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 true Big Ten football. It’s the real deal, especially lately.
A seemingly routine Big Ten slugfest turned into a Pandora’s box of points in an overtime thriller. The Wildcats and Spartans were tied at 10-10 at the onset of the fourth quarter. Then, offensive complacency turned into a panic, as though each team suddenly realized how important this late conference contest meant to their overall seasons.
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, frat 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).
The Fifth Quarter is a nationally renowned tradition that takes place at Camp Randall Stadium after every home game, win or lose. The Wisconsin Marching Band remains on the field postgame playing everything from “On Wisconsin” to “Time Warp” to “Tequila” to “Swingtown.” Fans remain in the stadium and dance with all the traditional choreographed moves. Legendary band director, Mike Leckrone, created this postgame event in the 1970s to keep fan interest strong during the years of poor on-field football performance. Even with Wisconsin’s resurgence in football, The Fifth Quarter has remained a unique spectacle in the world of college football. Today, for homecoming during Camp Randall Stadium’s 100th year in existence, Mike Leckrone invited another legend, Steve Miller, to direct his own “Swingtown” during The Fifth Quarter.
A precipitous forecast became a much drier reality for the Badger Boiler battle in Madison. Ponchos were still the fashion, however, as the clouds released wetness on our walk to and from the stadium (nothing a beer and brat couldn’t distract from). From kickoff to final gun, we were spared rainfall. So much attention was given to the weather channel, that many fans forgot about Purdue’s resurgence, but were reminded during this gray day in Camp Randall.
Texas is one of those iconic places filled with symbols, tradition, and history – it’s like no other. Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium is cavernous, towering, and imposing. Fans gather outside this arena to watch their Longhorns arrive a few hours before kickoff all to tune of “Texas Fight.”
The gridiron duel between Kansas State and Texas turned out to be as evenly matched as anticipated. After a few years of instability at the head-coaching position, loyal Longhorn fans are slowly getting rewarded for their perseverance.
Located in north central North Carolina, Wake Forest brings spirit and tradition to the landscape of college football. While not a conventional powerhouse program, its history and passionate fan base make Demon Deacon nation stand out.
No one could have anticipated an undefeated Wake Forest team hosting a winless Florida State team, but unpredictability is the life blood of college football. However, the Seminoles’ path to winlessness was altered by Hurricane Irma, which canceled or postponed some of their games. In addition, their leader and star, Deondre Francois, suffered a season ending injury in game one, causing the team to readjust on the fly. The Demon Deacons would bring on an unexpected challenge.
Let’s face it. Duke is known for basketball. Cameron Indoor Stadium gets all the national attention for being a bucket list arena for college sports fans. However, don’t overlook the history and charm that built Wallace Wade Stadium, a landmark on campus for which Blue Devil fans show great pride.