AUSTIN (KXAN) — How early is too early for college football fans? We’re about to find out.

With College GameDay coming to Austin for the most-anticipated matchup this week in college football between the Longhorns and Crimson Tide, the show is famous for getting fans to roll out of bed before the sun comes up so they can be on TV.

The live show from the lawn in front of the LBJ Fountain starts at 8 a.m. local time, and if you want to be one of the first fans allowed in the “pit” — the area behind the show’s set — head to bed early Friday night.

The ESPN production crew will start lining people up to be in the pit at 4 a.m. Saturday, so maybe folks haven’t even gone to bed before lining up to be part of the first College GameDay experience in Austin since 2019. Fans will be allowed in at 5:30 a.m. For the first 500 early birds, Rudy’s BBQ will hand out free breakfast tacos.

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The show will be on the LBJ Lawn from 8-10 a.m., and then the last hour of the show will take place inside DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium. College GameDay personalities will be doing live and taped segments from the set on the lawn Friday and Saturday. The crew’s newest member, former West Virginia and NFL punter Pat McAfee, will do an hour of “The Pat McAfee Show,” from 12-1 p.m. Friday on the set.

Quirky and witty signs, along with wearing school colors, are encouraged in the pit, but know the rules before you go. Here’s the quick rundown as outlined on the GameDay website:

  • No vulgar signs
  • No signs advertising .com, .net or .org websites
  • No political or religious themes
  • Signs can’t be on poles or oversized

The GameDay website said production staff will check and approve all signs before entry to the pit.

The show was last in Austin in 2019 when Joe Burrow and the LSU Tigers came to town and beat Sam Ehlinger and the Longhorns 45-38 in a wild one.