Top 50 College Football Stadiums to See Before You Die

Alex Callos@@alexcallosCorrespondent IDecember 31, 2012

Top 50 College Football Stadiums to See Before You Die

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    There is home-field advantage in all sports, but without question, college football sets the bar.

    Being one of the older American sports, there is a lot of variety when it comes to college football stadiums.

    Some are very old with history that dates back about a century.

    Then there are the newer stadiums that have all the amenities.

    When it comes to all-around experience, some are head and shoulders above the rest.

    We have searched from east to west and come up with a list of the best stadiums college football has to offer.

    Here are the top 50 college football stadiums to see before you die.

50. BB&T Field: Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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    This tiny stadium has one of the better atmospheres in the ACC. It only seats around 32,000, but that does not take away from it at all.

    Built in 1968, this stadium is a great place to come for a night game, and it has become more popular in recent years because of some success by the football team.

    It has also seen some renovations in recent years that make it feel much younger than its age.

49. Mackay Stadium: Nevada Wolf Pack

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    Expect to see a few stadiums on the list that offer some very scenic views. This one is the first of those.

    It is also the smallest stadium in the rankings and one of the smallest in the country with a seating capacity of under 30,000.

    There are mountains in the background, making it one of the most beautiful settings in college football.

48. Memorial Stadium: Indiana Hoosiers

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    Memorial Stadium is the first Big Ten venue on the list, and even though it is not as good as some of the others in the conference, it is still one of the best in the country.

    The seating capacity here is only a touch over 50,000, but it can get loud, particularly during conference games.

    The surrounding campus is outstanding as well. Be sure to check out the rock outside of the north end zone.

    That helped give the stadium its nickname, "The Rock."

47. Bill Snyder Family Stadium: Kansas State Wildcats

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    Manhattan is one of the best college towns in the country.

    The whole city seemingly comes together every Saturday to cheer on its football team, and it has a great place to do it. 

    The stadium can seat over 50,000, and it was built in 1968. With great fan support and an excellent atmosphere, this is one of the most underappreciated venues in the nation.

46. Byrd Stadium: Maryland Terrapins

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    Also known as Capital One Field, Byrd Stadium was built in 1950 and has a seating capacity of more than 51,000.

    It is just a few minutes from Washington D.C., and is a very historic venue, having played host to the Royal Family.

    A little bit better of a product on the field would go a long way toward helping improve the atmosphere.

45. Sun Devil Stadium: Arizona State Sun Devils

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    Sun Devil Stadium was built in 1958, and it is home to a few teams. One of those teams is the Arizona State Sun Devils.

    It can seat more than 73,000 people and has some of the craziest fans, including a student section that is as rowdy as they come.

    Even though the Sun Devils are up and down, the atmosphere at their home games is always outstanding.

44. Jones AT&T Stadium: Texas Tech Red Raiders

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    This is another stadium that is growing in capacity seemingly every year.

    When it was built in 1947, it seated just more than 27,000 people, but with some renovations, the capacity is now more than 60,000.

    The stadium fills up and gets very loud every Saturday.

    Texas Tech has a very loyal fanbase that loves to support its home team.

43. Bobby Dodd Stadium: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

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    While it might not offer beautiful views of nature, Bobby Dodd Stadium does offer some nice views of downtown Atlanta.

    It has been around for 100 years, having opened in 1913. The stadium seats 55,000, but can sound much louder than that, particularly when Georgia Tech is playing well.

    This is a nice place to enjoy some ACC football on a Saturday in the fall.

42. Falcon Stadium: Air Force Falcons

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    There are a few stadiums on the list with excellent views, but this one might have some of the best.

    Built in 1962 with the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop, Falcon Stadium has some amazing views.

    The stadium seats nearly 47,000 and one unique aspect is the fact that it is over 6,600 feet above sea level.

    Fans will come here for the game, but they enjoy everything else the stadium has to offer.

41. Bright House Networks Stadium: Central Florida Knights

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    Bright House Networks Stadium might not be a venue a lot of people have heard much about, but it is as good as it gets outside of a BCS conference.

    Central Florida will soon be a part of the Big East and is coming with a relatively new stadium, built in 2007.

    The stadium only seats about 45,000, but those fans can get very loud. There are few facilities with as many new features as this one.

40. Stanford Stadium: Stanford Cardinal

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    Even though the seating capacity here was dropped from 85,000 to 50,000, this is still one of the premier stadiums in college football.

    Stanford Stadium was built in 1921, making it one of the oldest in the nation.

    In 2006, the stadium underwent a complete renovation, as some seats that had obstructed views were removed, which gave it a feel of a newer stadium.

39. Boone Pickens Stadium: Oklahoma State Cowboys

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    Built in 1913 and originally known as Lewis Field, Boone Pickens Stadium officially became the name of the stadium in 2003, and it has a seating capacity of 60,000.

    The student section here is what helps this stadium make the list. It is one of the best in the Big 12 and can be as loud as any in the country.

    There are plenty of traditions here, including an O-S-U chant and a gunshot by Pistol Pete. Every time Oklahoma State scores a touchdown, fans take part in the wave.

38. Ross-Ade Stadium: Purdue Boilermakers

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    The Big Ten is filled with excellent college towns, but one of the best is West Lafayette.

    Ross-Ade Stadium is what the Boilermakers call home, and they have been playing there since 1924.

    The stadium is one of the smallest in the conference with a seating capacity of just over 62,000. The marching band plays before every home game at Slayter Center.

    An added bonus is the plastic benches, which are much more comfortable than the metal and wooden ones found at most other fields.

37. Mountaineer Field: West Virginia Mountaineers

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    When it comes to college towns, few are better than Morgantown.

    The stadium is not exactly state of the art, but the atmosphere is outstanding and the place can get as loud as any stadium in the country.

    For fans who stay for the entire game, Take Me Home, Country Roads is played after each contest.

    Fans will get an experience hard to find anywhere else.

36. Rice-Eccles Stadium: Utah Utes

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    For some excellent views, Rice-Eccles Stadium is the place to go. It is a new facility, built in 1998, and even though it only holds around 45,000, it can get very loud.

    The stadium is virtually enclosed, and with how new it is, there are a lot of amenities for fans to enjoy.

    For a truly unique college football experience, take a trip to Utah and enjoy this stadium experience.

35. Williams-Brice Stadium: South Carolina Gamecocks

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    Williams-Brice Stadium is not nearly as highly regarded as a lot of other SEC stadiums, but is still one of the best in the country.

    Built in 1934 and seating more than 80,000, it is rather large and can also get very loud at times.

    The game day experience here starts well before the game and continues well after it is over.

34. Lane Stadium: Virginia Tech Hokies

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    For those looking for a little blast from the past, this is the perfect stadium.

    It seats 66,233, and even though it was opened in 1965, it has more of an old-school feel to it.

    The fans here are as loud as almost anywhere in the country, and the bleachers create a unique experience.

    The student section here is one of the loudest in the ACC.

33. Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium: Oklahoma Sooners

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    This stadium was built in 1925, making it one of the oldest in the Big 12. It seats over 82,000 and no matter who Oklahoma is playing, it is always filled to capacity.

    The tailgating experience here is excellent.

    Be sure to arrive early as The Pride of Oklahoma marching band brings fans into the stadium.

32. California Memorial Stadium: California Bears

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    Seating more than 63,000 and built in 1923, this old-school bowl stadium can get as loud as nearly any other place in the Pac-12.

    What sets this place apart from a lot of the others in the conference is how the noise seemingly stays inside the stadium and does not get out.

    There are few venues in the Pac-12 or out West that are better.

31. Jack Trice Stadium: Iowa State Cyclones

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    Iowa State is not one of the premier teams in the Big 12, but when it comes to stadiums, the Cyclones have one of the best.

    Built in 1975, the stadium seats 55,000, and there is hillside seating in all four corners of the stadium. That is something that is hard to find in a lot of other places.

    The area around the stadium is beautiful, which makes Jack Trice even more enticing.

30. Carter-Finley Stadium: North Carolina State Wolfpack

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    The ACC does not have a lot of top-notch stadiums compared to the Big Ten or SEC, but this is certainly one of them.

    Opened in 1966, it seats more than 57,000 people and has an atmosphere that is one of the best in the league.

    Season tickets here are very hard to get as they have sold out for nine straight years. There are few places more difficult to play in the ACC.

29. LaVell Edwards Stadium: BYU Cougars

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    Looking for an excellent view while watching a football game? This is the perfect venue for that.

    There are beautiful mountains surrounding LaVell Edwards Stadium. Opened in 1964, its capacity has grown from about 29,000 to 64,000.

    Possibly best of all, it has ticket prices that are cheaper than at most other places.

28. Husky Stadium: Washington Huskies

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    This stadium is one of the oldest out West, having been built in 1920. It is known for a lot of things, but a scenic view is definitely one of them.

    It seems like it is built straight up, which gives it a wide-open feel and also gives fans quite a different experience.

    There are plenty of places around the stadium to party, but be sure to check out The Zone before the game.

27. Bronco Stadium: Boise State Broncos

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    Who would not want to come here to see the Smurf Turf? This is one of the most unique stadiums in the country.

    It was built in 1970 and only seats 37,000. That does not mean it can not get loud, particularly when Boise State is playing a big conference game.

    The stands are not right up on the field like some other places, but that does not take away from the atmosphere at all.

26. Nippert Stadium: Cincinnati Bearcats

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    Originally built in 1901, Nippert Stadium has been home to the Cincinnati Bearcats football team since 1924.

    It is very small, with a seating capacity of just over 35,000.

    That makes for quite an interesting place to take in a game. The student section is located right behind an end zone, very close to the action.

    There is an old-school feel here that is hard to find at other stadiums, as this is one of the oldest in the country.

25. TCF Bank Stadium: Minnesota Golden Gophers

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    The seating capacity of TCF Bank Stadium is only around 50,000, but there is a huge home-field advantage here.

    Part of the reason for that advantage is the fact that it is an outdoor stadium. That is very rare for a stadium so far north.

    Built in 2009, this is one of the newest facilities in college football, and like many others in the Big Ten, it can get very loud.

24. Papa John's Cardinal Stadium: Louisville Cardinals

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    This is the best stadium in the Big East, but will not be for long as the Cardinals are slated to move to the ACC in a few years.

    It is also one of the newest stadiums on the list, having been built in 1998.

    Papa John's Cardinal stadium seats 55,000 people, and there is not a bad seat in the house. The inside of this place has plenty for fans to enjoy.

23. Vaught-Hemingway Stadium: Mississippi Rebels

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    Opened in 1915, this is one of the oldest stadiums in the entire country.

    It is much smaller than the big-time SEC venues. With a capacity of just less than 61,000, these fans are packed in, and the place can get as loud as any other in the conference.

    Arrive here early and tailgate on The Grove. This is a 10-acre stretch outside of the stadium that is one of the best tailgating spots in the country.

22. Autzen Stadium: Oregon Ducks

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    With the success Oregon has had in recent years, Autzen Stadium continues to get louder and louder.

    It opened in 1967, and it is very small compared to a lot of others on the list. It only seats 54,000, but can hold a few more with standing room.

    There are plenty of loud stadiums in the Pac-12, but this venue might just be at the top of the list not only in the Pac-12, but in the entire country.

21. Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium: Arkansas Razorbacks

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    Even though Razorback Stadium is not as large as some of the others in the SEC, the 72,000-seat stadium is one of the best in the conference.

    There are few places that are as loud and as crazy as this one.

    It opened in 1938 and has plenty of history. If you come to the right game, you may feel the stadium shake from start to finish.

20. Spartan Stadium: Michigan State Spartans

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    Spartan Stadium opened in 1923 and seats just over 75,000 people.

    The stadium has an atmosphere that is made even better thanks to the marching band.

    Like many other stadiums in the Big Ten, there is a student section here that is one of the loudest in the country.

    The old bleacher seats give it a home feel.

19. Rose Bowl: UCLA Bruins

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    Without question, the Rose Bowl has as much history and tradition as any bowl game.

    A lot of that has to do with the stadium. It opened in 1922 and right now seats more than 91,000 people.

    It is the home field of the UCLA Bruins, and during the game, chants of "U-C-L-A" can be heard.

    UCLA has an excellent band, and the student section is great also.

18. Kyle Field: Texas A&M Aggies

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    As one of the oldest stadiums in the SEC, Kyle Field was built in 1927.

    There are a lot of unique aspects associated with this stadium, and it is best known as being the "12th Man."

    The seating capacity here is about 83,000 and the atmosphere is outstanding.

    Students come at midnight the night before a home game to enjoy a Midnight Yell. It is quite a tradition.

17. Memorial Stadium: Nebraska Cornhuskers

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    Built in 1923, Memorial Stadium is almost always a sea of red and seats right around 81,000.

    Tailgating is a big deal here. When coming to a game, be ready to enjoy some tailgating and a lot of noise once inside the stadium.

    This is one of the best stadiums the Big Ten has to offer.

16. Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium: Florida State Seminoles

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    Built in 1950, Doak Campbell Stadium was made famous from the Seminole chant.

    There is a seating capacity here of more than 82,000, and as far as the ACC is concerned, this is one of the best venues in the conference.

    Be sure to arrive here early as Chief Osceola rides out on his horse Renegade before throwing a flaming spear in the middle of the field.

15. Jordan-Hare Stadium: Auburn Tigers

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    In the state of Alabama, football comes first, and in Auburn, it is taken to a whole new level.

    Jordan-Hare Stadium seats more than 87,000 people, and it was built in 1939. It has an atmosphere that is as good as anywhere in the nation.

    Even though there are stadiums in the SEC that are more popular and well known, this is one of the best of them all.

14. Camp Randall Stadium: Wisconsin Badgers

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    As one of the older stadiums in college football, Camp Randall Stadium has been around since 1917.

    The student section here is one of the loudest in the country, and the place is loudest between the third and fourth quarters when "Jump Around" is played.

    It seats around 80,000, but it has the potential to be as loud as nearly any stadium in the country.

    Be sure to hang around for the fifth quarter.

13. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum: USC Trojans

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    Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum originally opened in 1923 near Downtown Los Angeles.

    There is a seating capacity of more than 93,000, making it one of the bigger venues in the Pac-12. 

    The atmosphere here is a little different from some of the small college towns, but this is still one of the best stadiums college football has to offer.

    Few places on the West Coast match the electricity of this place.

12. Frank Howard Field at Memorial Stadium: Clemson Tigers

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    Known as "Death Valley," this is one of the most unique venues in the country and perhaps the best place in the ACC to take in a college football game.

    Opened in 1942, Memorial Stadium stakes claim to being the original Death Valley and seats around 80,000 people.

    The noise level here is as loud as almost anywhere, and the fans here are a little crazier when the Tigers are playing well.

11. Kinnick Stadium: Iowa Hawkeyes

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    Kinnick Stadium is one of the more underrated stadiums in college football, and it is just one of the many gems in the Big Ten.

    With a seating capacity of only around 70,000, it is not nearly as big as a lot of others in the Big Ten, but makes up for it with 10,000 screaming students and a wonderful tailgating atmosphere. 

    The Hawkeyes enter the game listening to "Back in Black" from AC/DC.

    Kinnick Stadium has been around since 1929, not exactly old by Big Ten standards.

10. Darrell K Royal—Texas Memorial Stadium: Texas Longhorns

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    This is another stadium with a seating capacity of more than 100,000, and it is the premier place in the Big 12 to take in a football game.

    Since the stadium was built in 1924, the Longhorns have won nearly 80 percent of the games they have played here.

    When making a visit here, be sure to check out Bevo as he is one of the fan favorites.

    Try to come here and not get the chills at least once.

9. Sanford Stadium: Georgia Bulldogs

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    There are plenty of SEC stadiums worth visiting, but this one is near the top of the list.

    No matter the quality of Georgia's opponent, there are going to be more than 92,000 screaming Bulldogs fans going after the opposing team.

    The student section is packed with more than 10,000 fans for every game.

    Commonly described as "Between the Hedges," this is one of the premier stadiums in all of college football and certainly worth a visit.

8. Notre Dame Stadium: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    With tradition, history and Touchdown Jesus, South Bend has it all.

    There might not be a town in the country that is more in love with its college football than South Bend, and every Saturday, just under 81,000 fans show up to cheer on the Fighting Irish.

    The tradition here is unmatched anywhere else in the nation, and the stadium has been around since 1930. 

    All of the lore surrounding the university has been restored this season.

7. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium: Florida Gators

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    Better known as "The Swamp," this stadium is not as big as a few others on the list, but it makes up for it with some crazy fans.

    There is an intimidation factor here that is one of the best in all of college football.

    It has been around since 1930 and seats just under 89,000 people.

    The Gator fans are loud and some of the most intimidating in the college football.

6. Beaver Stadium: Penn State Nittany Lions

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    With the exception of a night game at LSU, this may be the next best place to take in a game after dark, particularly when a whiteout is involved.

    Next to Michigan Stadium, this is the second-largest stadium in college football with a capacity of more than 106,000 people.

    This stadium is not nearly as old as a lot of the others, having been built in 1960, but it still has plenty of history and tradition.

5. Neyland Stadium: Tennesse Volunteers

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    Neyland Stadium was built in 1921 and is currently the fourth-largest stadium in the nation.

    With a seating capacity of just over 102,000, the stadium boasts an atmosphere that is one of the best in the entire country.

    Fans here sing "Rocky Top," and even though the Vols have not been too good in recent years, this stadium still has a very unique atmosphere.

    The banks of the Tennessee River provide some beauty surrounding the stadium.

4. Ohio Stadium: Ohio State Buckeyes

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    As the third-largest stadium in the country with a seating capacity of over 102,000, this is one of the premier places to watch a college football game.

    There is not much better than "Script Ohio" performed by the marching band at halftime and chants of "O-H-I-O" throughout the game with each side of the stadium taking a letter. 

    Folks who come will enjoy "Carmen Ohio" played after every game. It is the alma mater for Ohio State and the perfect way to cap off a Saturday in Columbus.

3. Bryant-Denny Stadium: Alabama Crimson Tide

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    As one of the five largest stadiums in the country, Bryant-Denny Stadium seats nearly 102,000 crazy Crimson Tide fans.

    That is certainly not a good thing for opposing players. 

    Opened in 1929, and only seating 12,000 at the time, the tailgating here is something fans will love, as it seemingly lasts for miles around the stadium.

    There are plenty of places with an excellent home-field advantage in the SEC, and this is certainly one of them.

2. Michigan Stadium: Michigan Wolverines

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    Michigan Stadium is the largest stadium in all of college football with a seating capacity of nearly 110,000.

    Known rather affectionately by fans as "The Big House," Michigan Stadium opened in 1927 and has continued to grow in size over the years.

    While it may not be quite as loud as a lot of other stadiums on the list, there are plenty of traditions to take in here.

    Fans can clap to "Hail to the Victors" and enjoy the marching band 20 minutes before the game.

    The good thing about "The Big House" is there is not a bad seat in it.

1. Tiger Stadium: LSU Tigers

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    A night game at Tiger stadium might be the best experience in college football.

    Known more commonly as "Death Valley," the stadium was originally built in 1924 and now seats more than 92,000 screaming fans.

    There are many excellent places to enjoy a night game, but none louder than Tiger Stadium.

    It has developed a reputation over the years as being one of the toughest to play in all of college football.