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.
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.
Before even having attended LSU, I described it as one of my top 5 visits along the college football tour. I just knew – and I wasn’t disappointed. Few places blend hospitality and hostility so well – the fans are most welcoming and the stadium is most intimidating. This is especially true on a Saturday night.
- If the Ball brothers saw a gameday in Muncie today, they would be very proud of their investment. So much pride runs through this university that bears the name of its benefactors. The brothers Ball are most famous for their glass jar company – their name scripted on each Mason style container. They wanted to give back to the community that gave so much to them by purchasing land and donating it to the state of Indiana. That land would become Ball State University.
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).
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.
Lost amongst the farms and forests of western Ohio lies Yager Stadium. If Highway 732 is chosen as the route to reach this destination, you might feel lost yourself.
One of college football’s hidden gems lies in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The setting alone is special. The high peaked mountains that rise above outside of Aggie Memorial Stadium are stunning. A lot of losing seasons have kept the fan base from being energized, but when they are on, it is considerably fierce.
The stadium here at Florida is nicknamed The Swamp. Coined by coaching legend Steve Spurrier, the nickname caught on when he famously said, “In the Swamp, only gators get out alive.” That statement holds a lot of truth as Ben Hill Griffin Stadium stands tall, imposing, and loud.