1. Beaver Stadium (Penn State)
It’s not beautifully put together like most stadiums, but boy, when the student sections all dressed in white at a night game, there is no better - or louder - place in the world. In fact, it’s VERY loud. So loud, in fact, that the noise in the Ohio State game in 2005 was noisier than a jet plane engine. Troy Smith certainly found it hard work….
WHEN YOU MUST GO: When Penn State administrators have called a “White Out”, where the students dress in the purest color. Or if you’re playing Notre Dame (well, in the case of 2007, anyway), the whole place gets dressed up.
2. Tiger Stadium (LSU)
Mainly it’s due to a request from a friend of mine, but it’s on my “Bucket List” of places to go before I die – a night game at Tiger Stadium. Maybe it’s tradition, maybe it’s the heat, but Tiger Stadium is hellish noisy. In a game in the 80s the crowd was so loud when LSU beat Auburn, that the noise recorded was louder than an earthquake. And the smell of bourbon is overpowering, too.
WHEN YOU MUST GO: Alabama. Former LSU great and current ‘Bama coach Nick Saban’s going to be there for a while – well, until a bigger job offer comes up – comes into town this year, and if you think Tiger Stadium’s ordinarily hostile, then it’ll get worse when the Rammer Jammer train pulls into town.
3. Sanford Stadium (Georgia)
It might not be the SEC’s loudest stadium, but by God, it’s the most pretty. The hedges on the sidelines are almost as pretty as the co-eds in the stands, and the tailgate on the North Lawn in between the school building is a MUST. And with Georgia as this year’s #1, it’s going to be loud this year, too.
WHEN YOU MUST GO: Auburn. A Georgia vs Auburn game is an incredible experience. Great football, great atmosphere, and sororities out-competing each other for beauty.
4. Notre Dame Stadium (Notre Dame)
Hate the team, love the history. Someone once said: “Notre Dame’s football and religion rolled into one”. And with Jesus watching over Notre Dame’s many sins on the field, you couldn’t be more correct. Oh, and the Irish have also stolen the march on people doing press-ups on their fellow students’ hands when Notre Dame score. Not much last year, then…..
WHEN YOU MUST GO: Anytime’s nice. After all, you can go from Mass to football in a single day.
5. Kyle Field (Texas A&M)
Where else would the question “Hi, do you want to go and yell practice songs on Friday before making out during the game and swaying a lot?” seem normal? Kyle Field, that’s where. Never has such a so-so team made college football watchable.
WHEN YOU MUST GO: Texas. Pure hatred in the Bible belt. But then again, who cares about Christ in Texas when the Longhorns and Aggies are playing?
6. Neyland Stadium (Tennessee)
The orange and white chequered endzone. The Vol walk. The Vol Navy. The running through the T. Rocky Top. 100,000 lunatics wearing bright orange. Neyland Stadium’s a blast.
WHEN YOU MUST GO: Florida. It’s always a good game, and the UT fans haven’t forgiven Florida for always beating Peyton Manning.
7. The Horsehoe (Ohio State)
Tradition’s not been a problem in Buckeyeland. Woody Hayes was one hell of a coach in the old era, and it could be argued that Jim Tressel is better in the modern era. With 100,000 fans in red bearing over you, it’s not only intimidating for away players, but away fans hate it, too.
WHEN YOU MUST GO: Michigan. Usually, that game sees the Big Ten Championship on the line.
8. The Big House (Michigan)
Still ridiculed as the place that houses the “110,000 of the quietest fans in the country”, the University of Michigan has a storied tradition of winning. I love the brickwork that separates fans from the field – even if I dislike the team.
WHEN YOU MUST GO: Ohio State. Screw Georgia vs Georgia Tech – THIS is good old fashioned hate.
9. Sun Devil Stadium (Arizona State)
Having hit up the place a number of times, the View From North America can safely say that Sun Devil Stadium is a fantastic place to go. Sure, it’s not the most wonderful place to watch a game, but there’s not a bad view in the house. Oh, and for all you sports fans, make sure you bring binoculars - it helps when you want to have a peak at the student section. Remember: Arizona State’s won Playboy’s top party school title in 2002, and ASU women (and guys!) aren’t about to try and lose that reputation.
WHEN YOU MUST GO: USC. I’ve been to two of these games, and they don’t like each other. Best sign: “If California’s so great then why don’t you go back there?”
10. Autzen Stadium (Oregon)
Ducks. Nike. Overpowering noise. Autzen Stadium is one of THE noisiest places in the country – and has one of the most fun offences, too. Oregon recruits love the facilities, and the team’s going to be pretty good, too.
WHEN YOU MUST GO: Oregon State. Dislike in the ‘Civil War’ is rampant – who says that Northwesterners are just a bunch of pot-smoking hippies?