50 College Football Teams, Stadiums, Players, Tailgates You Need to See in 2011
Another week has come and gone which only means one thing: we are one week closer to starting the college football season.
As the season gets ready to kick off, there are players, teams, stadiums, and tailgates that all college football fans should put on their checklists of things they need to see this year.
Here is a list of 50 that all fans should be looking to check out in 2011.
When the 2010 season ended, many believe that Andrew Luck would head to the NFL and become the first overall pick of the draft.
Instead of making the move, Luck returned to school for another year and will be hard for defenses to stop. His ability to read the defense and outstanding skills make him a must see player in 2011.
The Oregon Offense
Last year, the Oregon offense scored with such speed that if you got up to go to the bathroom, you ran the chance of missing a touchdown.
With the 2011 season approaching, many of the Oregon players have commented on how they are working on getting faster which is something that you will have to see to believe.
Death Valley at Night
One place that every college football fan should visit before they die is Death Valley and if you are going to go, seeing a night game is a must.
The LSU fans are known for giving their team an incredible homefield advantage and when the Tigers play at night, they are virtually unstoppable.
For the first time in Mack Brown's coaching career at Texas, the Longhorns suffered a losing season.
As the 2011 begins, Texas will look to make a statement that will show people that it was a one year occurrence. No statement would be heard louder then a victory over Oklahoma.
The Big 12 is full of talented wide receivers, but none are better then Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon.
Blackmon had an outstanding year in 2010 and has Cowboy fans thinking bigger then just a conference championship this year.
Opening Week in South Bend
When a new season begins in South Bend, the Fighting Irish fans do a nice job of getting themselves fired up and set the bar high for their football program.
Like most years, the Irish fans are ready to go and believe that this could be the year that Notre Dame returns to glory.
South Carolina has high expectations entering 2011, and most of them stem from the offensive talent on this team.
With Marcus Lattimore running the ball and a wide receiver target like Alshon Jeffery, Stephen Garcia has the pieces around him as long as he can show some consistency.
Vontaze Burfict is an impact player on defense and is one of the best in the Pac-12.
While Burfict has the ability to step up in both the run and pass game, his off the field and after the whistle antics tend to get him in trouble.
Michigan Stadium is one of the largest stadiums in the world and is something to experience. While it is not one of the louder stadiums you can find, being surrounded by over 100,000 fans is an extremely unique experience.
Tailgating at Georgia
When you get laws changed based on how you tailgate, you are a must see stop.
Penn State fans have tailgated and partied hard enough that they have outlawed the ability to drink alcohol outside of the stadium during the game.
Be Part of the 12th Man at Texas A&M
Texas A&M has been home to the 12th man, and it was one of the best sights in football.
Being part of a big game at Texas A&M and seeing their crowd should be something on every football fan's bucket list.
Coming into 2011, there will be a lot of intrigue around TCU.
After this season, the Horned Frogs will be moving to the Big East. They will be playing Boise State in conference this season, and they will be adjusting to not having Andy Dalton at quarterback.
Should be an interesting season for TCU.
John Brantley struggled at times last year for Florida, and it led to a down year for the Gators as a whole.
In 2011, Brantley will be learning from new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, and it should be interesting to see how he can develop in 2011.
After making the choice to leave NC State, Russell Wilson finally landed in Wisconsin and has raised the expectations for the Badgers' season.
With his ability to create in the passing and running game, Wilson could be one of the top offensive talents in the Big 10.
In 2010, the Auburn Tigers finished off a dream season with a national championship victory over Oregon.
During the offseason, Auburn lost their best offensive and defensive players in Cam Newton and Nick Fairley.
It will be interesting to see how the Tigers can move through 2011 without them.
After sharing carries for the past two seasons, Trent Richardson is being given his opportunity to be the main back in the Alabama backfield.
In 2011, the Tide will be starting a new quarterback, so we will quickly find out if Richardson can handle the increased load.
With the recent news surrounding Texas A&M and their possible move to the SEC, they have caught everyone's attention coming into 2011.
It will be interesting to keep an eye on the program as the news around the move progresses.
Autzen Stadium is an incredibly hard place to play and is one of the top places in college football along with Death Valley.
The crowd at Autzen is ruthless and knows exactly when and when not to make noise throughout the game.
Any college fan would enjoy this experience as long as your team was not playing the Ducks.
With the loss of Cam Newton, defenses will shift their attention to Michael Dyer, who will be entering his second year at Auburn.
While much of the attention was on Marcus Lattimore last year, Dyer will continue to make a name for himself in 2011.
Whiteout at Penn State
One of the best sights in college football is when Penn State does a whiteout.
While other schools attempt to do such events with their school's colors, no program does a better job then Penn State.
Utah and Colorado
With the new season right around the corner, the Pac-10 conference has turned into the Pac-12 and is entering a new chapter of the conference's history.
The conference has now expanded to include Colorado and Utah, and we will see how well the programs are able to adjust to the style of play.
Tailgate in Tennessee
When you tailgate for a Tennessee game. you are getting the best out of a lot of worlds. They have the combination of amazing food, passionate fans, and the ability to show up by water or land.
In the city of Columbus, sports fans have one thing on their mind throughout the year, Ohio State football. When the calender brings the fall months, 102,000 fans come to the "Horseshoe" and create one of the loudest environments in the nation.
With the recent addition Ohio State made to the stadium, things have only continued to get louder and more difficult for opposing teams.
Not only did Arkansas end up losing Ryan Mallett from their backfield, but now a summer injury has taken Knile Davis out of the lineup for the year.
Going into the 2011 season, Arkansas will lean on new quarterback Tyler Wilson to get up to speed quickly.
With the addition of Charlie Weis as the offensive coordinator, Florida fans are hoping that the offense can hit their stride in 2011 and get back to competing for the SEC title.
If Weis can help John Brantley get control of this offense, the Gators will be in store for a great 2011 season.
While many recognize the home of LSU as Death Valley, Memorial Stadium has also been known as Death Valley. Memorial Stadium sits in a valley, and the surrounding crowd and noise level feels like it is right on top of you all game long.
Seeing the Tigers run down the hill is another unique experience that helps make this a must see stadium.
Early in 2010, Denard Robinson was dynamite every time he touched the ball. Robinson had the ability to scramble out of trouble and turn what looked like nothing into a 60 yard touchdown run.
As the season went on, teams decided to make Robinson beat him with his arm and found success with that strategy. It will be interesting to see if Robinson has an answer for that in 2011.
Boise State may be looking at a final push this year as Kellen Moore will graduate at the end of the season. While it will not mark the end for them, it is one of their best opportunities to go undefeated and get into the national championship.
Travis Lewis was preparing for his last season at Oklahoma, but early in summer camp he suffered an injury that will cause him to miss around six weeks of his senior season.
While the injury will still allow him to contribute to the Oklahoma defense down the stretch, they will still miss him in a game against Florida State.
Last year, Marcus Lattimore had an incredible first year with South Carolina and is eying up an even better sophomore season.
Along with Stephen Garcia and Alshon Jeffery, Lattimore will help the Gamecocks put up some big point totals in 2011.
Doak Campbell Stadium
What do you get when you combine great tailgating, a good party town, and one of the better programs in the ACC? You get 83,000 fans packing the stands of Doak Campbell Stadium to cheer on the Seminoles.
Visiting Doak Campbell Stadium would be a memorable time for any football fan.
LaMichael James will be entering his junior season and has some school and NCAA records in his sights.
Since taking over in the Oregon running game two years ago, James has been unbelievable and has been difficult for defenses to slow down.
Fans should find some time to watch James this year, as he will likely bypass his senior season in favor of the NFL.
With the announcement that Michael Floyd has been reinstated on the Notre Dame squad, Floyd will get back on the field as one of the nation's top targets.
In 2010, he hauled in 12 touchdowns and is a constant home run threat whenever he is on the field.
If Floyd stays out of trouble, he will be a key to the Notre Dame season.
Bryant–Denny Stadium is another stadium in the SEC that has become a destination for college football fans to visit.
With the recent success of the program and the direction that Nick Saban has them continuing in, Crimson Tide fans are louder then ever.
Ryan Broyles had an outstanding 2010 and appears to be ready for an even better 2011.
With Landry Jones throwing the ball his way, Broyles will get a ton of looks and have every opportunity to be the top receiver, not only in the conference but in the country.
Tailgating at LSU
When traveling down to catch a game at LSU, one must check out the tailgating scene.
On most Saturdays, fans have all day to tailgate and take advantage of that. From southern grilling to Cajun treats, LSU fans have it all.
Alshon Jeffery had an outstanding year in 2010 but may have gone partly unnoticed due to other major receivers in the conference.
In 2010, Jefferey averaged more than 100 yards receiving, and with defenses having to worry about running back Marcus Lattimore, Jeffery should see some great opportunities to put up even bigger numbers in 2011.
The title of loudest stadium in the ACC goes to Virginia Tech's Lane Stadium. Located in Blacksurg, Lane Stadium has a very quiet surrounding but inside those doors, more then 66,000 Hokie fans are ready to send other teams running.
This is definitely a place that college football fans should visit.
After the performance that the Big East turned in last year, many have questioned the idea of an automatic BCS bid going to certain conferences.
This year, West Virginia is hoping to show that not only are they the class of the conference but will be able to take on all challengers. If they are unable to do so, the Big East will face even more criticism this year.
It is hard to say that the sanctions that were placed on USC have not had an impact.
Something to watch in 2011 is if the Trojans will be able to overcome their lack of depth on both sides of the ball. Last year, teams were able to wear the Trojans down and pull away at the end of games.
While some players may say that it feels like the fans are right on top of you, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium they practically are. Only feet from the sidelines, Gator fans have helped turn "The Swamp" into one of the most intimidating places to play.
Opposing teams know that when these 88,000 fans get worked up and start doing the gator chomp, they are in trouble.
Coming into the 2011 season, Cliff Harris was viewed as an All-American not only on defense but special teams as well. Unfortunately for the Ducks, off the field issues will keep him on the sidelines for a while.
Based on the indefinite suspension from Chip Kelly, eyes will stay on Eugene to see when Harris will be allowed back on the field.
While it may not be one of the largest stadiums in the nation, Bronco Stadium is well known and is home to the blue turf that has helped put Boise State on the map.
While the turf has gotten the nation's attention, the talented players that have come through the program have kept them relevant.
Kellen Moore will take one more shot at leading Boise State to a dream season in 2011.
Moore is hoping to not only deliver on an undefeated season but is hoping to break down the BCS door and get a shot at the national championship.
If Moore is able to lead them to an undefeated season, he will again be a contender for the Heisman Trophy.
Last year marked the end for Nebraska in the Big 12, and this year will be the start of a new chapter in the program's history as they enter the Big 10.
While they will have to adjust to playing in the Big 10, Nebraska still has a good amount of talent and depth and is viewed as one of the favorites to win the conference.
Of all the stories that have come out this offseason, nothing could end up being more interesting and devastating then what is going on in Miami.
Miami has had reports come out that a booster provided improper benefits to over 100 players over 10 years. Needless to say, things are about to get interesting.
Tailgating at Ole Miss
Two words that stand out to any fan in the south are The Grove. The Grove is a place on campus for Ole Miss fans to gather and do what they do best, tailgate for football.
Robert Griffin III
Last year, Baylor had a surprisingly good season, and it appears that the expectations are even higher for the 2011 season.
Led by Robert Griffin III, the Bears' offense should keep them in most of their games and allow them to take advantage of the momentum earned from last year.
Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
A visit to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium is something that will not disappoint a college football fans.
The fans are great, the food is amazing, and the women are beautiful. All in all, it is a great spot to visit.
Landry Jones is leading the preseason No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners and will have all the pressure square on his shoulders.
Jones had a great season last year but with the expectations on the program and the Heisman talk surrounding him, Jones will have a lot to gain and lose this season.