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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NORTHERN ILLINOIS – HUSKIE STADIUM

DeKalb, Illinois is not that far from the city life of Chicago, but it may as well be in central Nebraska.  From interstate 88, you can see Huskie Stadium, that is if the corn has already been harvested.  Due to television contracts with ESPN, many Middle-American conference games fall on weekday nights, but that does not dull the enthusiasm.  Many folks drive in from work and it may take a while to get adjusted to the college football mindset, but once the Huskies take the field to a barrage of fireworks, that ol’ Saturday feeling comes back.

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OLE MISS – VAUGHT-HEMINGWAY STADIUM

Unique brands of tailgating are a college football tradition on all campuses. But, nothing compares to Ole Miss. The Grove is a ten acre space shaded by oaks, elms, and magnolias providing an elegant backdrop for thousands of Ole Miss tailgaters. Sporting News calls it “The Holy Grail of tailgating sites.” People stake their claim the night before and set up elaborate tailgates on gameday. 

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Game 253: #7 Wisconsin @ Northwestern

The Chicago Cubs just won the World Series – a 108-year streak without this feat. Ryan Field celebrated by flying the W atop the towers rising over the upper deck. The NU band played “Go Cubs Go” to an all-crowd sing along. Breaking streaks like this are always cause for major celebration. Another streak was on the line as well. It’s not quite 108 years of suffering, but the Badgers have not experienced success in Evanston since 1999. Today, that W flag would also stand for Wisconsin.

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Game 250: #2 Ohio State @ #8 Wisconsin

Camp Randall Stadium is one of the most raucous stadiums in the nation. When Ohio State visits, turn up the volume from rowdy to ridiculous.  This will be the eleventh game I have seen between the Buckeyes and the Badgers, and the contests are always a national event. This one was no different as College Gameday set up its stage on Bascom Hill to highlight the game’s magnitude.

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IOWA – KINNICK STADIUM

This is a classic example of a place where sports dominate the entertainment category. On gameday, you might hear announcers joke that “you can leave the keys in your tractor” because everyone in Iowa is at the game. Pre-game tailgating is fantastic and the buzz on the streets in Iowa City is all about the team. Many fans point out visiting colors and start their battle cries and chants. Walking up to Kinnick Stadium, you see a beautiful brick façade that lines the outside. Rows of corn greet visitors to the main entrance along with a statue of Hawkeye hero and 1939 Heisman trophy winner, Nile Kinnick.

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