Blog Entry

Hinnen's Favorite Stadiums

Posted on: March 3, 2011 3:09 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2011 8:34 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

In college football, more than any other sport, the stadiums can be just as memorable as the games played within them. So as CBS Sports takes a look at the best stadiums that college football has to offer, the bloggers here at Eye On College Football share their three favorite stadiums in the country.

1. Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif., capacity 92, 452). It's simple: if College Football Nation ever decided to name one stadium its Capitol building, there would really be only one choice. No venue boasts more college football history, reflects more college football history (remember that the Rose Bowl is the most famous of many imitators of the original Yale Bowl, arguably the most architecturally-influential stadium in all of football), or is more immediately synonymous with the college game. There's a reason that Super Bowls and World Cup finals stop by from time to time to borrow what the Rose Bowl gives college football on the regular.

If you'd agree with the statement that college football's biggest games are the ones played in its biggest bowls -- and why wouldn't you? -- the importance of the Rose Bowl becomes even more obvious. Because as great a game as the Sugar Bowl is, how much, really, does the Superdome add to it? The University of Phoenix Stadium to the Fiesta? The Orange Bowl isn't even played in the Orange Bowl any more. The Rose Bowl, on the other hand, is the Rose Bowl in very large part because it's played at the Rose Bowl. It's a stadium that deserves to host national championships, rather than one that simply does. And what higher compliment can you pay a college football venue than that?

2. Sanford Stadium (University of Georgia, Athens, Ga., capacity 92,746). It's impossible to make a list of college football's greatest stadiums without relying heavily on candidates from the SEC; it doesn't get any louder than in Florida Field or Jordan-Hare, there's no atmosphere more intense than at Bryant-Denny or Tiger Stadium, there's no venue more exhilarating than Neyland or the underrated Williams-Brice. 

But for this blogger's money, there's no more unique SEC stadium experience than that at Sanford. Whereas most of the classic SEC stadiums tower like concrete monoliths over their surrounding campuses, Sanford -- nestled into a former creek bed between gentle slopes on either side -- feels more integrated with what's already one of the most picturesque campuses in the South. Add in the mystique of the Hedges and the perennially rabid Dawg fans, and walking down to Sanford with 92,000 other fans for an evening kickoff is one of the special atmospheres in college football. It's splitting hairs picking one SEC stadium -- ask em again tomorrow and you'll get a different answer -- but this hair is split in Athen's favor.

3. Michigan Stadium (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., capacity 109,901). "The Big House" is, hands-down, the greatest optical illusion in football; viewed from the outside (particularly for those raised on the above-mentioned SEC sky-scrapers, and particularly before the recent renovations), the deep-set stadium appears nondescript, unintimidating even. But then you enter, and the rows and rows and rows just keep going and going and going. You look from one corner to its opposite and realize that even as the proverbial crow flies, it's a long, long way. You know you are in the largest football stadium ever built in America. And you are impressed.

Of course, that size has had its drawbacks; with that much wide-open space and a crowd whose less-than-rowdy reputation isn't entirely undeserved, the Big House hasn't always been the loudest venue for opposing teams. But the new luxury suite/press box structure has helped that problem, and a lively student section (silly third-down key waving excepted) does its part as well. The bottom line is that if you come away disappointed in a stadium that's as quintessentially college football as it is big -- and the Big House is both -- that's your problem.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2011 9:45 am

Hinnen's Favorite Stadiums

One has to wonder how many of these Southern Homers who are posting in here have been to stadiums outside the South.  The Rose Bowl has more tradition than any Staduim in the South.  So does Notre Dame Staduim.  So does Michigan Stadium.  So does the Coluseum.  It is hard to believe that some fans actually think that dump in Gainesville called Ben Hill Griffin Stadium even compares to the above mentioned stadiums.   Tiger Stadium in Red Stick (Baton Rouge) also has nothing to brag about, unless you want to count a bunch of people getting drunk on their tails before the game.  They lead the nation in that.

Since: Mar 4, 2011
Posted on: March 4, 2011 8:32 pm

Hinnen's Favorite Stadiums

The most spectacular sight in sports is when the eagle soars at Jordan-Hare Stadium at Auburn.

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2011 4:52 pm

Hinnen's Favorite Stadiums

..Neat article..The Rose Bowl needs to do what they did in Ann Arbor a number of years back..they need to dig out and drop the field about 10 feet..this way, the folks who sit in the first 20 rows have a much better view..looking "down" on the field..the first 20 rows of the Rose Bowl has far too gradual of an incline, with the result of having your view blocked when fans stand in front of you...When you guys do the Top 10 WORST stadia...Ohio State is hands down Number 1  !!!   The only stadium on the planet, where seats on the 50 are the furthest from the field!!!   What scientist designed THAT Nightmare???

Since: Jul 14, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2011 1:19 pm

Hinnen's Favorite Stadiums

You do realize he picked 1 from the north and the other from the west?  Did you read your comment before you posted?

Since: Dec 5, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2011 12:16 pm

Hinnen's Favorite Stadiums

Try to get out of the South for a little bit. It's a big world out there.

Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2011 11:30 am

Hinnen's Favorite Stadiums -

It's pretty obvious that Hinnen's never been to the Rose Bowl.  The place is a dump and a fire trap.  I know, I live in the Pasadena area and have been there many times including the three National Championship games that were played there.  They are starting a $150 million renovation project but will still have bench seats and lousey egress and exit from the seats.  I have never been to any of the other stadiums mention but if they are worse than the Rose Bowl they should all be torn down

Since: Oct 31, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2011 11:19 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 14, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2011 5:36 pm

Hinnen's Favorite Stadiums

well, you know, the blogger pointed out that this was splitting hairs, so calling him a bozo for writing a discussion provoking blog makes who the bozo? And the title is "blogger's" favorite stadiums. You are welcome to discuss your favorite stadiums, but that doesn't warrent name calling.

Since: Jan 24, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2011 3:59 pm

Hinnen's Favorite Stadiums

Rose Bowl would not rank in the top 10 in my book. The best stadium in the country to watch college football is Tiger Stadium at LSU at night,followed by Neyland Stadium in Knoxville,followed by the Swamp in Florida. Halloween night,game between LSU and Ole Miss,Billy Cannon returns a punt for a TD at night. Neyland Stadium,only one of 2 college stadiums,you can get to by boat. Others would be Georgia,Texas A&M,Ohio State,Alabama,Penn State,and Auburn. Rose Bowl only sells out for Rose Bowl-not even the USC-UCLA game sells out and the tailgating at the Rose Bowl for UCLA games is pathetic. This bozo needs to quit posting-makes him look stupid.

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