Tag:Top College Football Stadiums
Posted on: March 4, 2011 9:23 am
Edited on: March 4, 2011 9:39 am

Patterson's Favorite Stadiums

Posted by Chip Patterson

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. Lane Stadium (Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, capacity 66,233)
Virginia Tech's Lane Stadium/Worsham Field may lack some of the size that the other stadiums on Dodd's rankings, but that does not make them any less of a fearful place to play.  In fact Lane Stadium, particularly at night, is one of the toughest places to play in the ACC.  

For every home game, the goal is to set the tone from the opening kick.  Virginia Tech has already beat you to the punch when you play in Lane Stadium, with their now well-known Enter Sandman entrance.  Having seen the Sandman in person, I can attest to the phenomenon that unites the Hokie fans on Saturdays.  Every Virignia Tech fan can be found jumping up and down and screaming when those opening notes ring through the stadium.  No matter the age or gender, if you bleed maroon and orange you go absolutely nuts when you hear this song.  Very cool, and one of the best intimidation factors in college football.  

A particularly good intro from a rainy night game a few years back via YouTube

2. Memorial Stadium (Clemson, Clemson, SC, capacity 80, 301)
Showing up at number 13 on Dodd's list, Death Valley falls in a close second behind Lane for me, but for very similar reasons.  The Tigers' football tradition often goes overlooked by the national audience, but it runs just as deep as most of the other "football giants" of the South.  When Memorial Stadium is filled with 80,000 rabit Tigers fans, opponents have said it feels like everyone is right on top of you.  It is the second largest in the ACC, and one of the only stadiums in the conference to have that "SEC football" feel.

When the Clemson football team prepares take the field, they hop on buses and are escorted to the site of "The Most Exciting 25 seconds in College Football."  The Clemson will rub Howard's Rock, as they have done since 1967, and then prepare to take the field by running down The Hill, located on the East side of the stadium.  It is unique to any other entrance in the south, and holds a special place in the hearts of Tiger fans everywhere.

Again, via YouTube


3. Neyland Stadium (Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, capactiy 102,455)
Finally, I must include the massive Neyland Stadium from the University of Tennessee.  Dodd placed Neyland at 14, but I think some of the obscurity of recent years (cough, Kiffin, cough) have made us forget how great Neyland can be at times.  As Derek Dooley continues to try and build a new era in Knoxville, I suspect we will recognize more and more the advantage that the Volunteers have at home.

Aside from the sheer size of the eighth largest non-racing stadium on Planet Earth, Neyland also carries a deep historical relevance to Tennessee football.  While the size, shape, and many features of the structure have changed, Neyland still stands in the same place it was first opened in March 1921.  Also, unlike many other 100k+ stadiums, Neyland is located right in the middle of campus.  Easy access for students and alum to turn the game into an entire college football experience.  

Posted on: March 4, 2011 1:00 am
Edited on: March 4, 2011 9:24 am

Jacobi's Favorite Stadiums

Posted by Adam Jacobi

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. Ohio Stadium (Ohio State, Columbus, OH, capacity 102,329) When it comes to truly great stadiums, two conferences have a vastly disproportionate share in college football: the Big Ten and the SEC. And as great stadiums go up north, nothing touches the Horseshoe: Ohio Stadium.

Everything about the 'Shoe is big, brash, and boastful, yet at the same time not extravagant: the rotunda entering the stadium, the 131-foot flagpole behind the north end zone, the North Korea-quality precision of the Script Ohio, and the noise. Good heavens, the noise. The double-decker setup helps keep the 102,329 scarlet-clad fans as close to the field as possible, making for a deafening atmosphere on Saturdays, and Ohio State fans are never, ever quiet (they consider that a glaring character flaw, one that's endemic in That State Up North). When people talk about the passion and pageantry of college football, they talk about Ohio State, and that's all thanks to Ohio Stadium.

2. Tiger Stadium (LSU, Baton Rouge, LA, capacity 92,400) Tiger Stadium made the top spot in Dennis Dodd's rankings, and it's hard to argue that point; Tiger Stadium represents everything that college football should stand for. The fans are second to none inside and outside of the stadium, the fans are probably the loudest in the entire nation, and even the detail of yard numbers every five yards instead of 10 is a cool quirk that I at once want more teams to use and at the same time want to be the sole property of LSU's.

In fact, I almost don't want to rank these stadiums at all because it tacitly lends an objective air to what's purely a subjective decision; the only reasons I like Ohio Stadium better than Tiger Stadium are the increased capacity, the Script Ohio, and I think the exterior architecture at the Shoe is just a little better. But that's personal preference operating on a small level, and I certainly hope nobody comes away from this article under the impression that I think Tiger Stadium is anything but incredibly awesome. LSU fans should be proud, and of course, they are.

3. Beaver Stadium (Penn State, University Park, PA, capacity 107,282) Penn State deserves major credit for packing such a gigantic stadium every Saturday, but to just heap praise on Beaver Stadium for being big essentially misses the point; a big stadium is only as worthwhile as the fans inside it, and the Penn State fanbase is arguably the most impressive and enjoyable in college football. The Penn State whiteout is so well-executed, so thorough that no other team bothers trying to make it its own; the whiteout essentially belongs to PSU, as it ought to. The fans pay loving homage to Joe Paterno with costumes, masks, and props, and the "We Are Penn State" chant is as iconic as they come.

But what truly sets Beaver Stadium apart is Penn State's fanatical devotion to volume. A PSU grad student actually figured out that due to the acoustics of Beaver Stadium, moving the students to the south end zone could increase the level of noise up to 50%, and this was already a stadium that was rated louder than Tiger Stadium in one 2007 ESPN poll. That move is coming this season. Even if the Penn State research is wrong, this is still an incredibly intimidating place to play. If they're right? Look out.

Posted on: March 3, 2011 6:08 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2011 8:32 pm

Fornelli's Favorite Stadiums

Posted by Tom Fornelli

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. Notre Dame Stadium (University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN., capacity 80,795) Though Notre Dame hasn't had a lot of national success over the last twenty years, it's impossible to discuss the history of college football without talking about the impact Notre Dame has had on the sport. And that impact, by and large, has taken place inside Notre Dame Stadium. Knute Rockne himself had a hand in building the place, ensuring that the distance between the field and the fans in the seats was kept at a minimum. Which to this day gives fans in attendance the feeling that they're right on top of the action.

Combine that with the tradition of the school itself, the Golden Dome of the main building shining in the sun, and Touchdown Jesus himself looking down upon the stadium, and you can literally feel the history of the place while in your seat. There aren't many better places to spend a Saturday afternoon in the fall than at Notre Dame Stadium.

2. Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium (University of Texas, Austin, TX., capacity 100,119) Since being constructed in 1924, the stadium referred to simply as DKR as gone through many changes. Additions have been made and the name has been changed, but the thing that has remained constant throughout is that there aren't many better places to watch a college football game. In the state of Texas, football is king, and no school in the state holds the prestige as the one referred to simply as UT.

Over 100,000 people visit DKR on Saturdays to live and die with the Longhorns, and over the years they've seen four national champions. Soon DKR will be able to say it's the largest stadium in the country, as expansion in the south end zone will bring its capacity somewhere between 115,000 and 120,000. Which would make you think that there might be a few bad seats inside the stadium, but don't worry, that's what the 134-foot wide high-def screen known as Godzillatron is for. 

3. Camp Randall Stadium (University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI., capacity 80,321) The state of Wisconsin doesn't experience many earthquakes, but about six Saturdays a year, between the third and fourth quarters of a Wisconsin football game, Camp Randall Stadium shakes. This is what happens when over 80,000 people begin jumping up and down to the tune of House of Pain's "Jump Around." When the stadium isn't shaking from the crowd jumping, it feels like it is from the screams of those in attendance. Camp Randall may not be the biggest stadium in college football, but it is one of the loudest.

It's also one of the more enjoyable experiences in the sport, as the fans and students of the school love their Badgers football. So much so, in fact, that four quarters of action just isn't enough and the students partake in a "Fifth Quarter" after every home game. Those in attendance also realize how boring a regular wave is, which is why they try so many different kinds. There's the counter-clockwise, traditional wave. Then there's the slow-motion wave, the double-speed wave, the reversed wave and the two counter-rotational waves in which the entire stadium splits. It takes some practice to pull all of this off, though, which is why fans generally aren't successful until later in the season.
Posted on: March 3, 2011 3:09 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2011 8:34 pm

Hinnen's Favorite Stadiums

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.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com