College Football: 4 Worst Schools to Tailgate
Amongst the ranks of the southern-style cooking and the zesty originality of some university tailgating sensations, there is also a depressing bottom tier in the mix.
Although it is not the fault of the school itself, the student body usually determines the fate of customs and traditions that the art of tailgating should hold. In this regard, unfortunately some universities could not reach regularity or decency, but some luckily still manage to have spectacular college football.
For those who possess a sterling team and stadium, the festivities that are ever-present in the South and West Coast have vanished from existence for some universities. The matchups may be nail biting, but the pregame could leave a sour taste in the mouths of visitors.
University of Miami
In the heart of Coral Gables, Florida lies the legendary University of Miami, where some of the greatest of modern college football history was culminated in the 1980's.
But since that time, the Hurricanes have faced the dilemma of having to travel 21.9 miles to reach their home stadium from campus. And with recent economic conditions and the price of gas, the situation is becoming increasingly difficult.
With a makeshift home at the Miami Dolphins' Sun Life Stadium, what should be an exciting hometown feel is not all it is made out to be. With the beautiful shores of Florida's East Coast and the tropical attractions, the metropolitan paradise would seemingly be the ideal tailgating location.
But as noted by miami.edu, student attendance records have been consistently declining, even with the media frenzy that surrounds the university. It is safe to say that with the circumstances, The U's coeds cannot back up the hardcore tailgating reputation on their own.
One of the disadvantages of hosting college football at a professional stadium is stricter policies on alcohol use and parking—two vital aspects of man's ability to enjoy pregame festivities. There are also rules in place that prevent RV's from setting up camp during the night hours the day before games, making Sun Life Stadium unfriendly to the fans who just drove into town.
But there is one positive to the situation—local bars are plentiful.
The reputable nightlife in Miami can sometimes make up for any loss the Hurricanes face.
Brigham Young University
Overshadowed by a strict honor code, Brigham Young University is loved by its fans.
It is a place where college football is a respected game, but tailgating takes a completely different form or is completely absent from game day in general. Comparing the arid environment of the Great Salt Lake to the down-home, country feeling of the sun belt, the two scenes are hardly analogous.
One of the most customary aspects of a remotely successful tailgate is alcohol content. Unfortunately, BYU is as dry as the desert it lies in. But of course beer, liquor and keg stands aren't the most important part of the college scene, although it is an immense disadvantage.
Adding to the hostility, tents and tables are rarely seen because most fans attend strictly for the game, not the festivities.
If one thing is certain—the panoramic view from LaVell Edwards Stadium is a breathtaking moment at its finest.
Boise State University
A school with one of the smallest budgets of any Top 25 ranked football program in the country, Boise State University recently renovated Bronco Stadium in order to appeal to the needs of its players and entice its fans. Nevertheless, the plans proposed in 2010 have not changed the appeal of tailgating in the Mountain West.
A stellar football program for its size, Boise State is the David to the Goliath of Bowl Championship Series and has been positioned several times within the Top 10 best teams in the nation within the past five years.
Yet the fact remains that the pride and tradition is off the beaten path for any college football fans looking to settle in the parking lot for a beer. The university is in Idaho, which is far from many big-time opponents and the swaths of spectators that follow.
The traditions of Boise State tailgating are not well-known, but they don an eye-blinding blue turf field.
University of Alabama at Birmingham
The city of Birmingham, Alabama, once known for its rich heritage in the steel industry, is now home to the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers.
The site is now host to a crumbling Legion Field, where there was once an extensive legacy as the place where the rivalry matchup between Alabama and Auburn was held until 1992. Since that time, the surrounding neighborhood has become a crime-infested haven for drug dealers and off-site from the UAB campus.
Legion Field itself, also known as the "Old Grey Lady," has become quite deteriorated, and the upper decks were demolished due to decay.
A stadium that once held over 80,000 fans in one of the greatest rivalries in the history of college football now stands as the home for a team where it's lucky to have half the amount of spectators. Although the students love their Blazer Nation, it is a hassle to make the trek to the parking lot, especially if it means having to pay someone to watch your car during game time.
As Birmingham grows, the stadium has become increasingly encompassed by deteriorated housing and low-income, violent neighborhoods. But as the Old Grey Lady sits as an icon of an age gone by, a fund is currently being raised to build a stadium on campus to bring new hope to UAB athletics.