Best Colleges for Tailgating

When college football season arrives, find out which schools excel in food, drink, and other tailgating festivities.

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If you’ve never gone tailgating, consider putting it on your to-do list for the college experience. Getting your best friends together, grilling and having fun all while you wait for the game to start is fun even to those who aren’t into sports. It can be a blast just enjoying the company, although most students like to get pumped for a day of school spirit.

Good tailgating colleges make it all about the experience: the camaraderie, the food, the venue, the game. Of course, winning makes it a lot more fun too.

Good tailgating colleges make it all about the experience: the camaraderie, the food, the venue, the game. Of course, winning makes it a lot more fun too.

Penn State

Penn State is host to Beaver Stadium. With 107,282 seats, it is the second-largest stadium in the Western Hemisphere. The football program holds the title for the most coach/figurehead wins in Big Ten history. Joe Paterno and ESPN have also consistently ranked Penn State’s student section as the best in college football.

Alcohol is permitted everywhere around the stadium, making the spot a tailgating favorite, although drinking outside the stadium during the game was recently banned. Yes, fans enjoy Penn State tailgating so much so that they actually don’t watch the game.

University of Nebraska

When the fans come to Memorial Stadium, there are more people present than the third-largest city in Nebraska. In a report from Sports Illustrated, Nebraska fans ranked high on Superfans (apparently body paint sells out in Lincoln on game days), Yard Games (serious passing route are run in the parking lots), and food (the corn-fed beef in Nebraska makes some great brisket).

Clemson University

Tailgating is so big at Clemson University, it has to be regulated by the school to function properly. Parking reservations and even spots for RVs have to be obtained through the university. There are even big tailgating communities for Clemson Baseball. Tailgating also takes place at away games, where fans were known to buy everything they needed in away cities with two-dollar bills.

Louisiana State University

You cannot mention tailgating without finding LSU on top of every “best of” list out there. Barbequed catfish, jambalaya and Cajun cooking make for an amazing tailgate. Not to mention that most of their home games are at night, which sets the atmosphere for a wild, party mood.

The Ohio State University

Ohio State’s largest attendance on record is nearly 4,000 more than its 102,329-seat capacity. The Buckeyes fill the fourth-largest stadium in the United States for practically every game, and they love to tailgate beforehand. Afterward you can check out Buckeye Grove, where the school has planted a buckeye tree for each Ohio State All-American player. While the football program has faced a few hurdles recently, the Buckeyes continue to provide one of the best football experiences in the country.

Honorable Mentions

It’s hard to mention all the schools with great game-day action. Honorable mentions go to the University of Florida, Auburn University, Ole Miss and Alabama. If you’ll notice, many of our top schools and honorable mentions are in the South – a combination perhaps of the weather, the quality of the football and the fans.

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