KENTUCKY – KROGER FIELD

Even though Lexington lies on the northern portion of SEC country, southern flavor still lives strongly in Kentucky. The scenery toward Lexington is what one might expect with rolling hills giving way to fenced-in horse pastures. Fans tailgate around the stadium as sections of the Kentucky band visit random tailgates for a private show. The wide mass of fans dressed in blue moves like ocean waves toward Kroger Field to watch the band perform as the team makes their entrance during the pregame Catwalk. Kentucky’s band bangs out “Kentucky Fight” while fans welcome the team.

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Game 282: Middle Tennessee @ #17 Kentucky

Wildcat enthusiasm took a huge hit as dreams of an SEC title game appearance evaporated with losses to Georgia and Tennessee. Kentucky has still produced a record setting season including its first win over Florida in 31 attempts. Senior day descended upon Lexington today with a deceptively tough Middle Tennessee team coming into Kroger Field and records that still needed breaking.

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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 281: #3 Notre Dame @ Northwestern

The glint of the golden Irish helmets have not reflected off the light in Evanston since 1976. Notre Dame and Northwestern have met often in the past, but home games for the Wildcats were typically shifted to Soldier Field. The purple invaded South Bend four years ago and shocked the Irish in overtime. That same magical feeling was hovering over tailgates around Evanston and over Ryan Field as an undefeated Notre Dame team spilled out onto the Wildcats’ home field.

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Game 257: Nevada @ Northwestern

All September afternoons need to be this beautiful.  Temperatures in the low seventies and sunshine that glistened off Lake Michigan provided the perfect environment for our 7th Annual College Football Tour Northwestern Tailgate.  Colleagues and family, old friends and new all joined for food, drink, and games.  Tailgating at Northwestern is spread out, but there are some magnificent spots that can rival any Big Ten venue – we found one today.

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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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