College Football 2013: Power Ranking the Week 3 Tailgating Sites

Sebastian Lena@SP7988Analyst ISeptember 11, 2013

College Football 2013: Power Ranking the Week 3 Tailgating Sites

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    There’s nothing that can match the satisfaction of a great pregame tailgate.

    Whether it’s the food, drinks or games that draw you in, the experience itself will keep you coming back. Every week, colleges across the nation are filled with tailgaters.

    Here are the best locations for Week 3.

10. Ann Arbor

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    What: Akron (1-1) at No. 11 Michigan (2-0)

    When: Saturday, Sept. 14, 12:00 p.m. ET


    The Lowdown

    OK, the Zips aren’t exactly the Ohio team that gets Wolverines fans riled up on gameday. With an offense that ranks 90th in points (21 PPG), 83rd in passing (201.5 YPG) and 101st in rushing (101.5 YPG), I’m not sure Akron fans get riled up by the team, either.

    But that’s not why the Big House will be rocking on Saturday.

    Michigan will enter the game as the No. 11 team in the nation. That’s the highest ranking the school has brought into a home game since 2006—the year the Wolverines started 11-0.

    Walking down Hoover Street and Greene Street, it will essentially be a sea of maize and blue supporters. All ready to have a good time.

    Tailgaters will treat themselves to a spread of meat and potatoes Midwestern-style. Hot dogs, hamburgers and brats are among the most popular grub.

    Frat row tends to generate a lot of buzz. However, unless you prefer cheap and warm beer, it’s best to stay away.

    South University Avenue and Main Street are the places to be, with tons of pubs and sports bars lining the street.

9. Sun Devil Stadium

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    What: No. 20 Wisconsin (2-0) at Arizona State (1-0)

    When: Saturday, Sept. 14, 10:30 p.m. ET


    The Lowdown

    Neither team has allowed its opponents to score a single point. That will change one way or another on Saturday.

    If it’s the Sun Devils who strike first, expect the stadium to erupt.

    Arizona State is more typically known for its partying. The school has been named among the top schools for partying by media outlets such as the Princeton Review and Playboy Magazine in recent years.

    So you know these fans must be able to throw a mean tailgate.

    From freestyling with security guards to old men shaking their tail feathers (Beware: NSFW language), Sun Devil fans let it all out. That energy should only magnify when a ranked opponent comes into town.

    If that isn’t enough, the local police even instituted new rules for tailgating prior to the season.

8. Black Knights Alley

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    What: No. 5 Stanford (1-0) at Army (1-1)

    When: Saturday, Sept. 14, 12:00 p.m. ET


    The Lowdown

    Michie Stadium hasn’t played host to a Top Five team in quite some time. In fact, it’s been over five decades.

    But on that day, Oct. 13, 1962, the Black Knights stunned No. 3 Penn State.

    While that’s sure to have the crowd buzzing on Saturday, let’s be honest: Army has no shot at upsetting the Cardinal. The team would be lucky to come within two touchdowns at the final whistle.

    But that shouldn’t stop the tailgaters from having one heck of a time.

    Overlooking the Hudson River, it’s hard not to admire the location of the United States Military Academy at West Point. It also makes tailgating all the more unique.

    At Black Knights Alley, fans will have the opportunity to receive autographs and take photos with the school’s players. Aside from interactive sports challenges, tailgaters can enjoy cotton candy, shaved ice and kettle corn from vendors.

    It’s not your typical tailgating experience. But then again, West Point is not your typical college campus.

7. Nittanyville

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    What: UCF (2-0) at Penn State (2-0)

    When: Saturday, Sept. 14, 6:00 p.m. ET


    The Lowdown

    The Nittany Lions will have their hands full when the upstart Knights come to town. That’s only more reason for the fans to show up at Beaver Stadium in flocks.

    Before every game, students will rush to the student entry gate to try and ensure great seats. But it’s not a matter of how many hours prior to the game one must show up…it’s days.

    Students will literally set up tents days in advance. The school’s band will frequently make appearances, keeping the students entertained.

    But if that’s not your thing, or you’re unfortunately not a student, there are plenty of other options to get your tailgate on.

    Harrison's, located on East College Avenue, offers call-ahead ordering for tailgate platters. Another restaurant on the same street, Damon's Grill, cooks up delicious ribs, pulled pork and other favorites.

    No matter what you’re looking for, you’re certain to find it at Penn State.


6. Autzen Stadium

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    What: Tennessee (2-0) at No. 2 Oregon (2-0)

    When: Thursday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m. ET


    The Lowdown

    If their unique jerseys didn’t hint at it, the Ducks certainly know how to tailgate. With a surprisingly decent Volunteers squad coming into town, the buzz will only grow.

    Parking is hard to come by at the stadium, but there are parking lots that are still generally close by. These are typically filled very quickly.

    Footballs, Frisbees and even Kan Jam games break out among the tailgaters. They only stop to enjoy some refreshments and food.

    Hamburgers, wings and brats are among some of the local favorites. As expected, bringing duck to the party could wind up landing you a lifetime ban from the stadium.

    All in all, it’s always a great time cheering on a football program that is normally always at the top of the rankings.

5. Tom Osborne Field

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    What: No. 16 UCLA (1-0) at No. 23 Nebraska (2-0)

    When: Saturday, Sept. 14, 12:00 p.m. ET


    The Lowdown

    The Bruins put a damper on the Cornhusker's season last year, winning the teams’ Week 2 matchup 36-30. Nebraska looks to return the favor in front of its home crowd.

    Expect nothing less than an electric atmosphere at Lincoln on Saturday.

    On game day, Memorial Stadium holds up to 86,000 people. That makes it the third-largest populated area in the state.

    Tailgaters can expect to chew on a lot of Mexican beef, hamburgers and hot dogs. For drinks, Busch Light is a popular choice. But given the early start time, Bloody Mary’s and red beers (tomato juice plus beer) are also favorites.

    If the bar scene is more your thing, make sure to check out “O” Street and the Haymarket District. But plan to arrive early because there’s not an empty seat in the house—let alone standing area—by the opening coin toss.

    Football is all that matters on Saturdays. That’s a fact visitors tend to find out right off the bat.

4. Commonwealth Stadium

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    What: No. 7 Louisville (2-0) at Kentucky (1-1)

    When: Saturday, Sept. 14, 12:00 p.m. ET


    The Lowdown

    Being fierce rivals on the basketball court doesn’t stop Cardinals fans and Wildcats fans from duking it out during football games. It only helps that the hated-Louisville squad brings in an undefeated record, a Heisman Trophy-hopeful and a Top-10 record.

    As Kentucky is known for its great-tasting barbeque, tailgaters should expect to introduce their taste buds to experiences unlike anywhere else.

    Sausages and hot dogs will always be mainstays. But the main attraction is the burgoo.

    What is burgoo you ask? You might not want to know.

    A stew with a spicy kick, burgoo was originally served with squirrel, opossum or any kind of meat. More recently, they’ve upgraded to using pork and other types of local barbeque.

    When it comes to drinking, Wildcats fans stick with Kentucky’s proud bourbon-making heritage. Wild Turkey whiskey is popular, with even mint juleps making an appearance.

3. Raidergate

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    What: No. 24 TCU (1-1) at Texas Tech (2-0)

    When: Thursday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m. ET


    The Lowdown

    Games at Lubbock were already pretty wild as it is. But a Thursday night game against a ranked opponent?

    Things are about to reach another level.

    Thanks to the student government, Red Raiders fans have an area where they can tailgate. The area is known as Raidergate.

    With a live band and music, it’s a safe place for all to come, eat and gather with friends before the game. It also has an area for fans to park their cars and is a short distance to the stadium.

    Expect the regular hot dogs, hamburgers and sausages for food. But there are many fans who come with cartons of wings to distribute to the masses.

    All in all, it’s generally an electric atmosphere.

2. Memorial Stadium

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    What: No. 4 Ohio State (2-0) at California (1-1)

    When: Saturday, Sept. 14, 7:00 p.m. ET


    The Lowdown

    It’s been a while since the Golden Bears were relevant. But that won’t stop the fans at Memorial Stadium from going ballistic when the No. 4 Buckeyes come into town.

    Unlike most other schools, it is near impossible to tailgate near the stadium at California. However, with the stadium nestled in the middle of Berkeley, there are plenty of other options.

    Game day usually begins with a trip to Telegraph to grab a top dog. There’s nothing quite like it to get you ready for the day.

    That’s usually followed with a walk through the campus, where the band can be heard. They also hold a pregame concert an hour and a half before game time at Sproul Plaza.

    There’s not a better feeling than marching towards the stadium with a crowd of fans draped in gold. But if you make the mistake of wearing red, then let’s hope you said your goodbyes to your loved ones and friends.

1. Kyle Field

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    What: No. 1 Alabama (1-0) at No. 6 Texas A&M (2-0)

    When: Saturday, Sept. 14, 3:30 p.m. ET


    The Lowdown

    After last year’s epic showdown, the Aggies and Crimson Tide will be looking to put together an even better sequel. The 12th Man will look to have a starring role in the plot.

    Normally, the tailgating atmosphere here is great. But with the No. 1 team in the nation coming in, expect things to get even crazier.

    Spence Park is the area to be for tailgating.

    To ensure you get your spot, fans start camping out in their tents Friday night. It’s a great place to enjoy food and cold beverages with friends. Plus, there is plenty of space to toss around a Frisbee or football.

    As far as drinks, Texas A&M fans stick to the beer. But drinks such as the Hard Texas A&M Howdy have been popping up more and more over the years.

    As for food, you can expect burgers, hot dogs and wings. More specifically, the 12th Man wings which have a intense kick to them.

    It may not be the best tailgate spot in the SEC yet, but during this weekend, it’s the best spot in the country.


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