College Football's Top 10 Most Beautiful Stadium Settings

Chad ScottCorrespondent IIAugust 30, 2011

College Football's Top 10 Most Beautiful Stadium Settings

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    There are some truly impressive stadiums in college football from the Horseshoe to Death Valley, but only a fraction of these stadium are blessed by Mother Nature with absolutely gorgeous surroundings. 

    No amount of man-made awesomeness in the form of 100,000 fan stadiums or enormous JumboTrons can compare to the natural wonders of this great nation. Whether it is a beautiful mountain vista in background or premier ocean-front property your team may be losing the game, but at least you can take solace in the breathtaking view. 

    Here is a breakdown of the stadiums with the most beautiful surroundings.    

10. Sun Devil Stadium

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    Constructed between two mountain buttes outside of the city of Phoenix, the stadium was literally carved from the desert, creating an isolated feeling provided by the separate buttes. The stadium allows fans to view gorgeous desert sunsets leading into beautifully clear and warm starlit nights. 

    Running along the back of the stadium is the man-made Tempe Town Lake with its various beach parks. 

9. Neyland Stadium

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    Towering over the trees, casting its shadow along the Tennessee River, Neyland Stadium is a sight to see even without the nearby majestic Smokey Mountains. 

    The stadium is huge and takes on a life of its own, even to the point where the normally calm Tennessee river vibrates from the noise created by the 100,000-plus Volunteer fans.  Though the natural surroundings are serene enough to make you forget where you are, the Volunteer fans do an excellent job reminding you that you are in Rocky Top country. 

8. Kenan Memorial Stadium

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    Set amongst clusters of majestic pine trees and next to the Bell Tower, this serene location on Chapel Hill is home to the North Carolina Tar Heels.  There is an unwritten rule that the stadium can never be taller then the surrounding pine trees. 

    ESPN analyst Mel Kipper, Jr. ranks Kenan Memorial Stadium in his top three most scenic venues in the country.  I wouldn't go that fa,r but it does deserve a spot in the top 10 as it probably has the greenest grass in college football. 

7. Michie Stadium

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    Due to the view offered by its location overlooking the Hudson River and the gorgeous campus below, it was rated as Sports Illustrated's No. 3 sports venue of the 20th century. 

    Sitting amongst the rolling hills of southern New York, this stadium is absolutely breathtaking in the fall as the leaves change colors and the air becomes a bit crisp in the evening.  After the Cadet Parade be sure to bundle up and enjoy the game in one college footballs great old stadiums.

6. California Memorial Stadium

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    The dense wall of pine trees in the Berkeley Hills to the east is contrasted by a panoramic view of the San Francisco Bay and three bridges to the west, making California Memorial Stadium a beautiful venue. 

    For bigger games, the hill overlooking the eastern side of Memorial Stadium attracts spectators hoping to watch a game for free, earning the nickname Tightwad Hill. 

    Currently, the stadium is undergoing renovations meaning the Golden Bears will be playing their games at AT&T Park in San Francisco, so you will not be able to visit the site until next season. 

5. Bronco Stadium

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    The Blue, as its called by the local fans, sits on some premier real estate in the Treasure Valley.  The north end zone opens up to the Boise River with the city of trees in the background.  Bogus Basin, a part of the Boise National Forest, and the Boise foothills overlook the stadium and its blue turf.

    It is no surprise to run into some morning skiers readying themselves for the game as the resort is only 17 miles from the city. During a fall game it may be relatively warm in the stadium, but snow is clearly visibly on the peaks near Boise. 

    Plus, if you are a Bronco fan you have the joy of knowing Boise has not lost at home since 2005.    

4. Falcon Stadium

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    Situated in the Rampart Range Mountains in the beautiful city of Colorado Springs, Colo., Falcon Stadium has some of the most impressive sight lines in all of college football. The upper decks allow for an almost complete view of the surrounding mountains. Prior to or after the game you can hike or mountain bike the trails that crisscross the pine-covered hills surrounding the campus. 

    However, if scenery is not your thing this stadium is still worth a visit for the fighter jet flybys and parachutists that routinely visit on game day. 

3. Folsom Field

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    At more than a mile above sea level, this stadium presents some interesting challenges to those athletes more accustomed to the warmer and lower levels.  Many Pac-12 opponents will find the elevation to be something to reckon with, along with the Buffalo football players across the line of scrimmage. 

    Sitting amongst the peaks of the mighty Rocky Mountains, this venue allows you to take in the crisp mountain air despite being near such a large metro area. This is partly due to the fact the school is extremely eco-minded, pledging to recycle 90 percent of the 10 tons of trash generated by each game. 

    They even offer valet parking for those whom arrive via bicycle, making sure the venue remains as breathtaking as it has been for past generations. 

2. Husky Stadium

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    Sitting next to Union Bay in Lake Washington, this stadium is considered by most to be the most scenic stadium in all of college football.  On a clear day fans are treated to a great view of the Olympic Mountains just past Lake Washington.  As you pan around the stadium an amazing view of Mt. Rainier can be seen as the tallest mountain in Washington watches ominously over the city. 

    Many fans are content with boating up to the stadium in a sort of floating tailgate party while the Huskies host some of the best teams in the country.

1. LaVell Edwards Stadium

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    Quite possibly the most breathtaking views of any college football stadium can be found at LaVell Edwards Stadium, with the gorgeous vistas surrounding the stadium.  In wintertime a peaceful calm radiates throughout the stadium as the snow falls around you—that is, until the Cougars begin their march down the field. 

    Even when its not snowing in the stadium, snow is clearly visible on the high peaks surrounding Provo, Utah.  Broadcasters and sports writers from around the country are inevitably impressed with the magnificent view of Mount Timpanogos and the Wasatch Mountain Range that can be seen from the stadium press box.