Top Rankings Of The Game’s Fans, Atmosphere & Stadiums
The AP and College Football Playoff Committee have theie rankings. And PubClub.com has ours.
And it’s not just our Top Party Schools. It’s this other all-important element of the college game, the atmosphere around the game. That’s the live in-person experience and even watching on TV.
So here’s our picks for the Best of the Rest of college football:
• Best Single-Game Tailgate Party: Georgia-Florida. It’s not called “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” for nothing. And yes, we still refer to this game by its unofficial nickname.
Runner-up: USC-UCLA. Most people come to party and socialize, hardly bothering to even watch the game until the fourth quarter.
More Than Honorable Mentions: Oklahoma-Texas. Held in Dallas, the Red River Shootout been part of the Texas State Fair forever and is the focus of the festivities. The Grove, Ole Miss. A good ‘ol Southern tradition that’s the best on a weekly basis.
• Best Pre-Game Celebration: Tennessee. UT has the Volunteer Walk (the football team going into the stadium down Volunteer Blvd.); the Pride of the Southland Band’s “Salute to the Hill” where they stop in the street and pay homage to “the Hill,” the original part of campus; they continue marching right into Neyland Stadium and then “split the ‘T’ when the team runs onto the field. There’s nothing like it.
• Best Post-Game Celebration: USC. At USC, there’s a similar celebration after the games (let’s see, UT is coming off a 5-7 season and has Lane Kiffin as it’s coach and SC is a perennial national championship contender, so it makes sense UT would celebrate before games and USC afterward). To party after yet another victory in the Coliseum, the band plays to the student section and the Song Girls dance to the great Trojan music. This goes on for about 45 minutes. It’s awesome.
• Best Cheerleaders: USC. Hands down. No arguments. Those cotton sweaters and pleated skirts are awesome. Not only that, but they dance and are more precise than half the teams in college football.
Runner-up: Tennessee. Girls have to walk up “the hill” to freshman classes at Ayers Hall, the oldest building on campus. That really builds up their legs, which helps out with all those leg kicks.
Second Runner-Up: Oregon. The girls are gorgeous and are also very friendly.
• Best Cheer: “Go Cocks,” USC, University of South Carolina (you have to hear it with the song and in the home stadium with the band playing). Runner-up: “Let’s Go Peay,” Austin Peay in Tennessee.Worst Cheer: The Southern California “spellout” from the West Coast USC. It’s long, not inspiring and dumb.
• Best T-shirt Slogan: “I’d rather Ball U than IU.” Ball State University in a reference to Indiana. The interstate freeway exit for the campus is number 69, by the way.
• Best Nickname: The University of Santa Cruz (CA) Banana Slugs.
• Best Stadium: Kyle Field, Texas A&M. With a capacity of 012,733, it’s the largest stadium in the SEC. And that’s saying something. But it’s the atmosphere that makes this such an awesome venue. After all, a building is just a building. It’s the passion and the people – and also the tradition – that make it special. There’s also cool things on campus, like the Century Tree where legend has it that if you walk under it alone, you’ll be alone forever.
• Best Band: Million Dollar Band, University of Alabama. So named because at one time the football team stunk yet the band was awesome, thus prompting a sportswriter to comment, “At least the band looks like a million dollars.” It still does today. Second-Best Band: Pride of the Southland Band, University of Tennessee. The band marches down the street straight into the stadium, then splits the “T” for the team to run through. Third-Best Band: FAMU (Florida A&M). They do put on a show! Honorable Mention: Stanford, for the political satire and Ohio State because there’s something cool about dotting the ‘i’ in Ohio.
• Best TV Announcer (ever): Mr. College Football. Retired or not, Keith Jackson still acts like a “6-4 soph-o-more from Ala-A-BAMA-a.” Okay, he’s from Georgia and went to Washington State, but he describes a shoestring tackle as “he got him by the hind leg.” Classic!