Thursday, October 08, 2009

25 Greatest College Football Experiences

So, recently me and a couple of my friends decided that we are going to start traveling to one game each year, and we want to try to see the best that college football has to offer. So, we are trying to compile a list of the 25 greatest college football experiences. We'll hit at least 1 each year, and at the end of this epic undertaking, I intend to write a book about the experience.

So, I'm looking for nominations for the top college football experiences, and after reviewing all of the suggestions, I'll try to narrow down the list to 25.

To start, here are the ones that we've come up with so far. I'm trying to put together a list that hits as many of the great stadiums in the game, without going to the same stadium multiple times if possible, so we can get a breadth of experience. Therefore, while a game like Notre Dame vs. Michigan in the Big House or Notre Dame Stadium may be worthy of consideration, it would be trumped by Mich/OSU or ND/USC. Some of the rivalries (like Mich/OSU and ND/USC) are worthy enough to warrant a trip to both stadiums for that rivalry. Also, I'm not including actual bowl games or conference championships in the list - I'm looking for the best of regular season college football.

So, here's the list we've put together so far - it's already at 27 games, and I'm sure it will get bigger yet before I can pare it back down. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

For economy's sake (and my own sanity), if you are reading this syndicated elsewhere (ala Bleacher Report), please comment on my original posting at Domer Law Blog.

If you are a blogger/sportswriter and want in on the annual trip, please e-mail me at, and I'll put together a mailing once each year's destination is announced.

Notre Dame v. USC @ Notre Dame Stadium (South Bend, IN)

Notre Dame v. USC @ The Coliseum (Los Angeles, CA)

The Game (Michigan v. Ohio State) @ The Big House (Ann Arbor, MI)

The Game (Michigan v. Ohio State) @ The Horseshoe (Columbus, OH)

Army v. Navy @ West Point (West Point, NY)

The Red River Shootout (Oklahoma v. Texas) @ Cotton Bowl (Dallas, TX)

World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (Florida v. Georgia) @ Jacksonville Stadium (Jacksonville, FL)

USC v. UCLA @ Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA)

Iron Bowl (Alabama v. Auburn) @ Bryant-Denny Stadium (Tuscaloosa, AL)

Civil War (Oregon v. Oregon State) @ Autzen Stadium (Eugene, OR)

Old Oaken Bucket (Indiana v. Purdue) @ Memorial Stadium (Bloomington, IN)

Magnolia Bowl (LSU v. Ole Miss) OR Battle for the Rag (LSU v. Tulane) @ Death Valley (Baton Rouge, LA)

Magnolia Bowl (LSU v. Ole Miss) @ Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (Oxford, MS) "The Grove"

Battle for Governor's Cup (Florida v. Florida State @ The Swamp (Gainesville, FL)

Battle for Governor's Cup (Florida v. Florida State @ Doak-Campbell Stadium (Tallahassee, FL)

Lone Star Showdown (Texas v. Texas A&M) @ Kyle Field (College Station, TX)

Lone Star Showdown (Texas v. Texas A&M) @ Darrel K. Royal Stadium (Austin, TX)

Oklahoma v. Missouri @ Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (Norman, OK)

Nebraska v. Missouri @ Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, NE)

The Game (Harvard v. Yale) @ Harvard Stadium (Boston, MA)

The Rivalry (Legigh v. Lafayette) @ Fisher Field (Easton, PA)

White Out (Penn State v. TBA) @ "Happy Valley" Beaver Stadium (University Park, PA)

Tennessee v. Alabama @ Neyland Stadium (Knoxville, TN)

Georgia v. Georgia Tech @ "Between the Hedges" Sanford Stadium (Athens, GA)

Battle for the Axe (Wisconsin v. Minnesota) @ Camp Randall (Madison, WI)

Commonwealth Cup (Virginia v. Virginia Tech) @ Lane Stadium (Blacksburg, VA)

Backyard Brawl (West Virginia v. Pittsburgh) @ Mountaineer Field (Morgantown, WV)


Anonymous said...

The Border War. Kansas v. Missouri. Either at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, KS or in Columbia, MO.

Titus said...

I don't know how great Bloomington is, but Purdue football struck me as the most absurd parody of college athletics when I was in W. Lafayette a few weeks ago. Of all the things a great program could use to make its gameday worthwhile and spectacular, Purdue did the opposite (unless "miniature trains" is on the list and I just don't realize it). So IU must have something really awesome in order for a Purdue game to make the list.

Other than that, the list looks good---I would inquire about the Cal-UCLA-USC rivalries, but I really don't know anything about California football. Plus, you'll have a better time and see better football spending the extra time down South.

Anonymous said...

Clemson v. South Carolina. Preferably at Death Valley in Clemson, SC, but also at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC.

JW said...

Stanford - Cal
Florida St. - Miami

Whiskey said...

1. I would change the Oklahoma home game to "Bedlam" vs. Oklahoma State.
2. For the Nebraska home game also consider Colorado & Kansas. I think most Husker fans consider those two teams bigger rivals than Mizzu which is very recent.
3. I would also consider the "Apple Cup" between Washington and Washington State at Husky Stadium in Seattle.
4. Finally don't rule out the "Iron Bowl" at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn. Great venue and a great little town especially on game days. Toomer's Corner etc. is pretty cool.

Andy said...

Stanford-Cal for sure. They call it "the Big Game"

Andy said...

Wabash & DePauw in Indiana is the greatest single rivalry in a pure Div. III way. You must attend this game; it was written up in Sports Illustrated some years ago.

Anonymous said...

domer try to check out the louisville vs kentucky rival game at papa johns stadium. definitley worth the visit and a lot of crazy fans.

Andy said...

army and navy never play @ either army or navy. it's a neutral field game in baltimore, philly, NYC, etc

Anonymous said...

Army and Navy haven't played at West Point or Annapolis for many, many years. Site is traditionally Philadelphia.

David said...

I know these games aren't on the level of all of these others but I really enjoy the Boston College series because it is an Irish Catholic Battle Royal every year no matter where we play them. I have been going since we used to crush them being from MA. The 93 game although we lost is still the best game I have ever seen in person.

I would also have to say going up to Michigan State for an Irish game is quite the experience. As much for the violent hostility as anything else. When you go up there in ND Colors you know you are on enemy turf!

Irish Right said...

If you decide to cut back to only 1 Texas v A&M game, Kyle Field is the one to keep. You must, MUST experience 1 game there. If the Corp of Cadets doesn't get your blood stirring, nothing will. Besides, you wouldn't want to miss the quaint little custom of kissing your girl when A&M scores, would you?

Wacko said...

Wouldn't I have to find a girl first?

Or does A&M provide a Texas hottie to go along with the ticket?