Appropriately introduced by ESPN College GameDay’s Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso, Brad Paisley took a break from hosting the CMA Awards to take the stage and perform his most recent single “Country Nation,” bringing just a few … eccentric friends with him to back him up. The artist unveiled a host of college mascots on bleachers behind him as he launched into the tune, each showing off their best dance skills.

The song celebrates college football culture across the nation, and the stage was definitely full of college pride, from Auburn University’s Aubie to Ohio State’s Brutus Buckeye. Paisley even got a mascot of his own, complete with a giant replica of the star’s head, first worn by Corso following GameDay tradition, then dancing along with all the other mascots.

Paisley’s musical performance was not only fun, but flawless, as usual. “Country Nation” is the most recent single from his album Moonshine in the Trunk. He’s been preparing to host the CMA Awards alongside Carrie Underwood for the eighth consecutive year for weeks, working on parody tunes and topical jokes, which he said were made a lot easier thanks to events like a certain relationship website scandal.

The singer-songwriter has also been on the road for his Crushin’ It tour with Mickey Guyton and Justin Moore.

2015 CMA Awards Red Carpet Pictures

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