The Ten Toughest Places to Play in College Football

Matthew SmithCorrespondent IAugust 4, 2008

Here is my list for the 10 toughest places to play in college football.  I've tried to visit most of these places but have not gotten to all of them.  Here it goes.


10. Sanford Stadium (Georgia)

I've been to a game up at Sanford, and I couldn't imagine what a player must be going through while playing "between the hedges."  The fans are loud but are pretty nice overall.  Good way to start.


9. Autzen Stadium (Oregon)

For a place that only seats 59,000, it sure seems like a lot more from what I've heard.  I've never actually been to a game there, but I know people who have, and they said it sounds like a lot more people than it actually is.


8. Michigan Stadium—"The Big House" (Michigan)

100,000-plus screaming fans on game day are loud.  The fans are passionate but not crazy like other schools I've been to.  They come in at No. 8 for that reason—what makes a place tough to play is the fans.


7. Lane Stadium (Virginia Tech)

The fans here are right on top of the action, which makes it one of the loudest places I've ever been to.  It is so low on the list because it seats a lot fewer than the stadiums ahead of it.


6. Ohio Stadium—"The Horseshoe" (Ohio State)

OK, so I've never been to a game here, but I've heard good things about games played here, and it is tough to beat the script OHIO at the start of each game.  But as you'll see, the top five gets even better


5. Kyle Field (Texas A&M)

Not the loudest place I've ever been to, but the 12th man is a formidable opponent for any team.  They are constant, and they never give up.  The 12th man gives this place a spot in the top five.


4. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium—"The Swamp" (Florida)

Florida has some of the best fans in the country, and playing a game there is tough even once, much less having to do it every other year like some SEC schools.  The Swamp has given the Gators the second-best winning percentage at home since 1990.  The place is loud, and fans will harass you.


3. Beaver Stadium (Penn State)

"The best student section in the land" - Kirk Herbstreit (OSU vs. PSU).  While that is debatable, there is no doubt that the tradition and passion of PSU football gives it a spot in the top three.  Whether it be Joe Pa or a whiteout, you can see some serious passion here.


2. Neyland Stadium (Tennessee)

It was tough to decide between the top two schools because Tennessee has a great program, and 100,000-plus fans doesn't hurt.  They seem to always be into the game no matter the score, and just the design of the stadium can be very intimidating.


1. Tiger Stadium—"Death Valley" (LSU)

If you didn't guess this by the picture at the top, now I'm telling you.  The Tigers have some of the craziest and most passionate fans in all of college football.  Trying to play in Tiger Stadium at night with 92,000-plus fans around you must be one of the toughest things a college athlete may do.  Not to mention the craziness that comes out as the Golden Band from Tigerland blasts out those first four notes for pregame.