As Ohio State fans, we have been spoiled. Not only do we usually have one of the best college football teams in the country, those teams get to play in one of the most historic college football stadiums ever known. If you ask anyone around college football to rank the most notable stadiums in the country, you’ll likely hear The Horseshoe within the first five that are named.
Since Ohio State has plays in such an iconic stadium, we can sometimes forget there are a lot of other great atmospheres around college football. In the Big Ten alone, places like Wisconsin, Penn State, and Iowa are always tough places to play. We aren’t going to limit today’s question to just the Big Ten though, since there are plenty of places around the country that would be great to take in a college football game.
Today’s question: What opposing team’s stadium would you like to travel to?
We’d love to hear your choices. Either respond to us on Twitter at @Landgrant33 or leave your choice in the comments.
Brett’s pick: Tiger Stadium
This was a really tough decision since there are a lot of places I’d love to take in a college football game at. The Rose Bowl is at the top of my list, but since I’m taking this question literally, I’m assuming that the Buckeyes would have to be taking on UCLA in that game. I’d rather go see Ohio State play in the Rose Bowl when they are in the actual Rose Bowl Game.
Another place that I think would be a blast to go for a college football game would be out to Washington. The thing is, I don’t want to actually go to Husky Stadium for a game. Instead, I just want to go for the “sailgate”, so that really doesn’t count when I say I want to go to a game at Washington.
The other location I considered to go to a game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo for a BYU game because of the breathtaking views of Y Mountain just beyond the east side of the stadium. The only problem is I don’t think BYU is ready for someone with my tailgating prowess. I’m sure that I’d be put in jail before I had the chance to launch myself through a table.
I feel like the place where I would fit in the best and enjoy the most would be at Tiger Stadium. Now there is no guarantee that I’ll actually make it to the game though since I might be curled up in the parking lot at kickoff in a food coma. I’ve seen pictures and heard stories of the type of tailgate fare they have in Baton Rouge and it all sounds and looks incredible. Gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee, and much more. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it all.
As if the food wasn’t enough, there’s a rumor that LSU fans know how to drink a little bit. I feel like I might have been cajun in another life since I know a thing or two about consuming the alcohols. I’ve heard stories about LSU fans hitting the road and absolutely destroying the alcohol supply in some college towns, so it would be interesting to see if I could hang with these professional drinkers.
Now the only thing I request if I go to a game at Tiger Stadium, is that it is a night game. I have heard some magical things about games under the lights at LSU. While I’ve been to some games at Ohio State that were incredibly loud, there have been many people that have said Tiger Stadium is the loudest college football venue in the country.
Since Ohio State fans notoriously travel well, it would be fun to see just how many Buckeyes we could get into Tiger Stadium. Now I know Ohio State fans aren’t going to takeover Baton Rouge like they do some other road venues, but it would likely be a respectable showing when it comes to the turnout for the road team fans. On top of all that, I’m sure the game on the field would be pretty entertaining as well.
So there you have it, I’m “Calling Baton Rouge”! We are seeing some SEC teams popping up on Ohio State’s future schedules, so hopefully the Tigers and Buckeyes can put together a home-and-home in the next couple decades. If not, I’ll still be looking for an excuse to head down to Louisiana and see a game at Death Valley.
Meredith’s pick: Vaught Hemingway Stadium
Brett — you’re exactly right. The answer is clear, and as a lover of Big Ten tradition, there is no alternative to the Rose Bowl. For starters, it’s a historic site. Not only is it essentially the geographic western edge of Ohio State’s storied history, the Rose Bowl has also been the site of the Olympic games.
It’s also massive. As an Ohio State fan, it is somewhat underwhelming to go to, say, Ryan Field and feel the atmosphere come alive around me (no offense to Northwestern). The Rose Bowl, meanwhile, seats 91,000, and ranks 11th in capacity among US stadiums.
Finally, what’s to not love about being in sunny southern California?
But as you said, we’d have to play UCLA for that to happen outside of the traditional Rose Bowl game — though I might take that deal anyway.
But alas, I can’t cheat two weeks in a row, so, like Brett, I’d also head to the SEC for reasons that also are mainly tied to the tailgating fare: Ole Miss. Admittedly, I had to google the name of Vaught Hemingway Stadium, because I’m most concerned with the scene at the Grove.
Famed as perhaps the best tailgating scene in college football, the Grove is physically a 10-acre area on the Ole Miss campus surrounded by trees (hence the name) which contains, on football Saturdays, thousands of tents and up to 100,000 tailgaters preparing for each weekends’ games in high style.
The Grove really came into its own in 1991, when the university banned vehicles from the area. Since then, the school has invested in the tailgating space, including in what are rumored to be the fanciest porta-potties ever (Hot Toddy Potties) and maintenance to keep the area pristine.
While many of the visitors to the Grove do it up quite a bit, the inter-tent competition reaches a whole new level on the main drag of the Grove, known as the Walk of Champions. Tents with actual chandeliers? Private chefs? Champagne fountains? Live entertainment? Themed parties? I’m so here for it.
The dress code often looks more like Sunday brunch than Saturday football, with bowties, dresses and cowboy boots worn as gameday attire.
The hosts of the tents regularly spend thousands on food and alcohol in a given weekend while hosting hundreds of passing visitors. Even opposing fans are welcome. Oh, southern hospitality.
The operation runs like clockwork, with a whole system of paid student placeholders, vendors who set up the tents and a cleanup crew to get the Grove back to perfect condition by Sunday.
Would I choose it for my regular college football fare? No. Wearing a sundress to a football game is not my jam, but to each their own. And it might be fun one time.