College Football: Ranking the 50 Loudest Stadiums

Tom PerryCorrespondent IOctober 18, 2011

College Football: Ranking the 50 Loudest Stadiums

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    If we did the BCS Rankings on the loudest stadiums...well, it may not look much different than the first rankings that came out Sunday.

    With these rankings, though, we don't need computers or strength of schedule to help us.

    Instead, we just need a properly constructed facility that works seamlessly with the 50,000 to 100,000 screaming fans to create the loudest stadiums in the nation.

    We're talking the type of noise that requires earplugs for the faint of heart.

    So who has the loudest stadium in the nation? It's a close battle, but you'll need to keep reading to find out the winner.

50. Army-Navy Game

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    While this game is played at a few different locations, it doesn't really matter which one.

    Whether it is played at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia or M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, when these two long-time rivals take the field, the stadium is just electric.

49. Washington-Grizzly Stadium (Montana)

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    We don't normally dip down into the FCS ranks to find a competitor for the loudest stadium, but Washington-Grizzly Stadium can't be overlooked.

    Montana may only pack 26,000 into the stadium, but they show up no matter how cold or miserable it is outside. Therefore, they are feisty and primed to make some noise.

48. Reser Stadium (Oregon State)

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    Oregon State's fans have not had much to cheer about the past two years, so naturally they have slipped a bit in this ranking.

    If the Beavers can find the magic again that had them on the doorstep of the Rose Bowl a few years ago, the Oregon State fans will raise the noise meter again like they did the night the Beavers ended USC's 27-game winning streak against Pac-10 opponents in 2008.

47. Rice-Eccles Stadium (Utah)

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    Utah's first year in the Pac-12 has not gone as smoothly as the Utes had hoped, but it hasn't stopped the fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium from generating some noise.

    The stadium holds about 45,000, but Rice-Eccles remains a special place where noise levels can far exceed the size of the crowd.

46. Alumni Stadium (Boston College)

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    Since joining the ACC, Boston College has lost some of its edge at Alumni Stadium.

    The Eagles have also watched the product on the field diminish as well.

    But the 44,000 or so fans who go to the games have figured out a way to make it sound like 60,000-plus are rocking the stadium.

45. Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium (Louisville)

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    If you were at the Louisville-West Virginia game in 2006 at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, then you know this place can get hopping.

    Then came the Steve Kragthorpe years, and Papa John's lost its edge.

    Well, the Charlie Strong era is helping Louisville get its groove back.

44. Bulldog Stadium (Fresno State)

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    If you don't think 41,000 fans can get rowdy, then you better take a trip to Bulldog Stadium at Fresno State.

    Fresno has played some big-time opponents, and the vocal fans have always been there to show their support.

    The fans are close to the field, and the opposing players can feel them.

43. Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium (Kansas State)

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    Since the eponymous Bill Snyder has returned to coaching, the Kansas State fans have been re-energized.

    The Wildcats used to ratchet up the noise in Snyder's first run as coach in Manhattan, Kan.

    That ability to get noisy was back on display when Kansas State upset Baylor.

42. Floyd Casey Stadium (Baylor)

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    Baylor's 4-2 start to the season and the unbelievable play of Robert Griffin III has provided plenty of reasons for the fans at Floyd Casey Stadium to get loud.

    The Bears still have huge home games with Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Texas.

    Yep, there's still more noise to make this season.

41. Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (Mississippi)

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    It's another ho-hum season for Ole Miss.

    That hasn't stopped the pre-game fun in The Grove, and it won't keep the fans from cheering on the SEC's worst team.

40. Bobby Dodd Stadium (Georgia Tech)

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    When you talk to your friends about loud stadiums, you probably don't bring up Georgia Tech too often.

    OK, I get it.

    You think of the team in Athens, Ga., first.

    But don't undersell Bobby Dodd Stadium, especially at night. For many fans it's just the start of a long evening in Atlanta.

39. Ross-Ade Stadium (Purdue)

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    When Purdue was being led by Drew Brees or Kyle Orton, the 62,000-plus fans in Ross-Ade did their best to be as loud as any in the Big Ten.

    The Boilermakers haven't been that successful in a while, so the decibel level has dropped a bit...but not enough to remove them from the Top 50.

38. Sun Devil Stadium (Arizona State)

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    Sometimes I think the Arizona State fans have all attended Vontaze Burfict's course on intimidation.

    With all of that gold and that questionable hand gesture, Sun Devil Stadium is a great place to take in a game.

    When 73,000 fans fill Sun Devil Stadium for a game against rival Arizona, well, watch out.

37. LaVell Edwards Stadium (BYU)

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    Some of the best teams in the nation have run into trouble when they venture out to LaVell Edwards Stadium.

    As an independent, BYU is getting much more TV exposure, and more fans are getting a chance to see how loud it can get at the stadium.

    There's a chance BYU may join the Big 12, so that means teams like Texas and Oklahoma will find out how noisy it can get in Provo, Utah.

36. Notre Dame Stadium (Notre Dame)

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    Notre Dame opponents will tell you how the Irish fill Notre Dame Stadium, but the crowd really isn't that loud.

    There may be a little truth to it, but maybe the expectations are just too high.

    With the band playing and the team winning, the Irish fans have no problem raising the noise level to impressive heights.

35. Falcon Stadium (Air Force)

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    Air Force has been considered a top target for Big East expansion.

    It's not clear if the fans at Falcon Stadium like that option very much, but if Troy Calhoun's team is playing Rutgers at home, then the fans will get rowdy.

    That's what 52,000 fans are supposed to do.

34. Nippert Stadium (Cincinnati)

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    Cincinnati has started playing a few home games at Paul Brown Stadium (home of the Cincinnati Bengals), but nothing will replace the character of Nippert Stadium.

    It is the fifth oldest in college football and has a minuscule seating capacity of 35,000.

    But the fans are the real deal, and the place can be loud and intimidating.

    The Zoo has earned a reputation as being the toughest place to play in the Big East—outside of West Virginia.

33. Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium (East Carolina)

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    A lot of college fans don't have the faintest idea where Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium is, but there are some big-time opponents who have learned the hard way what it's like to play there.

    After a few expansion projects, Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium now holds 50,000.

    The fans love to wear pirate costumes, and East Carolina football is all they care about (except for NASCAR).

32. Folsom Field (Colorado)

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    The raucous crowds at Folsom Field generate the noise from the moment Ralphie runs onto the field until the end of the game.

    OK, maybe that hasn't been as true in recent years, but Colorado has a rich tradition on the field and in the stands.

    If the Buffaloes can become a winning program again, just watch Folsom Field rocket back up this list.

31. Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium (Arkansas)

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    Once Arkansas finally closes the open end of Razorback Stadium, there is a good chance the Razorbacks will move up this list.

    As of now, the open end allows a lot of good noise to escape.

    The place holds more than 72,000 fans, and the Razorbacks are giving them plenty to be excited about, as a contender for a second BCS Bowl Game this year is not out of reach.

30. Boone Pickens Stadium (Oklahoma State)

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    Oklahoma State has been a steady climber up this list and could crack the top 25 by next season.

    The 60,000 or so fans sit right on top of the action, and with the Cowboys' recent success under Mike Gundy, there has been a lot to cheer about.

    At the rate Oklahoma State scores points, it seems like the crowd never sits down.

29. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (USC)

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    The LA Coliseum packs them in at about 90,000 a game, but the place is so colossal the crowd struggles to generate serious noise.

    Of course, when about 50,000 of those fans are wearing Reggie Bush jerseys and admiring Matt Barkley's accuracy, they are eventually going to chant in unison to build up some noise.

28. Faurot Field (Missouri)

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    Faurot Field is better know as "The Zou," by the students and fans at Missouri.

    The rowdy crowd showed off its talent to a national audience last year, as the Tigers upset Oklahoma at night.

    They haven't delivered much this year, but they'll get some new opportunities when or if Missouri joins the SEC in 2012 or 2013.

27. Williams-Brice Stadium (South Carolina)

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    The Cockpit gets a little uncomfortable with 80,000 packed inside for home games, and the noise starts right at the beginning with the Gamecocks entering Williams-Brice Stadium to "2001: A Space Odyssey."

    South Carolina's recent rise under Steve Spurrier has helped create even more interest in the Gamecocks, who have yet to win an SEC Championship.

    Hopefully, the crowd can find one more seat for former quarterback Stephen Garcia, but it's unclear how much he'll add to the overall atmosphere.

26. Bronco Stadium (Boise State)

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    Boise State's capacity may only be 33,000, but with the unbridled success the Broncos have enjoyed during the Chris Petersen era, it's easy to see why Bronco Stadium has earned a reputation as being loud.

    It doesn't matter if it's a Friday night game or a prime-time extravaganza, Bronco Stadium is the place to be when Boise is playing.

    The big question for Boise's fans is will they remain this loyal and loud if the Broncos don't go 11-1 or 12-0 every year.

25. Doak Campbell Stadium (Florida State)

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    There was a time when Doak Campbell Stadium was a top 10 crowd.

    Maybe there are still a lot of fans who do the body paint thing or dress up like a Seminole, but FSU hasn't been an elite program for about a decade, and that has had an impact on the intensity inside Doak Campbell.

    Jimbo Fisher has been doing a great job of recruiting, so if the wins start piling up again like the late 1980s, watch out for the decibel level in Tallahassee.

24. Carrier Dome (Syracuse)

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    The Carrier Dome is the loudest facility in all of the Big East...well for basketball.

    Since Doug Marrone took over as football coach, Syracuse has been packing the Carrier Dome with 50,000 fans. Get that many people inside and the noise seems to intensify much more than open air stadiums.

    Back in the glory days of Donovan McNabb, the Carrier Dome was downright intimidating.

23. Husky Stadium (Washington)

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    Husky Stadium holds 72,000 and opponents have actually said they thought the stadium was swaying because of the noise and movement of the fans.

    Now that's impressive.

    Add in a little cold rain, along with the constant yelling from the fans, and it can wear down an opponent.

    For that, we salute the Washington fans.

22. Jordan-Hare Stadium (Auburn)

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    An expansion to Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2004 increased the capacity to 87,000, which, of course, made life just that much tougher on the opponents.

    Auburn's fans have always been a feisty group who can make life difficult on opposing offenses trying to call plays.

    Like most stadiums, it seems the noise level goes up a tick or two when the Tigers play at night.

21. Davis-Wade Stadium (Mississippi State)

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    The 2011 season has been a huge disappointment for the fans at Davis-Wade Stadium, but that doesn't stop that incessant bell ringing.

    Please, someone make it stop.

    Oh wait, I can ring one, too?

    Now were talking. Man these things are loud when we all ring these in unison.

20. Michigan Stadium (Michigan)

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    I know Michigan's fans pack the place with a gazillion fans, but the way the place is built doesn't translate into a noisy atmosphere.

    There's talk that recent renovations have changed this flaw, and after watching this year's Notre Dame-Michigan game, there may be some truth to that claim.

    But it's going to take more than one game to convince me Michigan deserves any higher than 20.

19. Spartan Stadium (Michigan State)

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    At 75,000 strong, Spartan Stadium showed its true colors this past weekend as the fans rallied behind Michigan State in a 28-14 win over rival Michigan.

    If you're counting at home, that's four straight over the Wolverines.

    Yep, the fans let their rival hear it all game.

    Now think how feisty the crowd will be for this weekend's showdown with No. 6 Wisconsin.

18. Jones AT&T Stadium (Texas Tech)

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    Texas Tech's Jones AT&T Stadium seems to get overlooked as one of the noisiest places in the game, but there are a few Big 12 opponents who will tell you how loud it gets.

    Maybe they've lost their edge a bit since Mike Leach was fired, but who could ever forget the huge win over Texas in 2008.

    Michael Crabtree's reception sent the fans over the top.

17. Sanford Stadium (Georgia)

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    Georgia mascot Uga isn't the most intimidating of creatures, but when the Bulldogs are playing in Sanford Stadium "Between the Hedges" in a big SEC game...you better watch out.

    This is what SEC football is all about, and our southern friends in Georgia don't miss an opportunity to get noisy.

    Since Mark Richt became head coach, the Bulldogs have been one of the nation's most consistent winners. You better believe the fans have had a hand in that.

16. Texas Memorial Stadium (Texas)

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    OK, I know it's officially called Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, but that was too long for the headline.

    No matter what you call the place, it doesn't take much to get 100,000 football-crazed fans to jump up and act all crazy.

    The only downside to Texas games is that there's so much to do in Austin that the fans can get distracted from the action on the field.

15. Lane Stadium (Virginia Tech)

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    Virginia Tech reminded the nation how intimidating and loud Lane Stadium can be when the Hokies held on for a 38-35 victory over Miami.

    Following Logan Thomas' go-ahead touchdown run, the place simply erupted into a thunderous applause that didn't stop until sometime Sunday.

    ACC opponents do not enjoy going into the stadium that holds 66,000. Tech has been rumored as a potential target for future SEC expansion. It's clear the fans and stadium are up to the challenge.

    Let's not forget about the South End Zone, which is legendary. Tech crams more than 11,000 fanatics into that part of the stadium, and they create some deafening sounds.

14. Mountaineer Field (West Virginia)

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    Did you see the 60,000-plus fans during the West Virginia-LSU game in September?

    Mountaineer Field was downright electric.

    Even LSU coach Les Miles said the environment was SEC-like. That's the highest compliment.

    He was talking about the noise generated in the place. While it may have fired up the Tigers, it normally intimidates other opponents.

    WVU's fans may get a little too "passionate" at times, but they love their Mountaineers.

13. Memorial Stadium (Clemson)

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    Each victory this season has just amplified the noise capacity of Memorial Stadium, which is also the original Death Valley (sorry LSU fans).

    On Saturday's in Clemson, S.C., there's not much else to do but root on the Tigers.

    This year's Dabo Swinney's team has been electrifying, and the fans have responded in wins over Auburn and Florida State.

    The Tigers and their fans may be writing a new chapter in the life of Memorial Stadium this fall.

12. Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (Oklahoma)

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    When you put up as many wins as Oklahoma does, it shouldn't be a huge shock that the fans respond in kind.

    Whether it's Landry Jones throwing another touchdown pass or the Sooner Schooner charging out onto the field, Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium is a loud environment.

    Memorial is the 16th largest stadium in college football, with a smidge more than 82,000 capacity.

    The largest crowd was 85,646 when the Sooners crushed No. 2 Texas Tech 65-21 on Nov. 24, 2008.

11. Bryant-Denny Stadium (Alabama)

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    I have already expressed my respect and love for the Alabama fans.

    But when it comes to generating overall noise, Bryant-Denny falls a little off the pace.

    It's not from a lack of trying, but rather the design of the place doesn't trap the noise as well as some of the others on this list.

    Bryant-Denny is still a crazy place to play, but mostly because Nick Saban is the best coach with the best players.

10. Kinnick Stadium (Iowa)

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    Iowa's Kinnick Stadium never seems to garner the same respect or attention of some of the other larger stadiums in the Big Ten.

    But don't underestimate the noise factor when the Hawkeyes are playing at home.

    Iowa's fans are fiercely loyal, and they live and die by the Hawkeyes. So on Saturdays the 70,000 or so fans pay homage by getting crazy loud.

9. Neyland Stadium (Tennessee)

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    If you love orange, then Tennessee is the school for you.

    On Saturday afternoons in the fall, Neyland Stadium is packed with about 102,000 fans wearing that Tennessee orange.

    And the collective goal of each and every one is to root as loud as they can for the Vols.

    When you leave the place, you are almost guaranteed to be humming "Rocky Top."

8. Memorial Stadium (Nebraska)

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    Something seems wrong ranking Nebraska's Memorial Stadium at No. 8, but the competition is that tough.

    It's hard to argue the Cornhuskers don't have one of the best groups of fans anywhere. And when the Sea of Red gets going on game day, watch out for the noise reverberating around the stadium.

    Memorial Stadium's design is intimidating, as the bleachers seem to rise forever into the sky with all of that red.

    And the Nebraska fans just love the corncob headgear.

7. Kyle Field (Texas A&M)

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    The SEC managed to do one thing by prying Texas A&M away from the Big 12—it found a stadium that ranks with the best in the conference.

    That's right, A&M's Kyle Field is on par with any place in the SEC.

    Next year, we'll find out if the talent on the field is as well.

6. Beaver Stadium (Penn State)

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    Beaver Stadium may be one of the ugliest stadiums in the nation, but no one is noticing when 100,000-plus screaming Penn State loyalists show up in their all white.

    They love their coach, their team and winning.

    Penn State has limped to a 6-1 record this season, but that won't diminish the enthusiasm you'll experience inside Beaver Stadium.

    It all starts with that disturbing Nittany Lion roar over the PA system, and from there it just gets louder.

5. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (Florida)

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    Welcome to The Swamp!

    That's right, first-year coach Will Muschamp wants you in the stands and wants you screaming until your eyes bleed.

    Seriously, he won't quit looking at me.

    For years, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium has been the site of some great SEC games, and the noise generated inside the muggy facility is the stuff of legend.

4. Ohio Stadium (Ohio State)

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    I've been to a handful of Ohio State games over the years, and every time I go back I'm more impressed with each visit.

    Inside and outside the stadium, it's just loud.

    The 2011 season has been a bit of a disappointment, but you can guarantee there will be 100,000-plus crammed inside Ohio Stadium for the next home game. If someone doesn't want their ticket, well, there are about 150,000 others who would like it.

    That type of passion translates into one of the noisiest stadiums in the land.

3. Camp Randall (Wisconsin)

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    Camp Randall has always been a noisy venue, but it seems the Wisconsin faithful have been making a push for the No. 1 spot in these rankings.

    The Badgers aren't quite on top yet, but taking the top honor in the Big Ten is no small feat.

    True college fans have seen the stadium erupt between the third and fourth quarter when the 1992 song "Jump Around" by House of Pain is played.

    But that's just part of the magic inside Camp Randall. Just look at the way Nebraska responded in its first Big Ten game against Wisconsin.

    The Cornhuskers folded to the Badgers, and fans welcomed them to the conference.

2. Autzen Stadium (Oregon)

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    For a place that holds a few more than 60,000 fans, Autzen Stadium delivers some serious punch.

    Oregon has backed up the support on the field as well, which just makes the place even crazier.

    When you get to these last few in the rankings, you are truly splitting hairs to put one over the other.

    During a 24-17 victory over USC on Oct. 27, 2007, the stadium was deafening at 127.2 decibels.

    There is also the famous comment by former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr, who said Autzen was the loudest stadium he had ever been inside.

1. Tiger Stadium (LSU)

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    When your fans make so much noise and jump up and down so hard that they create a local earthquake...well, you have to tip your cap to the LSU fans.

    Playing the Tigers at night in Death Valley has been ranked by many experts as the toughest environment in college football.

    Tiger Stadium packs in 92,000-plus for every home game, and the deafening crowds have certainly meant a few extra wins for LSU over the years.

    Les Miles and Co. have given them plenty to be excited about this season.