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 true Big Ten football. It’s the real deal, especially lately.

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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, 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).

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Game 264: Maryland @ #7 Wisconsin

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.

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Game 263: Purdue @ #7 Wisconsin

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.

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Game 261: Florida State @ Wake Forest

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.

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