My Top 10 College Football Experiences

Michael BergmanCorrespondent IJuly 29, 2008

Here's a list of 10 things related to college football that I think every big fan should experience.  Now, I haven't experienced them all and they are all my opinion, but it is what it is.  It's kind of a wish list or bucket list if you will.  Also, they are in no particular order.

1. Texas vs. OU—It's an amazing sight to see and one that every fan should witness to truly understand.  Every October fans of one of the most heated rivalries in college football pile into a historic stadium to watch a game that usually has National Title implications.  The Cotton Bowl is split down the 50-yard line with half of the stadium wearing Burnt Orange and half Crimson. 

The game takes place during the Texas State Fair and is surrounded by carnival rides, every kind of fried food you could imagine, car shows, and various other attractions, not to mention Dallas itself and the beautiful skyline.  The game is more than a game on so many levels, it's an event. 

Interesting side note: did you know that the corn dog was invented here? You must get a Fletcher's corn dog if you go to this game.  And because I just gave you the insider info, you have to root for Texas.  Hook 'em!

2. Michigan vs. OSU (The Game)—Hey, it's called The Game, what more motivation do you need?  Two of the most storied programs in history, that just so happen to hate each other (sound familiar?).  Like Texas/OU, there are usually conference if not, National Title implications. 

I hear the passion and hate have to be experienced to believe.  Also if you go to this game, you'll accomplish some another thing on the list by visiting one of the mega stadiums.

3. Visit one, if not all of the Mega Stadiums—In my opinion, the mega stadiums would include all of those with 100,000 capacity or more.  That list includes:


Michigan Stadium



Beaver Stadium

Penn State


Ohio Stadium

Ohio State


Neyland Stadium



I hear all of them are pretty amazing, although apparently the acoustics at Michigan make it not as loud as you would expect.  I would love to add Texas to this list, since they just added on and are almost at 100k, but I'd be breaking the rules. 

But there might not be a nicer stadium considering we have the largest HD screen in the world, and almost a shopping mall underneath the new part of the stadium.  However, I must admit we're not the loudest fans.  Anyway, I digress.

4. Tailgate in the SEC—More specifically, I would suggest going to Ole Miss.  Here they take tailgating to a new level; there's simply nothing like it.  Its SEC insanity mixed with Southern pageantry and charm and then multiplied by 10.  Anyone who would wear slacks and a tie while bbq'ing outside when it's 95 degrees must take this very very seriously.

5. LSU Night Game—Again, I have not actually experienced this but I hear amazing things, and have a trip planned for this year (UGA vs. LSU).  So, I hear there is no crazier scene than a night home game at LSU (although Texas Tech might have something to say). 

By crazy I mean, fear for your life/this guy's in college!?/hey, that's not very lady-like crazy.  The alcohol flows and tempers rage.  From seeing them on TV, they sure are creative with the things they wear.  I can't wait!

6. Rose Bowl—It's the Granddaddy of them all!  This is where everyone would prefer to win the National Championship.  It's California, its tradition, it's Keith Jackson, and it's only recently open to teams outside of the Big Ten/Pac Ten, at least as far as a Bowl Game. 

I mean this place/event is so cool that I actually get excited about watching a parade with floats made of flowers.  My greatest regret in life is that I saw neither of Texas' wins there with Vince's amazing performances.

7. Notre Dame—This is part museum, part religion, part sport, and everything great about college football.  I have a trip planned for this season and I'm stoked, even though I would lean towards dislike with the Irish.  It's not about the team, it's about the tradition.  I mean seriously, football Jesus?  That's taking it to a whole new level.  Don't just see the game, experience Notre Dame.

8. Go to a BCS Bowl—All bowl games are not created equal.  "These ain't no slashies folks, these are the pure breeds."  To playoff or not to playoff, whatever.  These are the most prestigious, most important games of the season and usually pit two great teams against each other usually resulting in a great game.  How can you love CFB and not go to the game's most culminating games?

9. Alabama/Auburn—Another one of CFB's great rivalry games that is fueled by history and hate.  They say that when you step in the state of Alabama you have to choose a side, and it's pretty true.  I don't think they hate each other quite as much as they lead on, but there's definitely quite a bit of it.  Then you think about all the history with Bear, Punt Bama Punt, and all 17 of Auburn's mascots, and you have to go.

10. Florida Road trip—This state is chalk full of football talent, and its college football teams definitely demonstrate that.  You have probably three of the 10 most successful programs of the last 25 years all in one state with FSU, Florida, and Miami.  There's a unique inter-state triangle kind of rivalry thing going on that's just delicious. 

Now you add in the USF success and the UCF, FAU, FIU respectability and it's one powerful state.  While you're there, check out some high school football.  It's no Texas, but it's hard core.

Honorable mention:

Texas A&M home games when they care—It's sort of like combining the loudness/passion of LSU with the tradition of ND, but not quite as great and way more cultish.  Go to a Texas/Texas A&M game there, it's cool.

Oregon—The NFL does college, plus their stadium is super loud.

USC/ND—Pretty cool rivalry, but I kind of mentioned them previously with the Rose Bowl and just going to ND. 

Florida/UGA—Neutral site border war rivalry games are extremely cool, and they definitely hate each other.  Combine that with the SEC tailgating tradition and you've got the World's Largest Co... oh, they changed the name, you're off the list.

Nebraska—You need a super cold game where everyone is obsessed with the team and cooks large amounts of meat (You could also substitute a Wisconsin game).  Nebraska gets the edge because they have more history and the fans are some of the nicest in sports

Boise State—The blue field is pretty cool.  Mainly I just want to see a bird fly into it.

Colorado—Great scenery and the coolest live mascot in CFB, gotta go!  Air Force is also an option.

Army/Navy—Sorry, I'm too young to get it, but I put it here out of respect.  Plus you might get to see the president, which is usually a cool thing but maybe not for some of you.

Any you guys would add?  Comments please!


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