Lee Corso's top headgear picks from 'College GameDay' history

ByAnthony Gharib ESPN logo
Friday, September 15, 2023

Lee Corso's "Not So Fast" is a memory unified with the traditions of Saturday football.

But, even more iconic than that phrase is what comes near the end of "College GameDay" each weekend when Corso puts on headgear and turns into a mascot.

This weekend marks Corso's 400th headgear pick, a tradition that began in 1996. His first pick came between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Penn State Nittany Lions. Corso became Brutus Buckeye, choosing Ohio State, and the Buckeyes won 38-7.

The rest, as they say, is history. Corso's been a tree, danced with the leprechaun of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and dressed up as Benjamin Franklin. And there's nothing like his soft wave once the headgear is on as the crowd either boos or cheers.

Corso has an overall record of 66.5% with 266 wins and 134 losses, according to "Cole's GameDay Blog," a site that has tracked all of his picks.

He's picked 68 different teams all time, but none more than the Buckeyes at 38, according to ESPN Stats & Info. The next closest is the Alabama Crimson Tide (36). No other team has been selected more than 23 times (LSU Tigers).

Loyalty runs deep for Corso. He has never picked against the Navy Midshipmen when they've been featured on the show.

Here are some of Corso's most memorable headgear picks:

Corso rides with the Ducks

It's hard to look through Corso's most famous picks without finding the Oregon Ducks. Their matchup with the USC Trojans in 2009 led to an iconic "College GameDay" ending.

No. 10 Oregon hosted No. 5 USC and Corso decided to ride with the Ducks -- literally. With Nike CEO Phil Knight on the set, Corso put his headgear on, hugged the Oregon Duck and hopped on the back seat of a motorcycle and rode off. Oregon did the same, winning 47-20.

Live gator on set

In 2019, the Florida Gators were in their second year of a resurgence under coach Dan Mullen. With the Auburn Tigers coming to town, it was an old fashioned SEC battle and Corso made sure to be prepared.

Corso wore the Florida headgear and held a live baby gator in his hand, sending Emmitt Smith and the rest of crew in disbelief. The Gators ended up winning 24-13 to move to 6-0.

Two lame ducks upset Will Ferrell

There's just something about those ducks and Corso. He has picked Oregon 21 times and the Ducks have won 14 of those times, according to "Cole's GameDay Blog."

It was no different in 2010 when Oregon visited USC during the season and it made it to the BCS National Championship game. Corso bet on the Ducks' hype, choosing Oregon to defeat USC in Week 8.

It's safe to say that Trojans alum Will Ferrell didn't appreciate Corso's choice. Oregon ended up winning 53-32.

'But that dog is ugly!'

Uga, mascot of the Georgia Bulldogs, and Corso have a complicated relationship and the origins are easy to figure out.

In 2008, Alabama and Georgia entered this Week 5 matchup both undefeated. Georgia hadn't lost to Alabama since 1995, but that didn't stop Corso.

Moments after he called Uga ugly to his face, Corso put on the Big Al headgear and picked Alabama, which won 41-30.

Corso becomes a Trojan

Here's one that will make Ferrell happy. Corso and USC have an impeccable record together. Corso's a perfect 17-0 when choosing USC, his most wins without a loss, according to ESPN Stats & Info. The next closest is Virginia Tech at 4-0.

In 2013, the unranked Trojans welcomed the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal and Corso didn't pay attention to the odds. Donning Trojan armor and a helmet, he picked USC to win while fake sword fighting Kirk Herbstreit. The Trojans pulled off the 20-17 upset victory.

Related Video