College Football Rankings: 25 Best College Football Game Day Experiences

Wes ODonnell@wesodonnellFeatured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2011

College Football Rankings: 25 Best College Football Game Day Experiences

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    BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 20:  A general view of Tiger Stadium during the game betweem the Louisiana State University Tigers and the Ole Miss Rebels on November 20, 2010 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    It's the college kids who party hard even when their team is 2-8 in the freezing cold with no shirts on a Thursday night prime time game because it's the only nationally televised game of the season that make college football a special sport.

    Then there are those schools that churn it out every single week with an experience that is unmatched across the country.

    College football games are not just games, they are an experience unlike any other.

    You'll recognize majority of the powerhouse programs, you'll see there are a few noticeable absences and naturally, the SEC is well represented.

    Here is a look at 25 of the best college football experiences in the country.

25. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, USC

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  The USC Trojans come through the tunnel to the field before the game with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 27, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Notre Dame won 20-16.  (Photo by
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    The Trojans' home field is actually a historic landmark.

    Its hosted the Olympics twice, the Super Bowl, the World Series and is home to one of the most prolific programs in the country.

    Walking into the Coliseum just seems like a different place with all the history and legends, and it is.

    The Olympic Cauldron is still lit in the fourth quarter of USC games.

24. Doak Campbell Stadium, Florida State

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    TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Christian Ponder #7 of the Florida State Seminoles hands off to Chris Thompson #23 during a game against the Florida Gators at Doak Campbell Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Tallahassee, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Gett
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    The Florida State Seminoles are on their way back to prominence and Doak Campbell Stadium is still quite the experience.

    The campus is a sight for tailgating and the stadium is still a great place to watch a game.

    When Chief Osceola throws down the flaming spear before kickoff, the fans go crazy.

    And the FSU Warchant is still a thing to be heard.

23. Husky Stadium, Washington

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    SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 18:  Ryan Tolar #65, Cameron Elisara #99, and Kalani Aldrich #50 of the Washington Huskies run out of the tunnel prior to the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on September 18, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The Corn
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    The Washington fans still know how to represent their team and still fill up the stadium, even after some down years.

    One of the most beautiful sites for a stadium with floating tailgates is the waterfront scenery, and one of the loudest stadiums in the country make for an incredible experience.

    The Huskies are one of the proudest programs in the country and the atmosphere at and around Husky Stadium exemplifies it.

22. Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Mississippi

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    OXFORD, MS - NOVEMBER 17:  Fans watch the game between the LSU Tigers and the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium at Hollingsworth Field November 17, 2007 in Oxford, Mississippi. LSU beat Mississippi 41-24.  (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
    Joe Murphy/Getty Images

    The Ole Miss pre-game tailgate is one of, if not the, best tailgate in the country.

    Out on "the Grove," where the event starts the night before the game, the fans get together and leave it all on that patch of grass.

    Vaught-Hemingway is one of the oldest stadiums around and really captures everything about the South, accompanied with "Hotty Toddy."

21. Memorial Stadium, Clemson

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    CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 21:  Clemson Tigers players run onto the field with the scoreboard in the background before the game against the Virginia Cavaliers at Memorial Stadium on November 21, 2009 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Also known as "Death Valley," Memorial Stadium houses one of the greatest introductions of all time.

    The Tigers rubbing Howard's Rock and charging the field down the hill to the deafening roar of the crowd is a special thing.

    They also know how set off the party beforehand, but almost nothing rallies the noise like the Tiger entrance.

20. Autzen Stadium, Oregon

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    EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 26:  LaMichael James #21 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates a touchdown run against the Arizona Wildcats on November 26, 2010 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    The Ducks' indoor practice center has hosted a massive tailgate before the Ducks take the field.

    Autzen Stadium is one of the loudest in the country and you never know what will happen with the Ducks' Nike Uniforms.

    "It never rains in Autzen Stadium," according to their announcer, as the fans chant along in unison to the ironic catchphrase and the Oregon Duck leads the team out on the back of a motorcycle while the crowd chants "Go, Ducks." The crowd noise never stops.

19. Williams-Brice Stadium, South Carolina

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    COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 30:  The South Carolina Gamecocks run on to the field against the Tennessee Volunteers at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 30, 2010 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    The Gamecocks have huge stadium and it is always filled to capacity.

    They know how to get down in their pre-game and they bring that mentality with them to the field.

    Williams-Brice is always at high volume and fans always make it loud along with the Mighty Sound of the Southeast.

18. Mountaineer Field, West Virginia

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    The Mountaineer fans are as rambunctious a group as there are in the country.

    They are relentless to opposing fans and the 60,000 Mountaineers that pack the stadium live and breathe for their football team.

    Students can be insane and used to light furniture on fire following wins.

    Go to Morgantown and survive, you might come back a different person.

17. Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn

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    AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 13:  Cheerleaders of the Auburn Tigers wave one of their giant flags against the Georgia Bulldogs at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The Auburn fans go wild for every home game.

    The tightly knit community bleeds for the Tigers and the stadium is still one of the toughest places to play in the country.

    Following big wins, they toilet paper "Toomer's Corner" and can be known to start the pre-game in the early stages of the week.

16. Michie Stadium, Army

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    PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 12: Army Cadets march onto the field before the game between the Army Black Nights and Navy Midshipmen on December 12, 2009 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
    Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

    Football production aside, there is almost no campus that matches West Point on the banks of the Hudson River.

    The pre-game ceremonies with the parade of the Corps of Cadets and the parachute team that lands on the field make it a truly unique experience.

    The scene up the winding roads to West Point is unforgettable, the buildings on the campus are magnificent and simply knowing how much the men and women of that school go through and still make it a point to play football really makes you wonder and appreciate it all.

15. Lane Stadium, Virginia Tech

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    BLACKSBURG, VA - NOVEMBER 04: Cheerleaders from the Virginia Tech Hokies lead the players onto the field prior to the Hokies game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Lane Stadium on November 4, 2010 in Blacksburg, Virginia.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/G
    Geoff Burke/Getty Images

    The campus and stadium, set off through the town of Blacksburg, Virginia, hides one of the loudest stadiums in the country.

    The heavenly smell of the turkey legs wafts through the concourse of the stadium and as "Enter Sandman" by Metallica plays, the fans go wild when the Hokies charge the field.

    Virginia Tech is filled with a ton of other traditions that make a trip to Blacksburg a truly remarkable, unique and unforgettable experience.

14. Michigan Stadium, Michigan

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    SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 11: Members of the Michigan Wolverines get ready during warm-ups to play against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on September 11, 2010 in South Bend, Indiana. Michigan defeated Notre Dame 28-24.  (Photo by Jo
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Big House is still one of the most revered stops in college football.

    The history, legends and amount of fans they can actually fit in the stadium is remarkable.

    Being up in Ann Arbor is still an unforgettable adventure and playing inside that stadium, while not as daunting a task as it used to be, still poses enough of a threat to creep into opponents' heads.

13. Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Texas

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    AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  A flag for the Texas Longhorns waves at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Just like they say, everything is big in Texas.

    The tailgates are endless throughout the city, the world's largest Texas flag is unfurled before game time and the rest of the atmosphere, from the band to the cheerleaders, is quite a site.

    The fans are always on top of things and seeing a game inside that stadium is always a good time, not to mention the fun you can have after a win.

12. Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Oklahoma

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    NORMAN, OK - NOVEMBER 22:  Fans of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrate a 65-21 win against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Memorial Stadium on November 22, 2008 in Norman, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The Sooner fans are considered some the best in the game.

    The stadium is located in the center of the campus, fans get into the stadium early and they are as dedicated as any in the country.

    Shotgun blasts and other in-game traditions keep everything lively and pre- and post-game activities abound make leaving Norman hard to do.

11. Beaver Stadium, Penn State

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    STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 19: Head coach Joe Paterno of the Penn State Nittany Lions leads his team onto the field before a game against the Temple Owls on September 19, 2009 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Ge
    Hunter Martin/Getty Images

    Happy Valley thinks only of one thing: football.

    The Nittany Lions, Joe Pa, the tailgate parties and the "white-out" inside Beaver Stadium are some of the very best in the nation.

    Students and fans bleed for the Nittany Lions and they let be known as well as any.

    Even though they are not the force they used to be, going into Happy Valley to play, or just to see a game, is incredible.

10. Ohio Stadium, Ohio State

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    COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 27:  The Ohio State University Marching Band performs the U.S. National Anthem before a game against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    "The Horseshoe" is as perfect a stadium as there is in the nation—without lights, though.

    There is no football tradition like the dotting of the "i" from the band and the fans are some of the very best in the nation.

    The pep rally has always been a sight to see and Ohio Stadium is a historic landmark.

9. Sanford Stadium, Georgia

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    ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 27:  The Georgia Bulldogs enter the field to face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Sanford Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Watching football "between the hedges" is an experience unlike most regular stadiums. It's said to have the feel of being quaint, but with high-profile football.

    The fans are wild and absolutely love their Bulldogs.

    Pre-game festivities all over campus, in-game chants, along with the appearance of Uga (VIII) and more post-game parties make for an all around exciting experience.

    They don't do it everywhere like they do it in Athens.

8. Memorial Stadium, Nebraska

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    LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 26: A release of balloons into the November sky celebrates Nebrask'a first touchdown of the game against the Colorado Buffaloes during their game at Memorial Stadium on November 26, 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska defeated Color
    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    It's home to possibly the most loyal, devoted and knowledgeable fans in the country. They are also said to be incredibly polite.

    The stadium is an overwhelmingly incredible place with more historical relevance than many give it credit for.

    The Cornhuskers own the longest sellout streak in history and the program's success, along with their fanbase, are certainly the reasons why.

    The "sea of red" is one of the best sights in the game.

7. Camp Randall Stadium, Wisconsin

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    MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 26: A general view of the field taken during the game between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Michigan State Spartans on September 26, 2009 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Wisconsin has a little bit of it all, including almost every type of fan.

    Camp Randall used to be a training camp during the Civil War and the fans make the old training ground rock during game time.

    Rowdy, rambunctious and known to be a traveling band of diehards, Wisconsin always makes it difficult for opponents that come calling.

    The alumni and fans know how to party too.

6. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Florida

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    GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 25:  Florida fans cheer late in the fourth quarter as the Florida Gators take on the Kentucky Wildcats at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Gainesville, Florida. Florida defeated Kentucky 48-14 for head coach Ur
    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    "The Swamp" is notorious for being one of the most hated places to play in the country.

    The fans are as rabid as there are in the country and they do "the Chomp" with as much ferocity as possible.

    The Gator Growl is the largest student-organized pep rally in the country and they attract different noteworthy acts to perform.

    The stadium is obnoxiously loud, heated and fans revel in the fact that is almost uncomfortable for anyone that does not bleed Gator blue and orange.

5. Neyland Stadium, Tennessee

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    KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 18:  Orange-clad Tennessee Volunteers fans sing along with 'Rocky Top' during a game against the Florida Gators at Neyland Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Florida won 31-17.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty
    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Rocky Top would probably be higher on this list if they were more competitive right now.

    The fans are ridiculously dedicated and will do almost anything for tickets.

    Peyton Manning Pass is a can't miss spectacle as players do the Vol Walk.

    Pre- and post-game parties rage, including floating tailgates on the Tennessee.

4. Kyle Field, Texas A&M

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    COLLEGE STATION, TX - OCTOBER 14:  A general view of Kyle Field is shown during the Texas A&M Aggies game against the Missouri Tigers at Kyle Field on October 14, 2006 in College Station, Texas. Texas A&M won 25-19. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Venturing to College Station is a week long experience.

    "Home of the 12th Man," the fans have some of the best traditions in the country, including the "Midnight Yell Practice."

    No cheerleaders, a football only atmosphere and fans that fill as much of the stadium as humanly possible.

    They know how to party both before and after the game and simply have more spirit than almost any program in the country.

3. Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame

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    SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 25: Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal calls a play against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on September 25, 2010 in South Bend, Indiana. Stanford defeated Notre Dame 37-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Ge
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    It is all about football at Notre Dame Stadium.

    The classic structure is home to dozens of legendary tales and people with only one thing on their mind: victory.

    The Irish fans have their chants and while partying is not their No. 1 concern, they bring intensity to game day.

    South Bend is simply a place you have to go to rather than read about.

2. Bryant-Denny Stadium, Alabama

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    TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 26:  A general view of the sunset at Bryant-Denny Stadium during the game between the Auburn Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide on November 26, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The Alabama Crimson Tide simply bring it in Bryant-Denny Stadium.

    The people simply tailgate everywhere, they pack the stadium and are diehards that believe in only one thing: Bear Bryant. 

    The stadium is as loud as any in the country and they have such a tremendous amount of passion for their team that you actually have to see it and feel it to believe it.

1. Tiger Stadium, LSU

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    BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 20:  The Louisiana State University Tigers enter the stadium to face the Ole Miss Rebels at Tiger Stadium on November 20, 2010 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Football in "Death Valley" is unlike any other.

    The best way to describe the atmosphere—people come just to tailgate all day if they do not have tickets.

    Fans fill the stands as early as humanly possible, they eat and drink like champions and their Tiger mascot roars at the opposing team as they run onto the field.

    Tiger Stadium is the best experience in country for a college football game and the most uncomfortable for opponents.