The 2012 college football season is now in full swing. Everyone has their favorite teams, favorite players, etc. There are also favorite stadiums. On campus or off campus there are some terrific venues for college football across the country. Here is my Top 25 in alphabetical order.
1: Alabama Crimson Tide. Bryant-Denny Stadium. While Bear Bryant did not build the stadium it probably seems as if he did. With Nick Saban bringing two championships back home to Tuscaloosa in the last three years the venerable stadium will keep rocking.
2: Arkansas Razorbacks. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas fans can call the Hogs at their main stadium in Fayetteville or their part-time home, War Memorial Stadium, in Little Rock. It is not without reason that the Razorbacks have a home field advantage at both venues.
3: Auburn Tigers. Jordan-Hare Stadium. There is a reason that Auburn’s rivals did not want to make the journey down to Jordan-Hare. Some of the notable traditions on the Plains include the flight of the eagle and the Tiger Walk.
4: Boise State. Bronco Stadium. The Broncos are most famous for the blue field. When you see “The Blue” you know you are in Boise. You also know you have 33,500 fans cheering on the home team.
5: Clemson Tigers. Memorial Stadium. Around campus you will see the paw prints. Follow them and you will arrive in “Death Valley”. The Tigers have been mauling opponents at Memorial Stadium since 1942.
6: Colorado Buffaloes. Folsom Field. Where else but Boulder can you witness students dragged across the field by a buffalo? Fans have also seen the home team win two out of every three games played here.
7: Florida Gators. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. “The Swamp” is a difficult place to play especially since 1990. If the heat and humidity don’t get to you the Gators will!
8: Florida State Seminoles. Doak Campbell Stadium. When Chief Osceola plants his spear at midfield 82,000 Seminoles fans come to life.
9: Georgia Bulldogs. Sanford Stadium. Many opponents have found the going difficult down between the hedges. This is especially true when over 92,000 Georgia faithful are screaming for their beloved Dawgs.
10. LSU Tigers. Tigers Stadium. It is a party on Saturday night at LSU. Fans would argue with Clemson that this is the real “Death Valley” It certainly is the site of the earthquake game against Auburn in 1988.
11. Michigan Wolverines. Michigan Stadium. “The Big House” in Ann Arbor is home to 109,901 Wolverines on fall Saturdays. Michigan has enjoyed 238 straight games of attendance greater than 100,000. That is quite impressive and likely intimidating to visitors.
12. Nebraska Cornhuskers. Memorial Stadium. Big Ten opponents are now learning what Big XII and Big 8 foes learned long ago: It is difficult to get a victory in Lincoln.
13: Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Notre Dame Stadium. Knute Rockne and the success of his teams were instrumental in the building of the stadium. Decades later fans still sit in the shadow of the Golden Dome and in full view of “Touchdown Jesus”.
14: Ohio State University. Ohio Stadium. Even though the end zone has been closed in “The Horseshoe” remains an iconic venue among Big 10 fans.
15: Oklahoma State Cowboys. Boone Pickens Stadium. T. Boone Pickens has put millions of dollars into the stadium which bears his name and it shows.
16: Oregon Ducks. Autzen Stadium. Any school with Phil Knight’s backing has great facilities. It is also one of the loudest stadiums in college football.
17: Penn State Nittany Lions. Beaver Stadium. It is not quite the house that Joe Paterno built, but even without his statue Paterno’s shadow looms large. While Penn State forges new traditions they have the support of well over 100,000 fans on Saturdays.
18: South Carolina Gamecocks. Williams-Brice Stadium. With some of college football’s most loyal fans this stadium has always been a difficult place to play. With Steve Spurrier on the sideline it is now an even tougher place to play.
19: Tennessee Volunteers. Neyland Stadium. Situated on the Tennessee River the nation’s fourth largest stadium boasts its own “navy”. Visitors will hear “Rocky Top” played more than enough times to develop a nasty headache.
20: Texas A&M Aggies. Kyle Field. The home of The 12th Man will soon welcome SEC opponents. The Cadets will be sure to properly welcome their new rivals.
21: University of Southern California Trojans. Memorial Coliseum. Not only has the stadium hosted the Olympics in 1932 and 1984 it also hosts Traveler and the Song Girls on Saturdays. Did I mention they also have a great football tradition?
22: UCLA Bruins. The Rose Bowl. This is a great stadium in which to watch a game. The weather is usually ideal and you can park on a golf course. Sorry, did I park on your line?
23: Virginia Tech Hokies. Lane Stadium. Rated by Rivals.com as the toughest college football stadium for the visiting team, Tech enjoys a great home field advantage on Saturdays.
24: West Virginia Mountaineers. Milan Puskar Stadium. Just off some “Country Roads” in Morgantown 60,000 fans cheer on their Mountaineers.
25: Wisconsin Badgers. Camp Randall Stadium. Built on the site of a Civil War military training center, Camp Randall is now home to wars of the Big 10 variety. With a capacity of just over 80,000 opponents have been known to surrender.
Dwight has been a fan of college football for as long as he can remember.