10 Toughest Places to Play in College Football
Every college football fan believes their team has the best home field advantage in the country but most are not even close. Certain teams around the country have a unique blend of fan support, stadium design and on field success that makes their stadium difficult to play in.
As the 2011 season approaches, every team is hoping that this will be their season, but that all starts with taking care of business at home.
Here are the 10 stadiums that have the best home field advantages in all of college football.
10. Neyland Stadium: Tennessee
Although Tennessee football has been down in recent years, their fans still pack Neyland Stadium every Saturday. Fans of the Volunteers are loud all game and when there are 102,000 of them, it can get very loud.
During the Peyton Manning era at Tennessee, Neyland Stadium was considered to be the loudest stadium in the country. As new head coach Derrick Dooley rebuilds the program, it is possible Vols fans could recapture that title.
9. Bronco Stadium: Boise State
The Boise State Broncos do not have the largest or the loudest stadium in college football, but good luck finding a team willing to play there. The Broncos are almost unstoppable at home, winning the past 62 games that have been played in Bronco Stadium.
With the way Boise State continues to compete at a high level, expect Bronco Stadium to quickly be an even tougher place to play football.
8. Camp Randall Stadium: Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin has some of the best student fans in the country and they always let the opposing team hear it. Wisconsin fans pack Camp Randall Stadium dressed in red and are part of one of the most unique traditions in all of college sports.
Every able fan in the stadium begins to jump when the famous song “Jump Around” comes on. Many fans have said the stadium legitimately feels like its shaking which probably doesn’t bode well for the away team.
7. Kyle Field: Texas A&M
Texas A&M’s Kyle Field is the “Home of the 12th Man.” The Aggie faithful are serious about their football and will do everything in their power to help will their team to victory.
Texas A&M fans are known around the country by the fact that they stand during the entire game, making a lasting impression on the opposition.
6. Lane Stadium: Virginia Tech
Around the ACC, Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium is widely considered to be the loudest. Despite the fact that it only holds around 66,000 people, the noise from Lane Stadium gives visiting teams nightmares thanks to its design.
Virginia Tech has been the best team in the ACC over the past decade and they have the fans to prove it.
5. Ohio Stadium: Ohio State
There is nothing bigger in Columbus, Ohio, than Ohio State football. For that reason, the fans of the Ohio State University have the massive Ohio Stadium to cheer on their Buckeyes.
Nicknamed “The Horseshoe,” Ohio Stadium is one of the toughest places to play not only in the Big Ten, but in the entire country. With the recent addition to the stadium, games are only going to get louder, making the opponents chance of victory even smaller.
4. Tiger Stadium: LSU
There are about 92,000 reasons why LSU’s Tiger Stadium is referred to as Death Valley and they’re sitting in the stand every Saturday. LSU has one of the strongest home field advantages in all of the country which comes in handy when playing in the difficult SEC.
If your team has to go play at LSU, you better pray that it isn’t a night game because your team likely won’t make it out alive.
3. Beaver Stadium: Penn State
Just because a stadium is big doesn’t mean it is going to be loud. When 107,000 fans pack Beaver Stadium, they make sure to do their part by bringing the noise.
Penn State always has an outstanding student section and a die-hard fan base that roots for their team every time they take the field. Beaver Stadium is recognized around the country by their “white out” which has never been executed as well as at Penn State.
2. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium: Florida
There are very few stadiums in the country that let you feel as close to the action as Florida’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium does. The stands are only feet from the sideline making it extremely difficult for the away team to successfully communicate with one another.
Boasting a capacity close to 90,000, “The Swamp” is arguably the most intimidating place to play in the country.
1. Autzen Stadium: Oregon
Although the capacity for Autzen Stadium is only listed at 54,000, there tend to be a few thousand more people every Saturday that the Ducks play. Oregon fans are known for being the loudest in the Pac-12 and most of the country, despite the small stadium.
Much of the noise opponents hear is due to the design of the stadium which reverberates the sound back and forth between the stands and the field.
For those of you around the country who have yet to experience a game in Autzen Stadium, I will let former Cal running back and current Detroit Lion Jahvid Best give you an idea of what it’s like to play there.
“Autzen Stadium is a combination of being super loud and how close they are. From my memory, it felt like it was 10 feet between the sideline and the crowd. No crowd usually gets to me. Oregon was the only place where it really got on my nerves.”