NORTHWESTERN – RYAN FIELD

Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois is known as the “Wrigley Field” of college football. It doesn’t quite have the history of the Cubs, but boasts a very classic and old school stadium atmosphere. For a while now, NU has been calling themselves Chicago’s Big Ten Team. Attempts to market this slogan are popping up around the city, and the evidence is beginning to show with more rumps in the seats in Evanston.  Perhaps because Chicagoans are slowly realizing that Northwestern is no longer The Big Ten’s little brother.

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#3 Notre Dame @ Northwestern

The glint of the golden Irish helmets have not reflected off the light in Evanston since 1976. Notre Dame and Northwestern have met often in the past, but home games for the Wildcats were typically shifted to Soldier Field. The purple invaded South Bend four years ago and shocked the Irish in overtime. That same magical feeling was hovering over tailgates around Evanston and over Ryan Field as an undefeated Notre Dame team spilled out onto the Wildcats’ home field.

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WISCONSIN – CAMP RANDALL STADIUM

Often regarded as the Big Ten’s wildest and most thrilling venue, Camp Randall Stadium never disappoints. Once a Civil War training site, this massive structure is crammed in a beautiful residential area among dorms, fraternity houses, campus buildings and bars. The Camp is the perfect college venue with views of the state capital and Madison’s surrounding lakes (Mendota and Menona).

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Game 279: Illinois @ #20 Wisconsin

Four seasons. One game.
There is no better way to describe the weather at this Badger homecoming game. A chilly spring like rain fell just before kickoff, which led to dry, cool, gray autumnal skies. An unexpected torrent of wintry snow then whipped wildly around Camp Randall, which gave way to a sunny summery sky. Actually, that was just the first half, and it unleashed havoc on both offenses. Illinois struggled most miserably as Wisconsin forced five turnovers in four seasons.

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ILLINOIS – MEMORIAL STADIUM

Somewhere amid the cornfields of the midwest lies Champaign, Illinois. It’s a great college town with mounds of enthusiasm and passion for their team. On gameday, tailgating takes place in open fields where music blasts, games are played, and footballs are tossed.  You might even catch the band performing a quick drumline or “Oskee Wow Wow” before they make their march into Memorial Stadium.

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RUTGERS – HIGHPOINT STADIUM

Established in 1766 as Queens College, Rutgers is older than the United States. History is a big deal around here as nods to the original Queen’s College can be seen in logos and landmarks around campus. That sense of history also spills onto the football field as Rutgers played in the first ever collegiate football game in 1869, thus earning the title The Birthplace of College Football. A statue commemorating that 6-4 victory over Princeton stands proudly outside HighPoint Stadium- an icon on the Rutgers campus.

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Game 277: Illinois @ Rutgers

Right before kickoff, as though it were a rally cry, one hopeful Scarlet Knight fan hollered, “There is only one team worse in the Big Ten than Rutgers – Illinois!” Well, the game would prove that even that was not true. In a stadium where a sign held up by one student mockingly reads, “1869 National Champs,” many fans have been feeling the sting of joining the Big Ten.

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