One of the many things that separates college football from other sports is the dedication and passion of the individual school fan bases. This passion is most visible on game day in campuses around the nation.
This environment is present in all regions—but none greater than the Southeast. The milder weather in the southern states allows for greater turnouts and daylong tailgating.
All eyes this weekend will be on Tuscaloosa, AL, as the No. 1 ranked LSU Tigers will square off against the No. 2 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. All other TV programing will become irrelevant at 8 p.m. EST.
Although the game starts at nighttime, people in Tuscaloosa will begin their game day experience early that morning. There is truly no experience like tailgating all day at an SEC football game.
It is estimated that 1,700 tents will be setup for tailgating this week for the LSU-Alabama matchup.
For the last two weeks, every imaginable break down and comparison has been made between these two teams. However, I would like to look at one area that has been neglected—who has the best tailgating?
One of the most important factors when considering tailgating is the scenery. In my opinion, this point has to be awarded to Alabama. LSU has a great location for tailgating but few compare to the Quad. There are other places, but this is the height of the Alabama tailgating experience—point Alabama.
Another important characteristic needed for good tailgating is the environment. This one depends on what you like. In my opinion, there is not a better party environment in tailgating than LSU. This kind of tailgating is not for the weak of heart. However, if you are looking more for the family environment and throwing the football among friends, Alabama is your place. This point is a push.
Of course, you cannot have tailgating without great food. Tailgating in Tuscaloosa will bring you to some of the greatest barbecue in North America. While the recipes are similar to many locations, they just seem to do it better in T-Town. However, this point will go to LSU. Not only do they also have the traditional tailgating menu, they have a Cajun recipe that will not be found anywhere else.
Crawfish, frogs, shrimp and Gumbo are just the beginning of this Bayou cooking. Last season against Alabama, grilled elephant was one of the main courses. Not my favorite kind of menu, but they have something for everybody—point LSU.
How about the fans themselves? Well this grade will vary according to who you ask. You will hear stories of kindness and stories of obnoxiousness from opposing fan encounters with both groups. My personal experience has been positive with both groups. LSU fans are known for taunting other fan bases when they walk by chanting “tiger bait.” However, they will then offer them a beer or hotdog. This one will be a push as well.
The final category in our breakdown is the women. Tuscaloosa has their fair share of pretty young ladies. However, to be honest, the campus in the southern part of the state has prettier ones. In this situation, LSU comes out the victor by a small margin.
I am not sure how the game will turn out this weekend yet. But this competition yields LSU the winner by a single point. However, there will not be a better tailgate this weekend in the world than the one in T-town this weekend.