2010 College Football Preseason Rankings: The Top 25 Tailgates

Elliott Pohnl@@ElliottPohnl_BRFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2010

2010 College Football Preseason Rankings: The Top 25 Tailgates

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    Getting up early is one of the more unfortunate daily realities. For most of the year, there is nothing better than having the opportunity to sleep in.

    But on one day a week each fall, that all changes.

    Saturday morning presents the opportunity to usher in the new day with a cold beer, some brats, and plenty of optimism.

    The anticipation of another entertaining battle on the gridiron and plenty of fun at the tailgates is enough to lure eight-year seniors out of bed.

    Here's a look at 25 of the best tailgates throughout college football.

No. 25: Michigan

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    Michigan sneaks into the top 25 for its pre and postgame activities.

    A mass of humanity descends onto the corner of Main Street and Stadium Boulevard on Saturdays, warming up those cold, cloudy Saturday mornings with brats and beer.

    The multi-million dollar improvement project to Michigan Stadium should allow the noise to carry over from the Purple Lot into the stadium itself.

No. 24: Colorado

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    Boulder is absolutely beautiful in the fall, and until recently, the football team was also a joy to watch.

    If all else fails, fans can simply skip the game and enjoy beer and brats in the picturesque setting in the shadow of the Rockies.

No. 23: Notre Dame

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    Notre Dame is certainly a bit of an unusual tailgating location, with rich alums gathered in parking lots around the stadium discussing how Tyrone Willingham destroyed the program.

    Aside from that annoying fact, the students really know how to party. After a week of classes and dorm life, the party moves off campus before gathering at Notre Dame Stadium.

No. 22: Oklahoma

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    Texas might get the most love of any Big 12 school when it comes to tailgating, but Oklahoma is no slouch.

    Most of the fun in Sooner Land happens on Lindsey and Jenkins Streets. If you're in the neighborhood and willing to brave the crowds, be sure to check out Campus Corner.

No. 21: Arkansas

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    The first of many SEC schools to make the list.

    Aside from the magical "Woooo—Pig Sooooie" chant that can be heard echoing throughout Fayetteville on game day, the fun and food makes for a delightful experience.

No. 20: Army

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    A pastoral setting gives way to madness on Saturdays, when anything goes for the Cadets.

    Army hasn't enjoyed much success on the gridiron in recent years, but that hasn't tempered enthusiasm one bit.

No. 19: The Rose Bowl

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    There is nothing like waking up early on New Year's Day and stepping outside into beautiful 50-degree weather at 7 A.M. to get ready for the Granddaddy of Them All.

    The beautiful setting provides plenty of opportunities for revelry and relaxation.

No. 18: The Red River Shootout

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    In the shadow of the Texas Fairgrounds, some of the best talent on the football field—and off of it—gather together every year for a showdown.

    Fans from both Oklahoma and Texas enjoy the warm sun and plenty of food and beverage. And one hell of a football game.

No. 17 South Carolina

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    They do things better in the south, and the fun starts early in Columbia.

    Whether it's spending some extra cash in the Cockaboose and playing bags at the Fairground lots, Gamecock fans certainly know how to party.

No. 16: Penn State

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    Happy Valley is one of the coolest spots to watch a college football game, and that includes the tailgating.

    Just be sure to finish your drinks before kickoff: Drinking after kickoff is against the law.

No. 15: Iowa

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    Who wants to see 50 year-old grown men act like 20-year-old frat boys?

    Aside from that unfortunate reality, game day in Iowa City is a blast.

    Whether it's chowing down on a giant Turkey League on Melrose and hanging out at the Magic Bus, Hawkeye games are a real party.

No. 14: Texas

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    The parking lots around Texas Memorial Stadium are flooded by a sea of orange on Saturdays in the fall.

    A tradition of success in athletics certainly carries over to the party scene in Austin.


No. 13: Ohio State

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    Columbus is a blast on game day as long as you are cheering for Ohio State.

    Ohio State's huge student body takes a break from studying to start partying in the wee hours of Saturday.

No. 12: West Virginia

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    Life in Morgantown contains plenty of time for rest and relaxation.

    Mountaineer students aren't afraid to let their feelings be known by burning furniture or taunting opposing fans and players.

    The festive atmosphere of game day is absolutely a joy to behold.

No. 11: Alabama

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    One of the most storied programs in college football should be host to plenty of fun this fall.

    Proud 'Bama alum mix and mingle with the younger generation and unite to make Bryant-Denny one of the most intimidating venues in the SEC.

No. 10: Georgia

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    Quiet Athens erupts on Saturdays, when fans gather at various locations near Sanford to prepare for game day.

    The coolest tailgate location is across the street at Oconee Hill Cemetery.

No. 9: Washington

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    Want to beat traffic on game day? Just take to the water.

    Thousands of fans gather on Lake Washington before watching their Huskies take the field in what amounts to a massive floating party.

No. 8: Clemson

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    Clemson fans are simply rabid.

    The outpouring of passion is reflected in the tailgating, when the entire town comes to a halt to party.

No. 7 Wisconsin

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    Much like Ohio State, Wisconsin is a great place to tailgate, as long as you're cheering for the Badgers.

    The rage at Wisconsin is house parties, especially in the off-campus housing along Dayton Street.

No. 6: Texas A&M

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    Texas A&M is home to the Midnight Yell, a pregame warm-up for fans that ends with a kiss for all in attendance. It's one of the coolest traditions around.

    On game day, the 12th men and women make College Station rock. After the game, there are plenty of bars nearby to finish out the night.

No. 5 Florida

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    Gainesville is home to some of the most beautiful women in the world. That might be a stretch, but there is certainly plenty of talent on hand.

    The school's tailgating tradition is highlighted by the Gator Growl, the largest student run tailgate celebration in college football.

No. 4: Ole Miss

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    Regardless of the caliber of the team on the field, the party off the field rages on.

    Ole Miss fans enjoy the festivities on a beautiful open area right in the middle of campus before piling in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

No. 3: LSU

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    Food, fun, and plenty of beverages to go around.

    Tailgates in Baton Rouge are famous for great BBQ and Cajun delights. With the majority of LSU home games starting in the evening, the scene is chaotic by kickoff.

No. 2: Tennessee

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    Knoxville is a beautiful setting featuring plenty of storied traditions.

    Everyone gets involved in the fun, which culminates with the famous "Vol Walk" as the players enter the stadium.

No. 1: The World's Largest Cocktail Party

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    Was there any doubt?

    More than 500,000 people gather annually in Jacksonville to celebrate one of the best rivalries in college football.

    There is no question that attending this spectacular bash should be very high on sports fans' bucket lists.