Pac-12 Football 2011: Power Ranking the Conference's Stadiums
Let's settle it.
Which Pac-12 stadium is the best?
Which one combines great amenities, an avid fanbase and beautiful scenery to bring about the ultimate game day experiences?
Look no further.
Forget those massive edifices to the football gods that dot the landscape to the east; these arenas boast traditions and histories all their own, and this list ranks them all, 12-1.
12. Martin Stadium
So the product on the field hasn't been that great lately, but at least the stadium is nice—wait, it's not.
On the positive side, the concessions are reasonable, parking is obtainable and it actually gets a little crisp at times sitting in the icy blasts of wind.
Now, the spirit of the fans is absolutely something to be admired, as they routinely venture out in less-than-ideal elements to see their team lose.
As for the stadium itself, it could use some work.
11. Arizona Stadium
This one is interesting.
While not exactly known as a football mecca, the stadium has a few unique features.
Two dormitories, Pinal and Navajo, are in the south stands, while the music department has a home for its offices under the east stands.
So you can catch those flute lessons, then head out to tailgate, get back to watch the game and never leave your backyard...
10. Rice-Eccles Stadium
Rice-Eccles is not the largest stadium in the conference, but the Utes hope their familiarity with the field provides a home-field advantage in their inaugural Pac-12 season.
The stadium sits at a high elevation, which can make it difficult to breathe, particularly if you have been imbibing and feasting more than is recommended.
The stadium was remodeled in the 1990's and could use a once-over again.
Hopefully the Utes can defend their turf and establish themselves as a Pac-12 force in this stadium...
9. Sun Devil Stadium
Sun Devil Stadium is perched near the only water in three states.
Okay, so it's not quite that barren out in Arizona, but there aren't many rivers flowing through Phoenix and the outlying areas.
The Devils usually have a very active crowd, and the stadium holds around 70,000.
It could use some upgrades, and at times, it can seem too warm to be playing football, but it's definitely a solid place to experience at least one game.
8. California Memorial Stadium
The "Victory Cannon" is awesome, and even though this stadium is still in the middle of renovations, it deserves a spot on the list.
Though finding parking can be a chore, the way this stadium is set up with seats close to the field makes you feel as if you are sitting right on top of the action.
The marching band is one of the best in the country, and the view of San Fransisco Bay is breathtaking.
Now, if the renovations can repair the crumbling mess this place has become, it will be near the top of this list...
7. Reser Stadium
Oregon State has not been that great over the last decade, even with the recent talent of the Rodgers brothers hanging around in recent years.
Reser has great seating and drink-holders (a must for the average football fan), and the fans are pretty avid, especially when they face Oregon in the Civil War.
Corvallis has a great view, so even if the team is not that entertaining, the scenery can keep you entertained.
OSU's black-out can be intimidating, and it's obvious these fans are true fans...
6. Stanford Stadium
Stanford may not have the most rabid fans in the country, but they sure have a great place to be lukewarm.
Stanford Stadium's new renovations have made the place a great facility to visit, specifically when it comes to seating and keeping the overcrowding down.
Wait—did I just use "overcrowding" in reference to Stanford Stadium?
No danger of that here, fans don't ever fill the thing.
Of course, the one big downer is that stupid mascot running around everywhere (come on, it's a tree), but hey, if the team keeps winning, who cares?
5. The Coliseum
The Coliseum undeniably has the best history in the conference.
From USC legends to Olympic games, this stadium has held its fair share memorable events.
The Trojans have enjoyed immense success in the stadium, and it's a beautiful venue at night.
However, it's almost never full, and it needs a makeover.
Right, who would have thought you would see the word "makeover" in a football slideshow?
Parking is tough to come by and can be outrageous to shell out the exorbitant amounts asked for a bottle of water, but hey, what isn't expensive in L.A.?
4. Husky Stadium
Washington has enjoyed moderate success in recent seasons due in large part to the arm of Jake Locker.
Now that Locker is gone, you can be sure the Husky faithful will still pack out the stadium for every game.
The weather is adverse at times, but the view is incredible, and though the facility could use an upgrade, it's still a great place to visit for a game.
Just watch out for the rain, it's really cold.
As for the fans, try anchoring in the lake for a while; it's a cool experience, and the fans are very classy.
3. Folsom Field
When it comes to natural beauty, it's tough to beat Folsom.
This newcomer to the Pac-12 has a ton to offer; rabid fans and the beautiful view of the mountains make for a breathtaking experience.
The tailgating is terrific—not something you would imagine at Colorado, but it's true.
Now, if I can just get Johnny Cash and his "Folsom Prison Blues" out of my head, we could focus on some more stadiums...
2. The Rose Bowl
The Rose Bowl is home to UCLA's football team during the season and hosts the "Grandaddy of Them All," the Rose Bowl, on Jan. 1.
The stadium has been standing since 1922 and has hosted many events, both of national and international interest.
And that's the problem.
Renovations are underway, scheduled to be completed in 2013, and should update this classic.
Points should be given for hosting the Rose Bowl, but it's not enough to move this venerable arena to the top.
Still, nothing quite compares to tailgating at the gold course with that beautiful view of the mountains in the distance.
Bonus points here for the international flare, hosting futbol matches such as the recent CONCACAF Gold Cup.
1. Autzen Stadium
It's modern, it's loud and it's unique.
Autzen is the best the Pac-12 has to offer if you are looking for a wild atmosphere inside the stadium.
The signage leaves a little something to be desired, so you may take a wrong turn and end up in the concessions sellers' locker rooms, but other than that, it's an overall good experience.
While you would think the Ducks' colors spread through the stadium on so large a scale might burn your eyes out of their sockets, it's actually quite an aesthetically pleasing sight.
Sure some other stadiums have more beautiful natural scenery, but none in the conference have quite the feel of Autzen, especially for a night game.