Game 312: Purdue vs. Northwestern

This was Northwestern’s bowl game – Wrigley Field. It really should be the site of a postseason bowl game – the College Football Tour Windy City Bowl, perhaps? But, I digress. After winning the Big Ten west division two of the last three years, the Wildcats have slipped back to the Big Ten’s basement. This battle against the surging Boilermakers in “the friendly confines” offered Northwestern a bowl-like experience.

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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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Game 309: West Virginia @ TCU

The Horned Frog faithful that filled Amon G. Carter Stadium hardly had a chance to get their seats warm before they were hopping out of them in response to a Derius Davis 100-yard opening kickoff return for a touchdown. As 120 decibels blasted from the Frog Horn, it began to feel like a turn around moment for TCU’s season. A win over West Virginia would set the wheels back on track that were derailed by Texas and Oklahoma. However, the Mountaineers had plans on U-turning their season, as well.

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WISCONSIN – CAMP RANDALL STADIUM

Often regarded as one of the Big Ten’s wildest and most thrilling venues, 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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UAB – PROTECTIVE STADIUM

The shift from decaying Legion Field to the newly built Protective Stadium has reenergized a program that completely dropped football after 2014, only to have it reinstated two years later after a flurry of protests. The next four seasons saw a program notch two conference titles and build an impressive new stadium in the bustling Uptown district of Birmingham. Gamedays here are building new traditions while integrating everything that makes a college gameday special.

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