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Top 25 Colleges with the Best Football Tailgates

College football and tailgating go hand in hand, and campus tailgate parties are a point of pride for many fanbases. Whether you’re looking for schools with well-known athletic programs or simply want to experience some of the nation’s best tailgating parties, check out this list of the top 25 college football tailgates!

Alabama

University of Alabama Mascot Big Al on the Field at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Photo by Instagram user @ua_big_al

Photo via @ua_big_al

  • City: Tuscaloosa, AL
  • School Size: 37,842
  • Conference: SEC
  • Known For: Amazing BBQ, the Elephant Stomp, “Roll Tide”

With all the success The University of Alabama has had on the field, Crimson Tide fans have plenty of experience celebrating, and it shows in their tailgate parties! The festivities start about four to five hours before kickoff on The Quad, a large green space near the Denny Chimes bell tower, where tailgaters set up tents and tables the night prior. Throw on some Alabama gear, grab a barbecue package from Dreamland BBQ or Full Moon Bar-B-Que, and belt out “Roll Tide!” as the team makes the Walk of Champions down University Blvd before kickoff. Stick around for the Elephant Stomp, when the Million Dollar Band plays school favorites like Yea, Alabama on the steps of the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library. After the game, make your way to the Strip, a stretch of bars and restaurants just north of Bryant-Denny Stadium. There, you can catch up on the rest of the action in college football on the patio at The Houndstooth Sports Bar, celebrate on the rooftop at Rounders Bar, or try a Yellow Hammer, the signature drink of Bama fans, at Galettes.

Army

  • City: West Point, NY
  • School Size: 4,457
  • Conference: Patriot League
  • Known For: Cadet Review, National Anthem, historic campus

Be prepared to get up early if you want to tailgate for an Army football game. The gates at the United States Military Academy at West Point open at 6am on game day, giving you plenty of time for some pregame breakfast and Bloody Marys. Be sure to brush up on the lyrics to On, Brave Old Army Team before the Cadet Review, a full-dress cadet parade that draws thousands to The Plain three hours prior to kickoff. Then, head over to Black Knight Alley, a section of Mills Road with live music, beer tents, food vendors, inflatables for kids, and more. If you have extra time, explore the West Point campus to see Trophy Point, Cadet Chapel, and other historic monuments and buildings. Make sure you’re inside Michie Stadium 20 minutes before the game—that’s when the Cadet Regiment takes the field to unfurl the flag and play the national anthem!

Auburn

Auburn Tigers Mascot Running Down the Sideline with an Auburn Flag. Photo by Instagram user @auburn.wire

Photo via @auburn.wire

  • City: Auburn, AL
  • School Size: 30,737
  • Conference: SEC
  • Known For: Tiger Walk, “War Eagle,” Toomer’s Corner

Most college football fanbases have a tradition of welcoming the team outside the stadium prior to the game, but few take it as seriously as Auburn University. As several thousand orange-and-blue-clad fans line Donahue Drive for the Tiger Walk two hours before kickoff. The players and coaches are showered with “War Eagle!” battle cries as they move from the Athletics Complex to Jordan-Hare Stadium. Once the team reaches the stadium, fans return to the collection of tents, trucks, and RVs hosting tailgate games and food, including cheddar bacon dip and cheese biscuits. Be sure you’re in your seat half an hour before the game to witness the school’s live mascot perform the Eagle Flight above the stadium. Should Auburn win, hightail it to the intersection of College Street and Magnolia Ave to participate in rolling Toomer’s Corner!

Clemson

Crowd Photo During a Clemson Tigers Football Game. Photo by Instagram user @clemsonfb

Photo via @clemsonfb

  • City: Clemson, SC
  • School Size: 26,406
  • Conference: ACC
  • Known For: Southern hospitality, Tiger Rag

There’s a strong sense of family at a Clemson tailgate, making it one of the South’s best tailgate scenes. The air rings with Southern hospitality, and you can expect to be invited to any tailgate for a game of cornhole, some barbecue from The Smokin’ Pig, and a glass of sweet tea. The communal atmosphere brings together kids, college students, and longtime alumni to share their love of all things orange and purple. They all gather in Clemson University‘s outdoor amphitheater for the “90 Minutes Before Kickoff” mini concert, where the Tiger Band serenades the crowd with Tiger Rag and Eye of the Tiger. Then, everyone finds their seats inside Memorial Stadium—more affectionately known as Death Valley—to witness “The Most Exciting 25 Seconds in College Football,” when the Tigers touch Howard’s Rock and race down The Hill just before the start of the game.

Georgia

  • City: Athens, GA
  • School Size: 39,147
  • Conference: SEC
  • Known For: Dawg Walk, “Between the Hedges”

While many schools have a tailgating hot spot, the tailgating scene at University of Georgia is more spread out, giving you a variety of ways to prep for the big game. The more traditional tailgating is on Myers Quad, where you’ll find a mix of college students and alumni, tailgate tents and grills, and trays of fried chicken and BBQ from Weaver D’s and Dawg Gone Good BBQ. If you prefer a more laid-back scene, head to North Campus and spend some time on Herty Field. Kegs, grills, and loud music aren’t allowed on North Campus, giving the tailgates there a quiet, reserved atmosphere. And if you want a party, you’ll find it on S Milledge Avenue, home to many of UGA’s Greek houses. Wherever you choose to tailgate, don’t be afraid to dress up a bit! Dawg fans keep it classy, as you’ll see bowties, khakis, and sundresses throughout campus. Just make sure of two things: your attire is red and black, and you’re in place to greet the team during the Dawg Walk. About two hours before kickoff, the Bulldogs exit the buses and make their way through the Tate Center parking lot, encouraged by renditions of Glory, Glory by the Redcoat Marching Band and cheers from thousands of fans.

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Florida State

Florida Seminole Planting Spear at Midfield of an FSU Football Game. Photo by Instagram user @seminoles

Photo via @seminoles

  • City: Tallahassee, FL
  • School Size: 43,953
  • Conference: ACC
  • Known For: Friday Night Block Party, Tomahawk Chop, War Chant

Florida State fans love tailgating so much that they can’t wait until Saturday to get started! The revelry begins the night before game day at the Friday Night Block Party, where thousands of fans gather on S Duval St for food, drinks, and concerts from artists like Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line, and Sam Hunt. On Saturday, you’ll find tailgaters enjoying the gorgeous Florida weather spread out around campus, with more rowdy parties at Indian Village, a student apartment complex on the south side of Doak S. Campbell Stadium. Be on the lookout for the Garnet and Gold Guys, a pair of passionate fans that paint their bodies with glitter in school colors and can be found for selfies all over campus. Practice your Tomahawk Chop and War Chant, too, as both are essential for attending the game and while exploring other tailgates across Florida State University.

Iowa

Iowa Fans Waving to the Children's Hospital during an Iowa Football Game. Photo by Instagram user @thesummitic_

Photo via @thesummitic_

  • City: Iowa City, IA
  • School Size: 31,730
  • Conference: Big Ten
  • Known For: Family atmosphere, Hawk Walk, turkey legs

The tailgating at The University of Iowa mirrors what’s found at the world-famous Iowa State Fair each summer. With family-friendly fun and ridiculous amounts of food, there’s something for everyone! For the more traditional experience, head to Melrose Ave on the south side of Kinnick Stadium and find large video boards showing other college football games, kids activities, and plenty of food vendors, including the famous turkey leg stand. About two hours before kickoff, you can greet the team as they exit the buses, touch Kinnick Statue, and enter the stadium during the Hawk Walk. Then, move to the Recreation Building on the other side of the stadium for an indoor concert from the Hawkeye Marching Band. If you want more of the college party atmosphere, hit up the student-owned houses at Melrose Place, where you’ll find adult beverages, loud music, and tailgate games. Wherever you choose to tailgate, make sure you brush up on the lyrics to In Heaven There Is No Beer. Not only is the song played after each Hawkeye touchdown, but it’s blasted at tailgates across campus all day long.

LSU

  • City: Baton Rouge, LA
  • School Size: 34,290
  • Conference: SEC
  • Known For: Cajun food, Victory Hill March, Parade Ground tailgating

At Louisiana State University (LSU), every tailgate is a party, and no one is a stranger. Feel free to bounce around the various tailgates on the Parade Ground, a vast green space in the middle of the LSU Tigers campus. Here, you’ll find hospitable Greek tents, decked-out trailers, and tables of tailgating alumni waiting to welcome you and offer you crawfish or a bowl of gumbo. As you make your way toward Tiger Stadium, don’t forget to stop by the habitat housing Mike the Tiger, LSU’s live mascot. Then, catch the team, the Golden Girls, and the entire Golden Band from Tigerland march down Victory Hill toward the stadium about an hour and a half before the game. LSU is great to visit, even if you don’t have a ticket to the game! Just head to the original location of Walk On’s Sports Bistreaux to catch the game.

Michigan

Cheerleader Waving Big Michigan "M" Flag in the Endzone at the Big House. Photo by Instagram user @uofmichigan

Photo via @uofmichigan

  • City: Ann Arbor, MI
  • School Size: 48,153
  • Conference: Big Ten
  • Known For: Enormous crowds, “The Big House”

Home to the largest home crowd in college football, it’s no surprise that University of Michigan has a passionate tailgating scene. The majority of Wolverine fans gather on the lawns at Ann Arbor Golf & Outing Club and the University of Michigan Golf Course. These areas not only provide gorgeous views and ample space, but they’re right across the street from “The Big House,” Michigan Stadium. Shouts of “Go Blue!” echo throughout the space as tailgaters play cornhole, watch other college football games, and share sandwich trays from Zingerman’s Delicatessen and BBQ spreads from Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery. Once you’ve gotten your fill, trek north to Revelli Hall, where you can hear the Michigan Marching Band practice The Victors fight song and other classics before making its way down Hoover St to the stadium. The fun keeps going after the game at bars like The Brown Jug, Casa Dominick’s, and Rick’s American Cafe.

Nebraska

  • City: Lincoln, NE
  • School Size: 25,108
  • Conference: Big Ten
  • Known For: Sellout Streak, Tunnel Walk, Blackshirts

Not many fanbases take college football as seriously as those of University of Nebraska—the Huskers have sold out every home game since 1962! That passion manifests in Nebraska tailgates as well, and you’ll find tents, RVs, trucks, and tables spread out all over campus and Downtown Lincoln. The Railyard, with its monstrous 14×40 Cube TV screen and easy access to surrounding bars, has become an increasingly popular gathering place in recent years. Husker fans are friendly as they come, and even if you’re wearing opponent colors, they’re likely to welcome you to Lincoln and offer you a burger or brat off the grill. If you hear a call of “Go Big Red!”, be prepared to echo it—this will happen dozens of times as you move through this college’s tailgating scene. Just make sure you’re in Memorial Stadium about ten minutes before kickoff. You can’t miss the Tunnel Walk, the Huskers’ epic entrance to the field that never fails to send the Sea of Red into a frenzy!

North Dakota State

Large Group of People on the Street During College Gameday before an NDSU Game. Photo by Instagram user @ndsufootball

Photo via @ndsufootball

  • City: Fargo, ND
  • School Size: 12,846
  • Conference: FCS
  • Known For: Hospitality, large crowds, Thundering Herd

Don’t think for a second that North Dakota’s frigid winters or Fargo’s smaller population impact North Dakota State University‘s passion for tailgating. Pound for pound, NDSU has some of the best tailgating in college football! As many as 50,000 fans squeeze into the lots surrounding the Fargodome in preparation to root on one of the most successful teams in FCS history. Tailgating spaces fill up with trailers, RVs, and tents starting Friday afternoon, but don’t worry if you miss out on a spot. NDSU fans take great pride in displaying Midwestern hospitality, and they’ll happily invite you to share their heaters and grilled venison or moose. ESPN’s College Gameday has only made six visits to FCS schools in the show’s history, and three have been to North Dakota State. That’s how much respect the Bison and their adoring fans garner!

Ohio State

Filled Ohio State Football Game at the Horseshoe. Photo by Instagram user @ohiostatefb

Photo via @ohiostatefb

  • City: Columbus, OH
  • School Size: 67,957
  • Conference: Big Ten
  • Known For: Skull Session, band performances, The Horseshoe

The sheer scale of the tailgating at The Ohio State University (OSU) alone makes it stand out. Ohio Stadium—better known as “The Horseshoe”—welcomes more than 102,000 fans on game day, and tens of thousands more congregate on Lane Ave, in the Varsity Club, and all over campus. Wherever you end up, you’ll find OSU fans decked out in scarlet and gray, belting out the lyrics to Carmen Ohio, and enjoying buckeyes and catering from City Barbeque. Around two hours before kickoff, 10,000 fans from all across the tailgating scene descend upon St. John Arena for the Skull Session, where The Ohio State University Marching Band puts on a concert. Once the team arrives, a senior and the head coach fire up the crowd before heading to the locker room. The band sends the fans off with one final rendition of Across the Field to ensure everyone is ready to root on the Buckeyes.

Oklahoma

Filled Stadium at an Oklahoma Sooners Game. Photo by Instagram user @ou_athletics

Photo via @ou_athletics

  • City: Norman, OK
  • School Size: 29,357
  • Conference: Big 12
  • Known For: Boomer Sooner fight song, Campus Corner

Whether friend or foe, you’re going to be treated well when tailgating at an Oklahoma football game! Sooner fans are well-known for their kindness and hospitality, so don’t be surprised if you’re welcomed into a tailgate at SooneRVillage, along Lindsey St, or other hotspots around The University of Oklahoma. If you prefer to pregame indoors, head over to Campus Corner, a shopping district where you’ll find establishments, like The Porch, Diamond Dawgs, and O’Connell’s Irish Pub & Grille, perfect for watching other college football games and hanging with fellow Sooner fans. Make sure you’re well-versed on the lyrics to Boomer Sooner—you’re going to hear the song hundreds of times throughout the day, both at tailgates and inside Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, so you should be prepared to sing along!

Ole Miss

Players Running onto the Field at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium at the University of Mississippi. Photo by Instagram user @olemiss

Photo via @olemiss

  • City: Oxford, MS
  • School Size: 21,676
  • Conference: SEC
  • Known For: The Grove, Walk of Champions

When the fanbase’s mantra is, “We may not win every game, but we ain’t never lost a party,” you know Ole Miss takes tailgating seriously! Rebel Nation goes all out, and that passion makes The Grove unlike any other college tailgate. These ten acres of green space in the middle of The University of Mississippi‘s campus transform Friday nights before home games into a tent city decked out with TVs, elaborate flower arrangements, enough food to feed a small army, and even chandeliers! Up to 25,000 fans congregate to belt out Hotty Toddy Cheer, play tailgating games, and feast on sausage balls and ham-and-cheese sliders. Beer isn’t allowed on Ole Miss’ campus, but Hot Toddys contribute to the festive spirit. The highlight comes about two hours before kickoff—fans line the brick road running through The Grove for the Walk of Champions, where they cheer on the team as it passes on the way to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

Oregon

Pregame Festivities Happening Before an Oregon Ducks Football Game at Autzen Stadium. Photo by Instagram user @oregonfootball

Photo via @oregonfootball

  • City: Eugene, OR
  • School Size: 22,760
  • Conference: Pac-12
  • Known For: The Mo, March to Victory

Don’t let the mascot’s name fool you—the University of Oregon knows how to throw a tailgate party. Just check out the live entertainment, food court, and full bar at Essig Field, right across the street from Autzen Stadium. Or join the sea of yellow and green on 13th Ave, where you’ll find a lively scene at The Webfoot Bar & Grill and Rennie’s Landing. But you’ll find some of the most passionate fans in the Moshofsky Center, the Ducks’ practice facility that transforms into the ultimate pregame party venue on gameday. Up to 5,000 fans pack “The Mo” to enjoy live music, food and beverages, and kids activities as they wait for the March to Victory, when players, coaches, and the Duck mascot himself make their way through to the stadium. So brush up on the lyrics to Mighty Oregon, throw your O, and experience what it’s like when the Ducks throw a party.

San Diego State

Players Getting Ready to Run on the Field before an SDSU Game. Photo by Instagram user @goaztecs

Photo via @goaztecs

  • City: San Diego, CA
  • School Size: 33,870
  • Conference: Mountain West
  • Known For: Aztec Village, gorgeous weather

Because San Diego State University (SDSU) is on the West Coast, most of its football games don’t kick off until the evening. Lucky for the fans, because that means they get to tailgate all day long! The beautiful San Diego weather is perfect for grilling, playing cornhole, and gorging on tailgate food of all varieties. The best tailgating spot is right outside the stadium in lot F-1, better known as Aztec Village. There’s live music, festivities for kids, and even the chance to rub elbows with former SDSU athletes and band members. It’s also the location of Warrior Walk, when the band and cheerleaders lead the Aztecs through the parking lot to SDCCU Stadium. If you’d prefer to catch up on other action around college football while you wait for the game to start, go to McGregor’s Ale House. With plenty of TVs, a wide selection of craft beer, and the legendary Monster Mash Burger, it’s the perfect place to watch college games.

South Carolina

  • City: Columbia, SC
  • School Size: 35,487
  • Conference: SEC
  • Known For: Cockabooses, Gamecock Park, Sandstorm

Ever heard of a Cockaboose? Don’t worry if you haven’t—this tradition is unique to South Carolina football fans! An unused railroad lies just 50 yards from Williams-Brice Stadium, and it’s now home to 22 garnet railcars complete with kitchens, bathrooms, and heating/AC—what better place for a tailgate party?! Don’t fret if you can’t get into one of these exclusive cars, though. There’s tons of great tailgating all around the University of South Carolina, especially in Gamecock Park, a massive green space just southwest of the stadium. Sing along with live music performers, snap a selfie with Cocky, and fill up on chicken salad sandwiches and pimento cheese while you wait for the Gamecock Walk by the stadium. Make sure you grab a white towel at some point—you’ll need it to wave when Sandstorm blasts over the loudspeakers during the game!

TCU

Super Frog Sitting at a TCU Football Game. Photo by Instagram user @tcu_athletics

Photo via @tcu_athletics

  • City: Fort Worth, TX
  • School Size: 11,379
  • Conference: Big 12
  • Known For: Frog Walk, Go Frogs hand sign, Riff Ram

Texas Christian University (TCU) wasn’t always known for college tailgating, but that’s changed in recent years. The creation of Frog Alley told the college football world that the Horned Frogs were taking tailgating seriously. Located just outside Amon G. Carter Stadium, Frog Alley hosts a family-friendly pregame party complete with bands, kids’ games, live radio shows, food vendors, and more. It opens two hours before kickoff, which gives you plenty of time to learn the lyrics to Riff Ram, master the Go Frogs hand sign, and get a photo with Super Frog. About two and a half hours before the game, the team arrives for Frog Walk, followed by the band 90 minutes later. Want to see more of campus? Get out to the Lettermen’s Tailgate for some legendary BBQ off the enormous 39-foot smoker, or grab a burger and play tailgating games on the brick patios on the west side of the stadium.

Tennessee

Tennessee Vols Football Players Running onto the Field. Photo by Instagram user @vol_football

Photo via @vol_football

  • City: Knoxville, TN
  • School Size: 30,559
  • Conference: SEC
  • Known For: Vol Navy, Vol Walk

Tailgating isn’t confined to land at The University of Tennessee. The Tennessee River, which runs along the eastern side of Neyland Stadium, is home to the Vol Navy, a collection of boats, kayaks, and yachts where white and orange-clad fans party on the river before the game. Volunteer fans without a nautical vessel gather on the G-10 Parking Garage right next to the stadium for grilling, music, and watching other college football games. They also mingle around Volunteer Village, where young fans can meet school mascot Smokey and play on inflatables and adults enjoy a live DJ, food, and other pregame festivities. Then, about two hours before the game, the Vol Walk commences as the Pride of the Southland Band leads the team down Peyton Manning Pass to the stadium. And any visitor should get a selfie in front of The Rock, an iconic landmark constantly painted by different local artists, so it always has a new look!

Texas

Texas Longhorn Football Players Huddling Before a Football Game. Photo by Instagram user @texasfootball

Photo via @texasfootball

  • City: Austin, TX
  • School Size: 51,832
  • Conference: Big 12
  • Known For: Hook ‘Em hand sign, professional tailgates, BBQ

You know the expression “Everything’s bigger in Texas”? Well, that applies to tailgating, too! Game days at the University of Texas are one giant combination of burnt orange gear, Hook ‘Em hand signs, and fans belting out The Eyes of Texas. And there are no shortage of tailgating options on this Austin campus. Massive professional tailgates like the Longhorn Tailgaters and the Horn-Ball Texas Tailgaters require a ticket to join, but their live music, group activities, and giveaways make them worth your while. There are plenty of free options around campus as well. Meet Texas‘ live longhorn mascot and sample the best tailgating food from local food trucks on Bevo Blvd. Wash down wings and Sauerkraut Balls with craft beer at Scholz, home to the longest running UT tailgate. Wherever you end up, remember to stay hydrated (The dry heat is no joke!) and feast on some legendary Texas BBQ.

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Texas A&M

Texas A&M Playing at Kyle Field at Dusk. Photo by Instagram user @12thman

Photo via @12thman

  • City: College Station, TX
  • School Size: 71,109
  • Conference: SEC
  • Known For: Midnight Yell, 12th Man, “Gig ’em!”

The Texas A&M home crowd at Kyle Field is commonly referred to as the 12th Man, a tradition in place since 1922, when a student was pulled from the stands to suit up mid-game after injuries plagued the team. Slowly but surely, the desperate hope of the Aggies turned into the underdog who saved them all, knocking off the top-ranked team. This passion is similarly reflected in the school’s tailgate traditions. No visit to College Station is complete without attending Midnight Yell, when as many as 25,000 band members, cadets, students, and alumni pack Kyle Field the night before the game to practice the traditional cheers and songs. The festive spirit continues into game day, where you’ll find all kinds of tailgating in Aggie Park (formerly Spence Park), a massive green space just east of the stadium. The friendly tailgate owners are likely to greet you with a thumbs up and a call of “Gig ’em!”, then offer you a sampling of Texas BBQ or stuffed jalapenos. And whenever you hear an Aggie Yell, be sure to let out a loud “Whoop!” at the end. Traditions are a big part of Texas A&M University, and the better prepared you are, the better time you’ll have!

USC

USC Players Running onto the Field at The Colosseum. Photo by Instagram user @usc.fb

Photo via @usc.fb

  • City: Los Angeles, CA
  • School Size: 46,000
  • Conference: Pac-12
  • Known For: Victory Dogs, Spirit of Troy arrival, “Fight On!”

A University of Southern California tailgate carries a familiar Southern California vibe. Everyone is relatively laid-back, enjoying the gorgeous weather, and saving their energy to cheer on the Trojans once the game begins. Keep your eyes peeled as you wander around the Trojan Family Game Day Experience, Exposition Park, and other tailgating areas on campus. Not only will you have the chance to spot Tommy the Trojan and Traveler, the school’s majestic white horse mascot, but you might see celebrity super fans Will Ferrell and Snoop Dogg! Make sure you’re near the Traveler statue in Hahn Plaza about an hour before kickoff. That’s when the famous Spirit of Troy Marching Band makes its way to the game, echoing Fight On!, one of the most well-known fight songs in college football. Kick one of the three flag poles along Exposition Blvd on the way into the stadium—it’s good luck! And should the Trojans win, wolf down a bacon-wrapped Victory Dog on the walk back to your car.

Utah

Utah Utes Fans Tossing Fans In the Stands. Photo by Instagram user @utahfootball

Photo via @utahfootball

  • City: Salt Lake City, UT
  • School Size: 33,080
  • Conference: Pac-12
  • Known For: “Utah Man,” Ute Walk, The Holy War

Tailgating for a football game at The University of Utah is more about being respectful than rowdy. Wander around Tailgate Island and Guardsman Lot to share a drink and bite to eat with the locals, then make your way to Utah Village for interactive games, a live radio broadcast, and plenty of delicious tailgating food. The festivities begin in earnest during the Ute Walk, when the band leads the players and coaches down Guardsman Way to Rice-Eccles Stadium. If you get a good spot along this path, you might even catch a T-shirt thrown by one of the team members! Once the game begins, join the MUSS, Utah’s famed student section, in the Third Down Jump and Utah Man and more fun traditions. Win or lose, Ute fans are allowed onto the field after the game to snap pictures and relive the day’s most exciting moments. And if you’re looking for a good game to attend, don’t miss out on the Utah vs. BYU rivalry game, referred to as “The Holy War.”

Washington

Football Players Running onto Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium at a University of Washington Football Game. Photo by Instagram user @jenolulu

Photo via @jenolulu

  • City: Seattle, WA
  • School Size: 44,157
  • Conference: Pac-12
  • Known For: Sailgating, The Greatest Setting in College Football

Washington fans may not have invented “sailgating,” but they might’ve perfected it! As many as 150 private boats and yachts fill Union Bay, just east of Husky Stadium, on game day. If you like to party, this is your spot—there’s a reason Tequila is the school’s unofficial fight song! If you prefer to pregame on land, you’ll find hundreds of tents and RVs in the lots both north and south of the stadium. If you’re lucky, you might even get a ticket to The Zone, a premium hospitality suite with food and fun inside the stadium. Wherever you end up, you’ll get to see why University of Washington prides itself as the “Greatest Setting in College Football.” Not only does the stadium overlook pristine Lake Washington, but it also offers stunning views of Mt. Rainier, the Downtown Seattle skyline, the Cascade Mountains, and the Olympic Mountain Range.

West Virginia

West Virginia Players Running onto the Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Photo by Instagram user @westvirginiau

Photo via @westvirginiau

  • City: Morgantown, WV
  • School Size: 29,107
  • Conference: Big 12
  • Known For: Mountaineer Mantrip, pepperoni rolls, Take Me Home, Country Roads

If it’s a wild party you’re looking for, you’ll find it at a West Virginia University tailgate! In fact, Mountaineer celebrations are so raucous that couch burning used to be a tradition (The practice is banned now). The fanbase functions as one large family that shares food, good times, and plenty of moonshine. To find the heart of the party, head to the Blue Lot. Among the sea of blue-and-gold tents and RVs, you’ll find passionate Mountaineer fans singing Take Me Home, Country Roads, feasting on pepperoni rolls and deer jerky, and enjoying homemade adult beverages. You’ll want to take a quick break from the revelry about two and a half hours before kickoff for the Mountaineer Mantrip. Led by the Mountaineer, the team exits its buses and walks between a tunnel of fans, cheerleaders, and band members across the Milan Puskar Stadium parking lot. Then, return to your tailgating ways until the Mountaineer gets the game started by firing his rifle!

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