Top 15 CFB Atmospheres

By: Steven Carlson (@StevenCarlson97)

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What goes into this list is a combination of pregame tailgate atmosphere, in-game stadium atmosphere and postgame bar and party atmosphere. 

#15 South Carolina: South Carolina has passionate fans who show out every year even when the team isn’t super competitive. What gets them on this list is the fact that their tailgating scene is just as good as any other school.

#14 Iowa: Outside of having one of the more consistently successful teams in the country, the fans that pack Kinnick Stadium every week are amazing with the traditions and crazy tailgates all around the stadium

#13 Washington: One word, SAILGATING!!!!! This just gives Washington such a different atmosphere from any other school you’ll see and with Chris Peterson bringing the program back to prominence, inside the stadium gets just as crazy as the sailgates.

#12 West Virginia: There’s not much else to do except watch West Virginia football. So they obviously go out all in support of their team and their tailgates, which makes them one of the best places in the country to watch a game.

#11 Utah: What Utah might lack in the blackout part of a pregame tailgate, they more than make up for with tradition in the stadium that includes the Ute Walk, 3rd Down Jump and the Mighty Utah Student Section which makes Rice-Eccles Stadium one of the best places in the country to watch a game.

#10 Virginia Tech: All I can say is that Tech is just a different style and it’s great. The entire town of Blacksburg is covered in tailgaters and fans, but what needs to be seen to get the full VT experience as a student is Center Street. That combination of great tailgates for students and alumni alike makes VT a top-10 atmosphere.

#9 Wisconsin: It’s a different atmosphere in Madison with a lot more house parties than other schools, but Madison pretty much shuts down and it’s a 24-hour party to celebrate Wisconsin football games.

#8 Ole Miss: THE. GROVE. What else is there to really say when talking about Ole Miss tailgates? There’s nothing else like it in the country and it’s one of the coolest experiences you can get at a football game.

#7 Clemson: Probably the most family friendly atmosphere I’ll have here. There aren’t a ton of crazy drunks making the tailgate that much better than anywhere else, but it’s what happens in the stadium that makes Clemson elite and a place that should be on any fan’s bucket list. 

#6 Florida: The Swamp has so much history and tradition that it has to be on the list. The tailgates start crazy early to beat the Florida heat so people get that real nice buzz headed into the stadium. Once in the stadium, being able to be a part of traditions like the gator chomp and the We Are the Boys rendition at the end of the third quarter makes Florida games an amazing place to watch football.

#5 Nebraska: There was no way I could in good faith leave Nebraska off this list. When you sell out every home game since 1962 it’s almost impossible to say Nebraska has anything other than some of the best fans in the country. Traditions like their red out every week and their balloon release after the first touchdown gives Nebraska one of the best atmospheres in the country.

#4 Auburn: War Damn Eagle. Auburn is one of the best places to watch a game. From the relaxed, yet still fun tailgate, to the tiger walk before the game and the eagle flight right before the game, Auburn has some of the best traditions in the country before kickoff. What makes them a top-five school on this list is what happens after a win with fans rolling Toomer’s Corner and the great bars like 17-16, Quixote’s and Skybar Cafe in the area to guarantee the party doesn’t stop until after midnight.  

#3 Texas A&M: The 12th man at Texas A&M is just on a different level from anywhere else in the country. From yell practices at midnight to never sitting down the entire game, the student section in college station is enough to get them towards the top of our list. They’re top-five because of the nightlife and places like Shiner Park, The Corner and Dixie Chicken that are all some of the top gameday bars in the country.

#2 LSU: Anyone who wants to guarantee a great time before the game starts NEEDS to go to an LSU tailgate. The abundance of amazing food and crazy strong drinks will make sure you’re in a great state of mind heading into the stadium. There’s no better home field advantage than Tiger Stadium at night. 

#1 Penn State: Penn State is full of amazing traditions that starts days before the game in Nittanyville, which is one of the best tailgate spots at Penn State. Probably the best environment I’ve ever seen is the Penn State white-out game. You know the party never stops at Penn State with huge house parties on campus and amazing bars like The Phyrst, The Lions Den and Champs. You know Penn State is the top school overall on this list.