Power Ranking the 25 Most Impressive Facilities in College Football

Carl Stine@@CFBAllDayCorrespondent IJuly 24, 2013

Power Ranking the 25 Most Impressive Facilities in College Football

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    The play on a college football field is only part of what goes on with the program.

    Besides the whole recruiting system, the facilities that a program boasts are often a reflection of that program's achievements.

    The top 25 college football facilities are ranked here, and no, there is not an SEC team on top, in spite of Alabama's best efforts in recent years.

    From swimming pools with treadmills on the bottom, to 60-inch plasma televisions, weights and machines, sports medicine and office space, these facilities are the ones that impress us the most.

    Unless someone finds the Batcave, that would be No. 1, always.

    Can you imagine all the room for activities in Wayne Manor?

25. Arkansas

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    SEC programs seem to have everything going there way right now.

    Arkansas has not won any BCS titles during the conference's recent run of dominance, but it has been able to develop excellent football facilities.

    Part of what Arkansas used to attract head coach Bret Bielema and snag him from Wisconsin was the excellent facilities the program can offer.

    The team has just opened a $35-million football center in conjunction with the existing indoor practice facilities and everything available at Razorback Stadium.

    If Bielema can use these facilities to attract recruits, the Razorbacks will again be competitive soon in the SEC West.

24. Virginia Tech

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    Lane Stadium is a great experience. The facilities leave a little something to be desired, but the game-day experience is the best in the ACC.

    As for football facilities, the current complex is solid, with a huge office for head coach Frank Beamer, plenty of office space and nine rooms for position meetings.

    The program is in the process of hammering out the details of building a new indoor practice facility, which will help boost the Va. Tech facilities in these rankings.

    For the time being, the current football complex inhabited by Beamer and his staff is filled with Va. Tech tradition, and provides an excellent place for recruits to learn about the program.

23. Ole Miss

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    Ole Miss has excellent practice facilities, second to none, and they have for years.

    But the renovations to Vaught Hemingway Stadium that provide locker room space on game day, as well as a team meeting room, finally let the facilities be ranked with the best in the country.

    Formerly, the team had to travel down the tunnel to the practice facility for locker room space at halftime and after games, instead of stepping off the field directly into a locker room.

    Those improvements are going to help push this program over the top.

22. Texas Tech

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    Texas Tech is the only program in the Big 12 conference that does not have an indoor practice field.

    But who needs it in Lubbock? The weather is moderate enough that it doesn't really matter, and outdoor practice is more true to game-day conditions anyway.

    Enough about what the program doesn't have, let's focus on what it does possess, and that is an incredibly appropriate facility.

    The team's training facility has been recently renovated with updated locker rooms and weight rooms. The trophy room, which runs down Red Raider history, is an entertaining place to spend some time, and the uniquely "Texas" feel of the place is perfect for Lubbock.

    There is a need for some updating, but Tech fans should be happy with what the team has when compared to some of the other FBS programs.

21. Auburn

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    Auburn football players used to have to suffer through indoor football practice on a field that was only 40 yards long.

    No more must they suffer this injustice, as the university built a 92,000-square-foot facility that includes, among other things, a field with a whole 100 yards.

    The facility also includes modern workout equipment, as opposed to the outdated junk that previous classes utilized.

    Perhaps now the Tigers can hope to compete with Alabama on the field...

20. Texas A&M

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    The Aggies' facilities, while solid, are not as palatial as those found in Tuscaloosa or as modern as those at LSU.

    That said, Texas A&M is certainly not lacking for facilities, with plenty of equipment and space in the McFerrin Athletic Center.

    It is Kyle Field that pushes Texas A&M up this list.

    The student section, where fans stand throughout as a member of the "12th man" is crazy, the stadium itself is always packed, and fans are as passionate as any other fanbase of the SEC.

    Sure, the practice facilities need some updating, but Kyle Field is a classic, and will remain so.

19. Michigan State

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    When one thinks of Michigan State, "national power" is not the first thought that pops into mind.

    The team has not won anything of note in recent seasons, but Mark Dantonio has recruited excellent talent. He also had back-to-back 11-win seasons in 2010 and 2011.

    The program is on the upswing, and the facilities in the Skandalaris Football Center are another step in the right direction.

    This building has a gorgeous lobby, and features Spartan history to go with plenty of space for current players and staff to complete current football tasks.

    This team is going to be a legit player in the Big Ten in the near future, and with these facilities, attracting recruits just gets easier.

18. Florida

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    Florida's Heavener Football Complex is impressive.

    When Urban Meyer was coaching the Gators, the university renovated the facility to be one of the most eye-popping, attractive structures of its nature in the country.

    That said, there are still issues with the UF football accommodations when compared to others across the nation.

    There is no indoor practice facility. It might not be needed due to the mild nature of the climate, but there isn't one, just in case. Also, the outdoor practice fields are nowhere near Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

    The stadium itself is an experience, as a day in "The Swamp" is something not soon forgotten.

17. TCU

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    Even though the facility is already beautiful, Amon G. Carter Stadium is getting new grass and better drainage.

    On top of those improvements, the team is getting a new locker room in the stadium, and the funds gained by the program after the transition to the Big 12 conference will help keep this program near the top of the rankings when it comes to facilities.

    There are few programs in the Big 12 that can top them now, with the Horned Frogs checking in just behind Texas and the Oklahoma schools when it comes to conference facility rankings.

16 . Tennessee

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    There is the little issue of Neyland Stadium. The place is gargantuan as it seats over 100,000 and allows "sailgating."

    Tennessee fans know how to party, and the stadium experience is excellent.

    The Vols have recently completed renovations on Neyland, helping to make the stadium fresh and continue to stay near the top of the stadium rankings.

    Last fall, the team moved into new digs, a $45-million facility that includes a restaurant, a fighting cage, and recharging stations all over the place.

    The Volunteers' new facility goes over the top, taking it into the upper half of the power rankings. 

15. Cal

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    Cal, while not a premier football program for the time being, has provided head coach Sonny Dykes with the tools to snag recruits while providing top-of-the-line facilities for current football players.

    Memorial Stadium is undergoing renovations and will be one of the best stadiums west of the Mississippi when completed.

    The facilities, as shown in the video, are ridiculously opulent, and provide everything a football player might need, including locker rooms, equipment for strength and conditioning and a plethora of charging stations.

    The coaching staff needs to use this tool, and use it well, to get the Golden Bears back to a place of national prominence.

14. Georgia

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    Sanford Stadium is not only one of the best places to catch a football game in the SEC, it is one of the best in the nation. The fans are excellent, the football is solid and the tailgating is incredible.

    The newly renovated Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall pushes the program higher on this list when coupled with the experience that is Sanford Stadium.

    The facility is a recruit's dream, with cutting edge equipment, indoor practice fields and plenty of other amenities including televisions, charging stations and large images of UGA scattered at random throughout the facility.

    Finished in 2012, the facility is an excellent way to attract recruits.

13. Penn State

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    Penn State is fortunate, similar to Ohio State and other major college football programs, to have a massive stadium, as well as a separate facility for football only.

    Beaver Stadium is a shrine to football, and even the controversy surrounding Joe Paterno and his last days with the program cannot remove the indelible mark he left on the program, including improvements to the stadium during his time.

    The separate football complex provides everything needed for football players to sustain themselves when away from the stadium.

    The Lasch Football Building includes state-of-the-art equipment, plenty of space for meetings, video sessions and a unique Nittany Lion feel.

    When put together with Beaver Stadium, Penn State has excellent football facilities that only other elite college football programs can hope to match.

12. N.C. State

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    Yeah, this one is not the first thing that pops into mind when considering the best football facilities in the nation.

    The Murphy Center is home to N.C. State's equipment center, sports medicine center and areas for strength and conditioning.

    Check it out, the place is amazing.

    Checking in at 103,254 square feet, the facility is one of the largest in the nation dedicated to a football program.

    This facility seems to blow up the theory that top-notch facilities equals top-notch teams out of the water, as the Wolfpack hasn't won more than nine games since 2002, and has only done that once since 1986.

11. Michigan

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    The Al Glick Fieldhouse on the Michigan campus is absolutely stunning.

    The indoor practice facility is large and able to accommodate practices taking place when the weather outside is less than perfect.

    Michigan is one of the premier programs in college football, at least they used to be, and the cachet that is attached to the name of Wolverine football carries with it enough pull to attract high-caliber talent.

    This kind of facility does not hurt, either.

    The "Big House" may be the best place to watch a game in college football. There is no stadium in college football as large, or as filled with avid fans on game day.

    The stadium, with its history, tradition and lore pushes the Wolverines right up into these rankings.

10. USC

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    The Coliseum, home to the Trojans, is one of the most recognizable venues in the Pac-12 conference.

    It is filled with history and has housed some tremendous USC teams in its history.

    But it's the John McKay Center, the 110,000-square-foot football facility that cost $70 million, that will help Lane Kiffin return USC to national prominence, if that is ever going to happen.

    From practice fields to media rooms, and training rooms to coaching offices, this facility is incredible.

    Check it out here.

    USC has the history, tradition and stadium to attract recruits. Now the facilities, unveiled in July of 2012, provide the extra incentive Kiffin and his staff may need to help lure in elite recruits at faster pace than ever.

9. Oklahoma

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    The Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium is a great place to catch a game.

    Oklahoma fans are intelligent, passionate and willing to engage in football conversation at the drop of a hat.

    The Oklahoma facilities, while not as cutting edge or filled with as many gadgets as some other places, are sufficient to wow recruits and attract the best talent in the nation to play for the program.

    The meeting rooms are absolutely beautiful. The history of the program, its accomplishments and its trophies are detailed throughout the Switzer Center and the rest of the football complex.

    The history and incredible tradition surrounding the program make up for the wow factor that might attract players to other programs. An update might be in order, but it isn't needed immediately.

8. Oklahoma State

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    Oklahoma State's indoor practice facility really is something else.

    The program has made incredible strides in recent seasons, winning it's first Big 12 title, and earning a berth in a BCS game.

    Again in 2013, Mike Gundy has the Cowboys poised to make a run at the conference title.

    These facilities are going to do nothing but help Gundy's cause.

    The new indoor practice facility is as new as it gets, and provides an incredible amount of space.

    What sets the OSU football complex apart from the rest of the Big 12 is it's newness. The program is currently finishing up the project, making it the newest facility in the conference.

7. Nebraska

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    Call me crazy, but I think the Huskers' football complex is extremely underrated.

    The trophy case is impressive, but the true highlight is the weight room, which is absolutely stunning.

    The rest of the complex is great, with plenty of space for everything football related, including a fitness center, office space, meeting space, video rooms and plenty of screens.

    The biggest upside for the Huskers, outside of the monument to football greatness that is Memorial Stadium, is the excellent way the facilities are laid out to be in close approximation to one another.

    Who really wants to walk forever or ride a bus to a practice field?

    Definitely not the Huskers, who have practice facilities, their football headquarters and the stadium all in close proximity.


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    LSU put together a beautiful facility when they built the Football Operations Center.

    The team has access to weight rooms, video rooms, coaching offices, locker rooms and a training room all within the walls of this building.

    There is an indoor practice field, as well as practice fields immediately outside the building.

    The complex is right across the street from Tiger Stadium, so players don't have to go far on game day.

    Built in 2006, the complex is very modern and provides the perfect combination to attract top talent when coupled with the allure of Tiger Stadium.

5. Ohio State

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    All Big Ten jokes aside, Ohio State is one of the elite college football programs, and the team's digs and playing field reflects it.

    "The Shoe" seats over 102,000 and provides a great venue to catch a game, as well as a stadium steeped in tradition and football lore.

    The Buckeyes also don't skimp when it comes to training and practice facilities.

    The Woody Hayes Athletic Center is beautiful, and the football program maintains sole possession of the complex as it doesn't share with other collegiate sports.

    That building includes offices, meeting rooms, a weight room and memorabilia displays. The team also has both indoor and outdoor practice facilities.

4. Notre Dame

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    The Guglielmino Athletics Complex is incredible.

    Equipment rooms, meeting rooms, locker rooms, offices, strength and conditioning facilities and a fitness center are all a part of this facility, along with a treadmill at the bottom of one of the exercise pools.

    Yes, this is an acceptable use of a treadmill.

    Before construction of "The Gug," Irish football facilities were spread between Notre Dame Stadium, the Joyce Center and the Loftus Sports Center.

    Plasma televisions are scattered throughout the fitness center and top equipment is everywhere. It's pretty obvious that the folks who contributed to this facility spared no expense.

3. Texas

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    Texas is far and away the cream of the crop when it comes to facilities in the Big 12, and easily near the top in the nation.

    The football team gets to play at DKR Stadium, which is incredible in and of itself, but the amenities provided to players in the football complex are insane.

    In a state that idolizes football, the Longhorn football program has long been Mecca, and these ridiculous digs for the football program cement that status.

    Ridiculous screens to entertain players and teach the the system are scattered across the facility, as well as hot tubs, pools, meeting rooms, a practice field and a plethora of burnt orange.

    Stop by some time and be amazed by the status that a Texas player enjoys in such palatial accommodations.

2. Alabama

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    Contrary to popular belief, there is no waterfall filled with frolicking elephants in the new Alabama football facilities.

    Big Al spends more of his time near the trophy case, which is full, but not too full.

    Recent renovations to the Tide football facilities put them at the top of another list of rankings.

    You might be sick of it, but deal with it. Nick Saban and the folks at the university have formed a winning combination that will be around for a while.

    The new facilities that the Crimson Tide now live in are absolutely ridiculous.

    Besides the incredible fitness center, video rooms, conference rooms, locker rooms and offices, the complex features arcade games, pool tables and 30-foot-long hot tubs, among other amenities.

    Check out the video tour. It's pretty clear that the best football program in the nation also has one of the best football facilities.

1. Oregon

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    Oregon benefits from the contributions provided by Nike's co-founder, Phil Knight.

    We usually see this in the program's uniforms, which are many and varied.

    Knight's donations to the Ducks helped build the new football facilities, which are absolutely stunning.

    The Ducks are everywhere, from the "O" over the entrance, to the Ducks throwing away a beaver on top of the trash cans, this facility was built with Oregon football at its heart.

    The locker room is two stories, and the lockers themselves cost nearly $26,000 apiece. There is also the The Moshofsky Sports Center, which was the first indoor practice facility and training center in the Pac-12, and is turned into a huge tailgating venue on game day.

    Autzen Stadium is routinely ranked near the top of stadium rankings, and provides an incredible atmosphere for fans and players alike.

    There are few programs that can match Oregon's excellence on the football field outside of the SEC, and even that conference has no facilities that equal Oregon's.


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