How great is college football? There is nothing better than making a road trip and traveling to a big-time college football game. Having traveled to a lot of these major stadiums, I decided just for fun to come up with a list for 2009 of College Football Stadium Superlatives.
Best Tailgating Scene
LSU's Tiger Stadium: The scene in Baton Rouge brings eating to another level. Most of the games here are held at night, giving you a longer tailgating time.
Ole Miss' Vaught-Hemingway Stadium: The Grove is just a legendary tailgating area.
Best Pre-Game Scene
Tennessee's Neyland Stadium: You'll be humming Rocky Top for Days after your visit to Knoxville. You can arrive via boat, sip Tennessee whiskey, and enjoy great BBQ.
Ohio State's Ohio Stadium: The Best Damn Band in the land dotting the i in the Script Ohio.
Best Big Game Stadium
Penn State's Beaver Stadium: "The greatest show in college football" is home to the best student section, largest stadium, and everyone wears white for the night games.
Nebraska's Memorial Stadium: The Cornhuskers have some of the best fans both in intensity and in class. The sea of red just looks awesome.
For the History Buff
USC's LA Memorial Coliseum: USC has had seven national championships and seven Heisman Trophy winners whom have played at this fabled stadium. But holding the Olympics here twice makes this place extra special.
Notre Dame Stadium: A close second place. Golden Dome, Touchdown Jesus, and Rudy—it's all here.
Small(er) Stadiums, Big Fun
Oregon's Autzen Stadium: This place only seats 54,000 but gets very, very loud. Nike has dumped a ton of coin into the facilities, and it shows.
Army's Michie Stadium: The 40,000-seater is perhaps the most beautiful in all of college football.
Michigan Stadium: The Big House just does not generate a lot of noise. Cramped seats and poor accessibility also factor into this rating. Things are changing as Michigan Stadium continues to undergo renovations.
USC's LA Memorial Coliseum: It's historic...which means that it's really old. The Coliseum is just not on the same level as the other elite college football programs' stadiums.
South Carolina's Williams-Brice Stadium: Seating over 80,000, this loud stadium is often forgotten when people talk about the great stadiums of the SEC.
Oklahoma's Memorial Stadium: Oklahoma just straight dominates visitors at Owen Field, and recent renovations have really improved this stadium.
Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium: When you go from the god-awful Metrodome to a beautiful outdoor facility, then you automatically win most improved.
Texas Memorial Stadium: Now seats over 100,000 and features one of the largest video scoreboards in the country, "Godzillatron."
Best Home Field Advantage
Alabama's Bryant-Denny Stadium: Just try playing here in the heat. The scorching temperature does not seem to tame Alabama fans' enthusiasm, either.
Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium: Think of 80,000 people who are really intoxicated and curse in unison.
Best Use of Psychological Warfare
Boise State's Bronco Stadium: That blue smurf turf...it's hard to watch on TV, and the color matches Boise State's uniforms.
Iowa's Kinnick Stadium: The pink away locker room—there is just something completely wrong with that.
Florida's Ben Hill Griffin Stadium: Noise just doesn't leave The Swamp. The upper decks are steep and seemingly on top of the field.
Virgina Tech's Lane Stadium: The Hokies have a very passionate and rather young fanbase.
Please Do Better
Miami's Land Shark Stadium: A once elite program now plays their home games far away from their campus in another team's stadium—terrible. Land Shark Stadium just is not a good fit for the U.
Pittsburgh's Heinz Field: Do people in Pittsburgh even realize that the Panthers play at Heinz Field?
I am sure there is going to be some disagreement, as there always is with these sorts of lists, but that is part of the fun. Let me know what I am missing out on or where I am misinformed.
If you enjoyed this article, please check out my sports travel site The Crosshair Guide.