I'm going to do something a little different with the stadium rankings this time around.
This list won't rehash all of the classic games or all of the legends that have played in a stadium up until 2012. If you want to read a list of that, check out this article.
Instead, these rankings are going to be based on one simple question: If you could go to an entire slate of games for one stadium in 2012, which stadium would you choose?
Atmosphere, capacity and aesthetics all still play a big part in it, but now we're going to add in how good a team is going to be, what teams will be visiting and other intangibles.
This gets tricky when it comes to the Big 12 and other conference who have not settled their schedules as of yet, but by the end of this article, we should have a good understanding of where the biggest games and settings will be in 2012.
Keep in mind that this list will only take into account the 120 home stadiums. Therefore the Georgia Dome, Cotton Bowl and other neutral site games will not have any impact in the rankings.
The Kibbie Dome holds 16,000 people, three missiles and one government concealed UFO.
All jokes aside, the Vandals will welcome Eastern Washington, Wyoming, New Mexico State, San Jose State and UT-San Antonio to Moscow. It isn't the greatest lineup of competition and not the fanciest stadium.
LT Smith Stadium, home to the WKU Hilltoppers, holds only 22,000 people and is the third smallest in the nation. While WKU had a mediocre season this year, they struggled to score. This fact should not be aided by the loss of RB Bobby Rainey next season.
On top of all that, they will travel to the powers of the Sun Belt. They have to go to FIU, Arkansas State, Troy and Louisiana Lafayette while they host ULM, North Texas, Middle Tennessee State and FAU. There isn't much to get excited about if you're a season ticket holder of WKU.
Middle Tennessee has hit hard times since the Dwight Dasher scandal hit early in the 2010 season. Just a few years after winning 10 games, the Blue Raiders won only two games in 2012.
They are hosting FAU, North Texas, Troy and ULM and have three non-conference road games. Doesn't sound like too much excitement in Murfreesboro until the Blue Raiders turn it around.
At 23,724, Doyt Perry is the fifth-smallest stadium in the nation.
Bowling Green could be much improved next year, maybe even push for the MAC title. That's the only way I see them having an electric stadium, as visits from EMU, WMU, Buffalo and Ball state don't figure to bring people out to the stadium on their own.
The expansion of Buffalo's stadium to 29,000 people was a major component in their regaining D-1 status. Since then, however, the Bulls had one incredible run in 2008 and not much else.
Buffalo will have a marquee game at home against Pitt this season. Still, until the team improves or the weather conditions in upstate New York get better, this stadium will go mostly unnoticed.
There must be something better to do in Las Vegas because the football stadium is rarely even close to full. It doesn't seem as if that is going to change this season.
UNLV starts off with three straight home games against Minnesota, Northern Arizona and Washington State. They follow that up with conference games against Air Force, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming.
Not the most exciting slate, or the most exciting team or stadium. But there is always the possibility of this, so that alone should bring intrigue.
NIU opts to spell Huskie with an "ie" ending as opposed to the way it is spelled in every other facet of the English language.
Worse yet, the stadium seats only 24,000 people. The stadium could be sold out against Kansas and perhaps Toledo, but that's about it.
NIU is the defending champion but lost Chandler Harnish. That should dampen the Husky spirit slightly.
ULM plays a killer non-conference schedule, having to travel to Auburn and Arkansas. At least they get Baylor to visit.
The stadium has a capacity of 30,427 but has never been sold out. Baylor has the chance to be the first, but it is more likely that they won't sell out until ULM improves.
Ball State will be hosting an odd non-conference foe this season: Big East's USF.
Other than that, they have the traditional slate of EMU, WMU, NIU and Ohio visiting. That's a lot of big name MAC teams coming to Muncie. It could turn out that the attendance record is broken at a stadium which has recently undergone significant improvements through renovations.
Rynearson Stadium holds only 30,000 people and is configured in such a way that the spectators are removed from the field. I love the old, traditional track surrounding the field, but it probably isn't the best for producing hostile atmospheres.
EMU only gets WMU, Toledo, NIU and Kent State at home this season. The defense was great last season, but they lost several key players. If they can replace them and continue to improve, then Rynearson Stadium could become a well-known place to play. Otherwise, not.
Miami isn't playing any non-conference FBS teams at home and are only playing Ball State, Kent State, Ohio and Temple at home. That's a pretty solid conference slate, but only five games total.
The stadium holds only 24,286 people but has undergone several renovations in the past year, including additions to the scoreboard and a "Cradle of Coaches" Plaza.
Dix Stadium has undergone several renovations in the past few years, including the addition of an HD scoreboard. Even still, they have sold out the stadium only once in their history, a 2010 matchup against Akron.
They may be able to do the same against Akron or Ohio this year, but I wouldn't bet on it. Kent State has the potential to be a bowl team this year, so consider Dix Stadium as a "sleeper" in the stadium rankings.
InfoCision has been around for three years now, a replacement to the Rubber Bowl. Unfortunately, Akron has not been able to produce a quality team, going only 3-33 in that time span.
There should be some optimism in the city, however, with the arrival of Terry Bowden. The Zips host UCF in the season opener which is a big non-conference game. They also get defending MAC champion NIU at home. It should be the best season in the stadium's history.
Ohio should be the favorites in the MAC next year, meaning that the 24,000 seat capacity Peden Stadium should be packed every single week.
Bowling Green, Akron, New Mexico State and Buffalo all visit next year. The stadium has been around since 1929, but this could be its most successful year.
FAU sports the newest stadium in the nation. In fact, there have only been five games played at the stadium, and that's just the beginning.
"The house that Howard built" is just the first phase of what is a planned Innovation Village. Eventually, a whole complex will be built which features the stadium, grocery stores, dorms and gyms.
In the meantime, FAU needs to improve greatly. They were young last year and should improve, but by how much remains to be seen. The luster of a new stadium can only go so far for so long.
Waldo Stadium had the privilege of seeing Alex Carder and Jordan White hook up frequently over the past couple of years. Now, they're both gone.
WMU hosts UConn, EMU, NIU, Temple and Toledo this season. Great slate of games, but the Broncos are going to have to replace key parts if they want to stay competitive in the league.
Waldo Stadium has been around since before World War II and boasts five of the top ten MAC single-game attendance figures in the history of the league.
Northwestern plays host to three non-conference teams (Boston College, Vanderbilt and South Dakota). You at least have to give the Wildcats credit for scheduling two BCS teams as part of their non-conference slate.
They don't have the sexiest Big Ten teams visiting them. The bright spot comes with a mid-October visit from Nebraska, but that's about it.
Troy gets two heavyweights coming to town this year. First, Mississippi State visits in September, and then the Navy comes in November.
Troy had an uncharacteristic down year which was caused by plenty of inexperience on both sides of the ball. They should be much better next year and the stadium should be worth attending once more.
Wallace Wade Stadium is not going to be confused with Cameron Indoor anytime soon. The tradition, pageantry and success that is usually associated with Cameron is mostly absent from Wallace Wade.
That may change slightly this year, however. Duke should be competing for a bowl game and they will welcome FIU, Miami, Clemson, Virginia and rival UNC to Durham.
Not an easy schedule by any stretch off the imagination, but that should bring some intrigue to Wallace Wade.
Temple is losing a significant chunk of their team, which means that fan interest in Philadelphia will be wavering.
I love the Linc and the entire complex in which it is housed. Still, fans are much more likely to be next door at Citizen's Bank to catch a Phillies game than they will be to see the Owls.
You can't blame it on Temple. They've been great the past couple of years. It's just nearly impossible for a college to be popular in a big city with professional teams.
Central Michigan boasts the biggest stadium in the MAC as Kelly/Shorts seats 45,000 spectators. It is also beautifully constructed and is a great place to see a game.
Next season Central Michigan will host big boy Michigan State, along with Navy. The game against the Spartans is sure to be a sellout and could even be an upset.
The stadium isn't named after Mitt, but it is named after his father's cousin, Dick Romney, a long-time coach of the Aggies. How's that for heritage?
Romney Stadium holds only 25,000 people and is the ninth smallest in the nation. That said, the Aggies are improving and had one of the more surprising seasons last year.
The Aggies host Utah in what should be a huge game for the program. Expect a sellout in that game and some more if they continue to win.
Arkansas State is the defending Sun Belt champ and will be welcoming offensive guru Gus Malzahn as their head coach. Hopes for a repeat or continued success are valid.
The only games lined up so far are Memphis and Alcorn State. The last time they played Memphis, they broke the all-time attendance record at 30,427 (Memphis was ranked No. 25 then though).
North Texas currently has zero announced home games for their 30,000 seat stadium in Denton, Texas. Fun fact about the stadium: It is the first newly-built stadium to be LEED platinum certified, as it uses wind turbines and solar panels to generate power.
They underwent a massive campaign to sell out the inaugural game last September and came up just short. Until the team turns around, I don't see any sellouts in the future.
Qualcomm will always be home of the Chargers. It's a great facility, but it is Chargers country first and foremost.
San Diego State is losing superstar Ronnie Hillman and quarterback Ryan Lindley, so a rebuilding year could be in store. Air Force, Colorado State, Hawaii and UNLV will visit from the Mountain West, along with San Jose State, North Dakota and Army from out of conference.
FIU Stadium is located in Miami so as you can imagine, it is a beautiful scene.
The program is getting better every day and the stadium is expanding at the same rate. Now known as "the cage," the stadium has increase by 16,500 people in the past 17 years.
Their final schedule isn't settled as of yet, but there is a game against Louisville on the slate. Those are two rising programs with two tremendous young coaches. FIU could be the favorites in the Sun Belt and their stadium should be packed and explosive every single week.
Louisiana Tech is quietly building a successful program in Ruston. This season should be as good as ever at Joe Aillet Stadium.
The stadium only holds 30,000 but could approach sell out numbers routinely as the Bulldogs figure to be major favorites in the WAC. Outside of conference the Dawgs host UNLV and Rice. Inside of conference: Idaho, Utah State and UT-San Antonio.
Not the best lineup of teams, but again, Tech should be good and the favorites in the WAC. If they want to become the next Boise or TCU, then they will need to sell out on a consistent basis.
USF is going to be hosting FSU this season in what should be the biggest game of their season. Unfortunately, there may be more Noles fans there than Bulls fans.
They're also going to host UConn, Pitt, Syracuse and Rutgers. The Bulls have had trouble filling the NFL-sized stadium in the past, but then again, so have the Bucs.
Pittsburgh is one of the few teams in the nation to play their home games at a professional stadium (Miami, Tulane, USF, San Diego State, and, for one season, Washington, are the others). This grants them a nice, luxurious stadium, but deprives them of a certain charm and nostalgia unique to their program.
What will be unique this year is a visit from Virginia Tech. That, along with visits from Rutgers and Louisville, gives Pitt three marquee games in Paul Chryst's first season as head coach. If WV sticks around, they too will visit the Steel City.
That's a loaded slate. Don't hold the fact that it is an NFL stadium against them. Instead, head over to the Three Rivers area and enjoy some Mrs. T pierogies and a game.
The nation performed a collective rolling of their eyes when Miami announced they would leave the historic Orange Bowl to play in Sun Life Stadium.
It's a nice stadium and was good enough for Dan Marino, but it doesn't seem to have the same tradition and allure as the Orange Bowl did. Worse yet, the Canes haven't been the same since leaving.
They only host one non-conference FBS team this season (USF) but do host rival FSU and Virginia Tech. All in all, it could be worse, but would probably be better if it was going down at the Orange Bowl.
Sonny Lubick Field is actually located on the edge of Fort Collins, approximately four miles from the main campus. This could help explain why the Rams routinely have trouble filling the 34,000 seat stadium.
There aren't too many marquee games lined up for the Rams this season. They host Fresno State, Hawaii, UNLV, New Mexico, Utah State and North Dakota State.
There's reason for optimism with head coach Jim McElwain taking over, but there's a long way to go before Sonny Lubick field ranks among the nation's best.
Ranking Tulane is slightly unfair. The Superdome has played host to Super Bowls, final fours and of course, the Sugar Bowl. That is something that other stadiums can't lay claim to.
We'll try to separate all of that excitement and just focus in on Tulane. The atmosphere of Tulane games at the Superdome pale in comparison to those of the Saints or the Sugar Bowl. There aren't many games on the schedule that grab your attention this year either.
Curtis Johnson is taking over and could provide a spark in excitement in New Orleans. Johnson formerly served as a Saint's assistant and should know the city well by now.
The 30,000 seat capacity is 105th in size, but don't let that fool you. The stadium is beautiful in its design and routinely sells out.
Tulsa may be down slightly this year, but they do welcome UCF and Fresno State to the stadium. This should be a team and a stadium worth keeping an eye on.
Marshall is 118-19 all-time at "The Joan." That alone keeps the Herd fans coming back for more and more.
Marshall will be hosting Tulsa, Houston, UCF and Ohio next year. Therefore, I expect to see the 38,000 seat stadium sold out on more than one occasion.
Did you know that the original "Swamp" is Cajun Field in Lafayette? Before Spurrier coined the phrase in reference to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Cajun Field had the moniker written on their scoreboards. Makes sense, given that the field is two feet below sea level and suspect to torrential rains.
Louisiana was one of the surprise teams last season, winning nine games, including a bowl game.
Louisiana is getting both FIU and Arkansas State to visit the swamp. Despite losing a lot on defense, the Cajuns could be solid again and their home games should be very exciting.
Chris Ault has put Nevada-Reno on the map the past couple of seasons. Now, attendance is routinely approaching the small capacity of 30,000.
The lineup of teams visiting Nevada this season cannot be beat. Fresno State, Boise State, Wyoming and San Diego State will all make the trek to northern Nevada.
Nevada will look to win a MWC title in their first season. Anticipation for the Boise game should be at a high. The two squared off in Reno two years ago and Nevada spoiled Boise's hopes of an undefeated season and potential berth in the National Championship.
With a capacity of 40,000 and views of Las Cruces, New Mexico State secretly houses one of the nicer stadiums in the nation. The new stadium was built as a memorial to students who served in the Korean and Vietnam wars and has hosted major concerts including Guns n' Roses and Metallica.
The Aggies play host to rival New Mexico and get a big home game at the end of the year when BYU visits. If they can continue to improve, then they could turn a great stadium into a relevant, better-known venue.
We don't immediately think of San Jose when we think about the history of college football, but this stadium has been around since the Depression and played host to several FIFA events, including the 1999 Women's World Cup.
San Jose State is hosting Colorado State, Louisiana Tech, Utah State and BYU this season. The Spartans have only made one bowl game in the past 21 seasons. An improvement in the team would help an improvement in games played out at the stadium.
Husky Stadium is currently undergoing renovations, forcing Washington to play in CenturyLink Field (which if you're like me and don't keep up on corporate sponsors, is where the Seahawks play).
CenturyLink usually provides a pretty good atmosphere for the Seahawks, so why not for the Huskies? Can they adapt that 12th man advantage that the Seahawks currently enjoy?
They will be hosting Stanford, Utah and USC, so chances are the excitement will be there. It's no Husky Stadium, but it's the next best thing.
Despite being named after Carrier, one of the nation's leading suppliers in air conditioning, the Carrier Dome remains without A/C. Figure that one out. It's also known more for playing host to the Syracuse Men's Basketball team.
There isn't going to be much to change that this year. Syracuse played at USC last year, but have to play the Trojans at MetLife Stadium to return the favor.
A home game against USC would have been something to put the team and stadium on the map, but instead they have to settle for one non-conference FBS opponent, Northwestern.
Rutgers' most memorable home game came with a Thursday night victory over Louisville in 2006. Other than that, the stadium has remained relatively absent from the public eye.
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like much can happen this season to change that. Rutgers can be a strong team, with or without Greg Schiano, but they welcome UConn, Louisville and Syracuse to Piscataway. They can win all of those games and even the Big East without much fanfare.
The most interesting thing about the Terps last year was their uniforms. That is never a good sign.
Next year they'll welcome only one non-conference FBS team, UConn. They will host FSU and Georgia Tech, but until their play improves, not even the nicest of stadiums can negate what's going on.
UConn only has two confirmed Big East home games this year: Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Should West Virginia remain in the conference, they will also host the Mountaineers.
UConn is also hosting UMass, N.C. State and Buffalo, so it is a slightly better non-conference slate than we've seen in the past.
Still, it's a relatively small stadium in Hartford. UConn could be improved this year, but there would have to be a few great games to get this stadium ranked among the tops.
Forecasting the Big 12 schedules is an impossible task because they don't exist yet. The league is still waiting for an official announcement of West Virginia joining the league before any schedule is released.
Therefore, its hard to rank Jack Trice Stadium (or any other Big 12 stadium) based on their conference schedule. Instead, we have to resort to non-conference schedule, the stadium and other intangibles.
ISU will host Tulsa and Texas Tech (for some reason this has been announced). The 55,000 seat stadium has undergone several renovations, including a new scoreboard.
The better renovation is what is going on on the field. Iowa State made a bowl game last season, thanks in large part to their win over No. 2 Oklahoma State. Fans should expect continued improvement and then it won't matter who is visiting the stadium.
BB&T holds only 31,500 people, making it the smallest stadium of all BCS schools. Despite the small size, the stadium is beautiful with its classic design and aesthetics.
Wake has an odd schedule in that they play three of their non-conference games after September 21st. They'll host Army and close with Vanderbilt.
Fans should also be excited about hosting in-state rivals UNC and Duke (along with Clemson). Decent slate of games for Deacs fans.
Baylor is going to continue their old SWC rivalry with SMU when the Mustangs visit Waco to open up the season.
Baylor fans have to deal with the loss of RGIII and Kendall Wright, so odds are that the scoreboard doesn't get lit up quite as often.
SMU has shown signs of improvement, but now might be the time to take the next step under June Jones. They'll have a great slate of games to look forward to. The Mustangs host Texas A&M, TCU and Houston.
Finally, SMU is relevant again.
Indiana may be the worst team in the Big Ten, but a newly-remodeled stadium and tough competitors should pique interest in the team slightly.
Indiana will play host to Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Iowa. That is a loaded home slate. While they may not win any of those games, fans should be excited over seeing the best teams in the Big Ten visit Bloomington.
Memorial Stadium has been around for over 90 years and was built as a memorial to the Kansas students who died in World War I.
There's a high level of optimism in the air in Lawrence this season as Charlie Weis inherits the team. Before optimism becomes any sort of reality, they need to improve their defense.
Still, excitement should be abound at the stadium this season. The Jayhawks continue to break attendance records and the same should occur this year.
Robertson Stadium already saw its fair share of fireworks this past season with Case Keenum and company tearing up record books. A second act would be difficult to produce.
The stadium is great, but they don't have a lot of marquee games scheduled. Louisiana Tech, North Texas and Texas State out of conference, Rice, UTEP, Tulsa and Tulane in conference.
Martin Stadium isn't the most well-known stadium in the nation, but should get a big boost with Mike Leach arriving in Pullman this year.
What doesn't help is that the Cougars host only five home games this year. Colorado, Cal, UCLA, Eastern Washington and Washington all visit the remote Pullman this season.
The Cougars were robbed out of a home game when it was announced that their game against Oregon would be played at CenturyLink Field.
North Carolina State is continuing their tradition of hosting two FCS teams this year with The Citadel and South Alabama visiting Raleigh. Who gets excited over these games other than raging alcoholics and degenerate gamblers?
They do get Florida State, Virginia and Wake Forest at home, but that's small consolation to the non-conference slate.
Southern Miss is the defending C-USA champion but lost Austin Davis and their coach Larry Fedora. I don't think that's going to damper the excitement much.
Southern Miss hosts Louisville, Boise State, ECU and Marshall! This is the time for the Eagles to take the program to the next level.
All of those games will be played out in beautiful M.M. Roberts Stadium. The all-time record in attendance is 36,232 in a game against Alcorn State. Something tells me that record is getting broken this year.
Minnesota has one of the newest stadiums in the nation in TCF Bank Stadium. The stadium offers beautiful views of downtown Minneapolis and should attract some better games in 2012 as well.
Minnesota has to be improved over their 2011 campaign. They'll also welcome both Michigan schools as well as Purdue and Northwestern. Come for the stadium and stay for a potential improvement in play on the field.
Reser Stadium has become a death trap for some visiting teams over the past few years. The small stadium in Western Oregon is very difficult for opponents to get their bearings straight in.
This year they'll get an opportunity to exact revenge on Wisconsin, a team which whooped the Beavers 35-0 last year.
They'll also host Mike Leach's Washington State team and rival Oregon. Could the Beavers have a couple more upsets in them? It should be exciting to see how things unfold in Corvallis.
One of the more classic venues in all of college football, the Glass Bowl opened in 1937 and features a combination of old and new. The new would be luxury boxes. The old would be the brick entrances seen here.
The Rockets host Cincinnati in what should be a significant "battle of Ohio" and then move on to MAC opponents CMU, Akron, Bowling Green and Ball State.
Toledo should be one of the better teams in the nation, even with the departure of Tim Beckman. The Glass Bowl could be rocking once again in 2012!
Illinois had trouble selling out games when Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin visited. What are they going to do when the second biggest game on the docket is a trip from Purdue?
The Illini play seven home games, but none of them may have a ranked team involved. Still, the stadium was recently renovated and improved. Check out the Red Grange statue outside the stadium and enjoy a day in central-Illinois.
How about this? Vanderbilt had a great season last year and are primed to continue their upward climb. Now, they have a great slate of teams visiting that should make it exciting to be in Nashville for a reason other than the music.
The fun and games starts right away when the Dores host South Carolina in the very first week of the season. I've never been a fan of playing conference games in the first week, but that should be a great game.
They're also going to host Florida, Auburn and in-state rival Tennessee. Get your tickets fast, as the stadium only seats 39,790.
Bronco Stadium is known for its blue turf, but it should be known for the home-field advantage it provides the Broncos. Since 1999, the Broncos are 82-3 at home (and that includes a loss in the MPC Computers Bowl which was in Boise, but technically not a true home game).
They'll be tested this season as they lose several of their key pieces. They host a nice slate of Fresno State, Colorado State, UNLV and San Diego State, along with BYU out of conference.
Things should be fun in Boise this season, as always.
Kentucky has a ways to go before they can compete for the SEC East title. That said, they could play spoiler to one of the favorites this season.
The Wildcats host both Georgia and South Carolina. One win against either of these teams would shake up the SEC in a major way.
Other than that, there isn't much to get excited about. Kentucky hosts Vanderbilt and Mississippi State inside the conference, and Kent State, Samford and Western Kentucky outside the conference.
The Wildcats are losing most of their offensive personnel, but may be fired up over the arrival of Rich Rodriguez.
Either way, they are going to have plenty of marquee games in 2012. The Wildcats host USC, Washington, Arizona State and Oklahoma State this upcoming season. They may not win any of them, but Arizona Stadium's beautiful 57,000 seat facility should be on full view often throughout the year.
Due to two neutral games on the slate, Navy only has five home games this year. None of them will capture the attention of a mass audience (VMI, Texas State, FAU, Indiana and San Jose State).
The stadium is beautiful, however, and serves as a memorial to the Navy and Marine Corps.
Alumni Stadium is a small, quaint stadium in beautiful Chestnut Hill. Don't let that fool you though. On game day, this place can get rowdy.
There will be plenty of opportunities for that this season. The Eagles host Notre Dame, Miami, Clemson and Virginia Tech! They get nearly every single ACC power at home, sans Florida State.
This should make for a lot of excitement in Beantown.
You have to give Virginia credit for their scheduling. Just one season after rebounding and making a bowl, the Cavs are slated to face Louisiana Tech and Penn State at home (and TCU on the road).
This makes their non-conference slate as interesting as the conference slate. The Cavs host Maryland, Miami, UNC and Wake Forest at home.
Mike London has the team headed in the right direction and Scott Stadium is one of the nation's better-kept secrets. How could you not be excited to head out here?
Falcon Stadium, located in Colorado Springs, is 6,621 feet above sea-level, making it the second-highest stadium in the nation. With the fighter jets in the area, the only thing that is grounded is Air Force's rushing offense.
Air Force will get Navy, Colorado State, Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico at home. A perfect record at home is more than possible, and that should get the fan base excited.
Memphis has the opportunity to play in one of the South's premiere venues in the Liberty Bowl. The stadium holds over 62,000 people, but as you could guess, the attendance at Memphis games has been quite lower than that in recent years.
The Tigers get UCF and Southern Miss at home, but that's about it as far as marquee games go. It won't matter. Until the Tigers turn things around, there won't be much to get excited about in Memphis.
Once upon a time, Legion Field played host to the Iron Bowl, meaning there have been hundreds of legends and memorable games played out in Birmingham. Now, it belongs to the UAB Blazers.
Teams much better than UAB would have trouble filling the 71,000 seats, so we can't hold that against them. That said, UAB has been to one bowl game in their history. That's a far cry from Alabama and Auburn.
UAB doesn't really have a marquee team visiting them this year. The biggest teams are Tulsa, ECU and Marshall. Therefore, it is up to UAB to improve and create the excitement on their own. There's a community in Birmingham that would love to have them be successful.
Rice Stadium has a great history. Did you know that it played host to Super Bowl VIII and was the home to JFK's declaration to begin the Apollo Program? Pretty cool.
Rice gets to host rival Houston and welcome UCLA to the hallowed grounds. If the Owls could improve on the field, then there would be even more room to celebrate.
Fresno State has a great stadium, a lot of potential on their team and a lineup which should produce some great games.
They will host Colorado, Air Force, Hawaii, San Diego State and Wyoming this season. They have the chance to recapture the glory in which the team went through in the early part of the century this season. It should be an exciting time to be around Bulldog Stadium.
At 7,215 feet above sea level, Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium is easily the highest stadium in the nation. With spectacular views and a capacity capable of being full every time, War Memorial Stadium is a tremendous sight to behold.
Wyoming hosts Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State and San Diego State this season. With tons of talent back on both sides of the ball and a favorable schedule, they could potentially win the MWC. That should make things very interesting in Laramie this year.
LaVell Edwards Stadium is located in Provo, Utah and offers some of the best views in all of college football. It has been renovated in recent years to have a capacity of 64,000 people.
Because of BYU's new independent status, they can schedule whoever they want. They therefore have an eclectic mix of teams coming to Provo, including Washington State, Utah State and Oregon State.
It isn't the greatest schedule ever and there isn't a conference championship to play for. Still, BYU should be a solid team once again and the stadium is great.
Stanford tore down their old stadium and built a new one on the same site over the 2005 offseason. With this they lost the tradition of having had a Super Bowl played in their stadium, but gained more modern amenities.
Andrew Luck is gone but the Cardinal should remain a solid team. They'll host USC early in the season, but that's about it. The Cardinal can't rely on other teams to bring the excitement to the game. Instead, it's theirs to make.
Depending on your angle of the stadium, you may confuse Jones AT&T Stadium for a library or administration building rather than a 60,000 seat stadium. This actually brings a sense of uniqueness and tradition to the stadium, one that others cannot duplicate.
Oddly enough, Texas Tech has their entire schedule released. Why they are the only Big 12 team to do so, I cannot tell you. All I can do is go off of this.
The Red Raiders have more returning starters than any other school in the nation and should be much improved. They'll be more than happy to host Texas, Oklahoma and West Virginia this season. This could be a huge season for them and help them forget Mike Leach and accept Tommy Tuberville.
Aloha Stadium is built on the shores of the island of O'ahu, so despite not ever being there, I'm guessing the views and atmosphere are outstanding.
The Warriors won't be able to recapture what they had in the 2007 season, but could take the first step to getting back to that level under first-year head coach Norm Chow. Hawaii will host Boise State and Nevada, so they should have a great chance to pull an upset and return to a bowl game.
Dowdy-Ficklen boasts some of the best tailgating and BBQ in the state of North Carolina. Afterwards, you can be one of the 50,000 to enjoy a game involving ECU, a team which competes regularly.
ECU is on their way back up and should be a lot better on defense next year. Improved play will help a lot, as will visits from Houston, Navy and UTEP.
The Bulldogs will travel to the two big boys in the SEC West, (Alabama and LSU) but will host Auburn and Arkansas. In a division so packed with strong teams, it's impossible to get all of the good or bad teams in one spot.
The non-conference home slate leaves something to be desired, (Jackson State, South Alabama and Middle Tennessee) but newly-added conference brethren Texas A&M will visit. Get the cowbells ready!
Michie Stadium was already a great place to catch a football game, but it will have two additional bonuses working in its favor this season.
One, Army could be good enough to make a bowl this year. Two, they have an interesting lineup of teams visiting.
Northern Illinois, Boston College, Temple and Air Force will all visit West Point. These should all be close, competitive games that will go a long way in determining the postseason fate of Army and their opponents.
New Mexico has one of the most aesthetically pleasing stadiums in the season. So much so that they play host to the annual New Mexico Bowl. Unfortunately, their football team has not been as much of a contribution to the overall enjoyment of attending a football game in Albuquerque.
The Lobos host Southern and Texas State out of conference and Boise, Fresno, Nevada and Wyoming in conference. All in all, the conference lineup is pretty solid. Now, if the Lobos can improve on the field and make those games competitive, then they may be on to something.
Brighthouse Networks Stadium is the third-newest stadium in the nation, but has already developed a name and tradition for itself.
The stadium has come to be known as "the trampoline" due to reports of the upper deck wavering from sound and weight. Sounds like fun to me. The moniker is just a cherry on top to a 2010 C-USA title.
UCF should be very good again this year and have a great home schedule. They will host FIU (in what could develop into a great rivalry), Missouri, ECU, Southern Miss and SMU. There should be plenty of great games played out in a new, beautiful stadium.
Don't let the obnoxious sponsorship fool you, PJCS is a great new stadium in the heart of Louisville. The stadium is only 15 years old, but has already been renovated and expanded upon. It now holds over 55,000 people.
They'll start off with rival Kentucky and then host UNC two weeks later. That makes for a nice couple of games as far as non-conference goes. They'll add USF, Cinci, UConn and if they're around, West Virginia.
Now add in the fact that Louisville will probably enter the Big East as the favorite and you can begin to feel the excitement of the 2012 season approaching for Cardinals fans. It should be a great atmosphere every week this season.
There are a couple of things going for Cincinnati and one thing going against them when it comes to these rankings.
The bad news is that they're losing Zach Collaros and may be slightly worse than they were this year. The good news is that Nippert Stadium is awesome and all of the significant contenders in the Big East have to visit the Queen City.
Nippert is the fifth-oldest stadium in the nation and has played host to concerts, the Bengals and of course, the Bearcats.
Cinci gets Rutgers, Pitt, USF and Syracuse at home next year. If they play West Virginia, it will be on the road.
Anybody who has ever visited Oxford during game week has raved about "The Grove." It's existence alone is worth taking a trip to Dixieland.
Add in a renewed sense of optimism with the hiring of Hugh Freeze and a nice slate of teams visiting, and you can see why Vaught-Hemmingway is so high on this list. The Rebels will host Texas, Texas A&M, Auburn and rival Mississippi State.
Purdue has the potential to be a sleeper in the Big Ten this season. They should be at least the third-best team in the Big Ten Leaders division and with Ohio State ineligible, anything is possible.
We'll know almost right away in the season. The Boilers host Michigan and Wisconsin in early October (and then go to Ohio State). They host Penn State in early November before hosting rival Indiana.
This is a Purdue fan's dream as far as schedules go. Ross Ade should be packed and raucous every single week.
UNC fans should be excited over the arrival of Larry Fedora and the potential the offense has with Bryn Renner and Giovanni Bernard returning. There could be plenty of shootouts in the near future in Chapel Hill.
If that isn't enough, what about hosting ECU, Virginia Tech, N.C. State and Georgia Tech next season? The Heels don't have to play the Seminoles and compared to their road schedule, the home schedule is strong. It should be a fun year in Chapel Hill.
The Sun Bowl sits 3,910 feet above sea level and is beautifully nestled in the mountains, opening up views of downtown El Paso.
UTEP doesn't have many great home games on their schedule. The Miners could be improved this season and make a bowl game. That should be enough to bring some excitement to the Sun Bowl.
Boone Pickens Stadium is just a couple of years removed from its massive renovation that saw a dilapidated Lewis Field turn into a state-of-the-art facility.
The capacity is now at 60,000 and you can bet that they were sold out every single game last season. Odds are that despite losing Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden, they will be sold out again this season.
Stillwater is turning into a premiere college football destination. Boone Pickens Stadium is a great facility that has only been bolstered further by the play of the Cowboys.
Kinnick Stadium is a great place to catch a game. Despite its relatively diminutive size, Kinnick packs a punch in the decibel department due to its sunken-bowl design which helps keep sound in.
Iowa gets its two biggest games at home this year. First, rival Iowa State, who beat the Hawkeyes in three overtimes last year in Ames. Then, the up-and-coming rivalry that many in the Midwest have waited for for years continues to be realized when Nebraska visits Iowa City.
Bobby Dodd Stadium is one of the more classic venues in the entire nation. In fact, football has been played on the site since 1905, the longest in the nation (it has of course undergone some renovations since then).
GT should be contending for an ACC title next year. Their big games all come on the road but that doesn't stop them from hosting BYU, Virginia and Miami.
Not the greatest lineup of games, but GT's possible improvement and a classic setting make this a great choice.
West Virginia only has four confirmed games, with only Marshall and Maryland visiting Morgantown. After that, it can go one of two ways.
If WV stays in the Big East, then they will have their traditional schedule with all the teams they visited last year coming to Morgantown. This would be Syracuse, Rutgers, USF and Cincinnati.
If they join the Big 12, then the conference would have 10 teams and they would play everybody once. Who comes to Morgantown would still have to be decided, but it would be a better collection of teams visiting overall.
The schedule is uncertain. What is certain, however, is that West Virginia should have a prolific offense and be very fun to watch in 2012. That, and their stadium is one of the best in the nation. Whoever they play, it should be fun to hear another rendition of "Country Roads."
The only thing better than playing in a beautiful stadium nestled amongst the protested-trees and hills of northern California is playing there after a year hiatus. This is what will happen when the Bears go back to Berkeley following the renovation of their historic stadium.
They'll welcome Oregon, Washington, UCLA, Arizona State and Stanford (oddly being played in October) to the new stadium. In other words, a traditional Pac 10 slate. The more things change, the more they stay the same (they do travel to Utah, however).
Kansas State's stadium gets an extra boost, given that it is the only stadium named after its current head coach. Another boost is that since 1990, the Wildcats are 113-26-1 at home.
The Wildcats already have one marquee game on their docket, a visit from the Miami Hurricanes in September. If they continue to improve the way they did in 2011, the Little Apple may be the place to be every season, week in and week out.
Folsom Field is a beautiful venue that is still getting used to hosting Pac 12 games. This year the Buffs will welcome Washington, Utah, Stanford, ASU and UCLA. That's a full slate.
Colorado is in the process of rebuilding, but did show resolve through the 2011 season. Winning just one or two home games should be enough cause for celebration in Boulder.
Wisconsin figures to be one of the favorites in the Big Ten once again this season.
The biggest games going down in Madison, however, are Michigan State and Ohio State. Ohio State isn't eligible to play in the postseason, dampening the matchup between the two division rivals a bit.
Wisconsin will have tough games against Penn State and Nebraska, but both of those will take place on the road.
The Longhorns play in the sixth-largest stadium in the nation, but as of today they don't have a marquee game to look forward to. The game against Oklahoma will be played in Dallas and the only two games that are for sure in Austin are New Mexico and Wyoming.
Still, this is Texas. The Horns figure to be better next season and could be a surprise contender in the Big 12. Why would you want to miss out on football Saturdays in Austin?
Many are labeling the Dawgs as the favorite in the SEC East once again this year, but they have one of the tougher schedules in the SEC. That is, almost all of the good teams they play this year are on the road.
Georgia only plays seven home games. Due to the neutral game against Florida, they only play three SEC home games: Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and Tennessee.
The good news is that they should win all of their home games. The bad news is that it isn't the best lineup of games. Trips from Georgia Southern, FAU and Buffalo don't do too much to sweeten the deal.
Florida fans have to be breathing a sigh of relief, playing a slightly easier schedule in 2012.
I'm not saying the Gators are going to win the division, but South Carolina and Missouri will all visit the Swamp. Those are two teams that figure to be in contention for an SEC East title (the Gators play UGA in Jacksonville).
Florida also gets LSU and Kentucky at home. Their non-conference schedule weighs down the excitement a tad. Bowling Green, Louisiana Lafayette and Jacksonville State are set to visit the Swamp before the Gators travel to rival FSU.
You'd be hard pressed to find a stadium with more aesthetically pleasing views than what Sun Devil Stadium has to offer. It's no wonder why the game played host to a Super Bowl and to the Fiesta Bowl for 35 years.
Next year they'll have Oregon, Illinois, Utah and UCLA roll in to the desert. Combine that with a fresh start under Todd Graham, and there may be more reasons to go to the stadium other than to see the views.
Utah hosts USC on a Thursday night in October. It is games like that why Utah joined the Pac 12.
Don't get me wrong. They were a great program with a great stadium prior to joining the Pac 12, but a marquee, national television and weekday night game in Salt Lake City is exactly what the program is looking for.
They'll also host Holy War rival BYU. BYU and USC coming to the mountains in the same year? What more could you ask for?
Autzen has grown in stride with Oregon to become one of the more popular stadiums in the nation. Its reputation is well deserved, as the Ducks had a 21-game winning streak at home prior to their loss to USC in 2011.
They should being another long home win streak this season, as they don't host the most formidable of foes. Stanford and Washington are coming, but so is Colorado, Arizona and Tennessee Tech.
It doesn't matter who plays there though. Autzen is going to be sold out and the Ducks are going to compete for a Pac 12 title. That alone makes Eugene an exciting place to be.
Memorial Stadium, more often referred to as Death Valley, has a history of producing incredible atmospheres and memorable games. 2011 was no exception as the Tigers rode their home games to an ACC title.
There is a little less luster on the home schedule next year. The highlight is rival South Carolina and ACC foe Virginia Tech. After that, they'll try to exact some revenge against a Georgia Tech team which beat them in Atlanta last season.
Still, Clemson could be one of the better teams in the ACC and their home games are always worth watching.
Did you ever imagine in a million years that Missouri would be hosting both Alabama and Georgia in the same season?
If I know anything about Mizzou and their fans, the atmosphere for those games should be tremendous; on par, in fact, with anything that the SEC has to offer.
They will also host Arizona State, Kentucky and Vanderbilt.
Here's something new for Michigan and its fans. The Wolverines will only play two home games in the month of September (Air Force and UMass). Gone are the days of not leaving the state of Michigan for-seemingly-ever.
The Wolverines will eventually welcome rival MSU and Iowa to the stadium, but there have been much better lineups in Michigan Stadium history.
Still, a great stadium (the biggest in the nation) and Michigan should be in the Big Ten title hunt. That's enough to give this stadium a high ranking.
Florida State may be the cream of the ACC crop next season. That should make their always-exciting home games even more interesting.
They will welcome Florida and Clemson to the state capitol, but not much more. Wake Forest is a game that Noles fans shouldn't sleep on...the Deacons upset the Noles last season in Winston-Salem.
Many are speculating what the future of Penn State football holds, given the death of Joe Paterno and the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Whatever all the repercussions bring, I'd like to think that Beaver Stadium will continue to sell out and welcome over 100,000 fans every single game.
Those who come to the stadium will be rewarded with games against Ohio State and Wisconsin. The non-conference games aren't great, but that usually doesn't stop the fans from filling the stadium to capacity.
This has the potential to be one of the most exciting seasons in TCU football history. The Frogs make the move from the Mountain West to the Big 12 and will now be welcoming big boys such as Texas and Oklahoma to Fort Worth.
Oh, and most importantly, they're going to be a very good team.
Regardless of who comes to Amon G. Carter this year, the games are sure to be packed full of drama and intrigue. TCU should be a top 10 team and competing for a Big 12 title in their first year.
Oklahoma had the nation's longest home-winning streak snapped this past season with a loss to Texas Tech.
If the Sooners want to start another long streak, then they will have to get through a tough Big 12 slate and the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame is set to visit Norman in late October. You can expect the 82,000 seat capacity to be filled and then some.
Lane Stadium has established itself as one of the best venues and most difficult places to play in the past decade. With the traditional "Enter Sandman" accompanying the Hokies as they take the field, Lane Stadium is a sight to behold.
They'll get Virginia, Georgia Tech and FSU at home this year. The last game alone may be worth the price of an entire season ticket.
Not much in terms of non-conference, but you can't go wrong with seeing a game at Lane.
Alabama is the defending national champion and every home game they play is worth watching. It's just that other than the Iron Bowl, no games next year really capture your attention.
The four SEC teams the Tide host are Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Auburn. They play Michigan in Arlington and travel to LSU and Arkansas.
Still, the Iron Bowl will unfold in Tuscaloosa and the Tide should be strong once again. That alone puts them this high on the list.
The Rose Bowl existed and made a name for itself long before UCLA entertained any idea of playing in the stadium. The Bruins playing there is a bonus to the tradition and atmosphere of the Rose Bowl but has really been just that, a small bonus.
Still, you can't fault them for playing in a stadium that has produced so many great moments and so many great sunsets and views. UCLA can get excited for this season as they are defending Pac-12 South Champs (sort of) and are welcoming a new coach in Jim Mora Jr.
On top of all that, they will welcome Nebraska, Stanford, Utah and USC to the Rose Bowl. If you're not watching the game for UCLA, at least watch it for those teams playing in one of the greatest shrines in all of sports.
Notre Dame has always been known for producing an aesthetically pleasing, rowdy atmosphere on game day. I expect that to remain true this season, but the home slate isn't that great of a lineup.
They play Michigan and Purdue in September. Those should be the two best home games. The Irish travel to Los Angeles and Norman and have neutral games against Miami (Chicago) and Navy (Ireland).
Still, you can't beat a Michigan-Notre Dame game in South Bend.
Neyland Stadium is one of the premiere venues in college football. Unfortunately, it has been close to forgotten in recent years given the Vols' struggles.
There will be renewed interest in Knoxville when Alabama and Florida visit. If the Vols can have a resurgence and become competitive once again, then Rocky Top will be rocking once again.
Either way, its 100,000-plus people. And it's Rocky Top!
Memorial Stadium in Lincoln holds the record for consecutive sellouts with 317! That dates back 50 seasons.
The Sea of Red will be welcoming some major powers from the Big Ten this year. Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan will all be making the voyage to Lincoln this year. All of those games should be huge in determining the eventual Big Ten champion. This is a place to be in 2012.
The first month and a half at Spartan Stadium should be insane. MSU welcomes Boise State in the season opener and follows that up with hosting Notre Dame, Ohio State and Iowa.
One would think that the fun would end, but consider a November visit from the Cornhuskers. There should be plenty of theatrics unfolding in Spartan Stadium when it's all said and done.
The National Championship has gone through the SEC West the past three seasons. With LSU, Alabama and Arkansas fielding formidable teams once again this season, another title for the SEC West is a definite possibility.
Arkansas will host both Alabama and LSU. These two games figure to be top 10 national games when it is all said and done, and could go a long way in determining the national champion.
The only problem with this ranking is the potential of moving one of those games to War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock. Arkansas has opted to move their biggest games of the season to the state capitol in the past, but no announcement has been made as of yet.
The SEC East title figures to be on the line in early October when South Carolina hosts Georgia.
Or will it? Let's not forget the addition of Missouri to the SEC East. South Carolina hosts Mizzou in mid-September.
Either way, the SEC East figures to get decided early in Columbia.
USC is going to have one of the more prolific offenses in the nation next year. They produced exciting games at the Coliseum this season, namely a triple overtime game against Stanford and a shootout with Arizona.
Next year they'll welcome Oregon and Notre Dame to south L.A. Both games should be great and USC could find themselves in the thick of things when it comes to winning a national championship.
I'm a traditionalist and I don't like the loss of classic rivalries at all. Still, I can see the potential of new rivalries developing and how exciting it will be to see teams that you never imagined even playing traveling to each others' campuses.
So when I see Florida, LSU, South Carolina and maybe Arkansas (it could be played in Arlington) scheduled to visit the 12th Man that is Kyle Field, I say, "Sign me up."
Of course everyone has November 3rd circled on their calendars. That is the date when Alabama and LSU will square off for the third time in a calendar year. It is a re-match of the national championship and could produce more fireworks than the two games in 2011 did (could it produce less).
I wouldn't look past a visit from South Carolina in mid-October though. Other than that, the Tigers get Washington at home early in the season and both Mississippis.
LSU figures to be the preseason No. 1 team and Tiger Stadium is a fantastic venue. With Bama and South Carolina rolling in, you have to rank Tiger Stadium high on the list.
Remember how two years ago Auburn rode a wave of home games to a national championship? Well, it's two years later and all the tough teams are coming back to Auburn.
The schedule is a little tougher than it was in 2010, but that should only make for a more exciting home slate. Clemson, LSU, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Georgia all visit Jordan-Hare this year!
I just named close to half of the Tiger's schedule. All of those games should be great. Whatever they're charging for a season ticket, pay it.
The Horseshoe is already considered one of the greatest (if not the greatest) stadiums in the nation. Now, add in the arrival of Urban Meyer and a nice home schedule, and you can see why this is rated so highly.
Ohio State will welcome Nebraska, Cal and that team from up north to Columbus. The finale alone is worth the price of a season ticket.