday’s show hadn’t been live for more than five minutes before we saw a “Harbaugh for Prison” sign.

According to a new report from ESPN’s Pete Thamel, the investigation centers on a Wolverines staffer named Connor Stalions. A retired captain in the United States Marine Corps, Stalions officially works in Michigan’s recruiting department, but according to sources, “it was known in the building that he spent much of his time deciphering opponents’ signals, often watching television copies of opponents’ games.”

And McAfee later played right into the scandal during the program’s “Undefeated Grab Bag” segment. It was supposed to be randomized—and maybe it is—but it felt almost fitting that McAfee was going to be asked about Michigan’s prospects of going undefeated.

“It’s much easier to win when you know exactly what the other team’s gonna do,” McAfee said, with a tongue-in-cheek quip directed at Michigan’s alleged cheating scandal.

The Wolverines, who entered Saturday (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) have a remaining schedule that includes Michigan State, Purdue, No. 7 Penn State, Maryland and No. 3 Ohio State. And in pandering to the crowd, McAfee said, “It’s all about ‘The Game’ in Michigan at the end of the season. No way! They’re gonna lose to the Ohio State Buckeyes…I don’t know if that’s true.”

Well, McAfee gave himself an out, despite playing up one side of the rivalry. He also mentioned Michigan’s matchup against Penn State in November, which host Rece Davis jokingly said could lead to an “amendment” from McAfee. Maybe Jim Harbaugh’s team will make McAfee eat his words, as GameDay could very well be live from State College, PA., if both the Wolverines and Nittany Lions are undefeated come Saturday, Nov. 11.

Whether you love him or hate him—and nearly 50 percent of Athletic readers don’t like McAfee on GameDay—he sure knows how to rile up, and pander to the crowd, no matter where the traveling college football roadshow is. Perhaps if this ESPN thing doesn’t work out, he could have a future as a politician.

[Awful Announcing on Twitter]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.