Week 4 of the college football season presented a relatively weaker schedule, but still managed to give us plenty of what we truly love about being a fan: The tailgating.
Week 5 presents what is probably the first real opportunity to throw down in several different parts of the country at once. With the conference schedule kicking into gear, less teams are taking on cupcakes and more are giving fans the chance to get rowdy in anticipation of a great game. Once again, the SEC provides some headlining acts in Georgia-LSU and Alabama-Ole Miss, but the Big Ten and Big 12 are also getting in on the fun. Wisconsin is headed to Ohio State for a big-time in-conference showdown, while Oklahoma heads to Notre Dame.
We’ve ranked the top 10 places to be for some of the best tailgating nationwide and, yes, we’ve got our “B’s” in a row (beers, brats, burgers, BBQ, booze, babes, etc.) – hopefully you do too.
10. Cal Golden Bears at No. 2 Oregon Ducks – Saturday, Sept. 28 @ 10:30 p.m. EST, Pac-12 Network
Quack Nation has had to wait two weeks to see its spectacular team do what it does best – run teams right out of Autzen Stadium. Add in an evening kickoff, and the extra (small) fear that Cal can put points on the board, and you have the recipe for some great pre-game festivities.
9. No. 5 Stanford Cardinal at Washington State Cougars – Saturday, Sept. 28 @ 10:00 p.m. EST, ESPN
Wazzu has won three straight games for the first time since 2006. That includes a win over USC and all the raging that came with it. Stanford is an entirely different animal, of course, but last year the Cardinal only won by a score of 24-17. Either way, Cougars fans should be geared up for their improved team’s huge game – and will be partying accordingly.
8. Wake Forest at No. 3 Clemson Tigers – Saturday, Sept. 28 @ 3:30 p.m. EST, ESPNU
This poor on-field matchup is boosted by how much fun Tigers fans will be having in the parking lots. It is Homecoming Week on campus, and getting drunk in nice clothes is always a good time – no matter how bad the opponent is that Clemson’s facing.
7. Arizona Wildcats at No. 16 Washington Huskies – Saturday, Sept. 28 @ 7:00 p.m. EST, FOX
Washington has already dispatched of Boise State at home and Illinois in Chicago. Fans are going to be tailgating like crazy to see their ranked squad try to do the same against Arizona’s high-flying offense.
6. Iowa Hawkeyes at Minnesota Golden Gophers – Saturday, Sept. 28 @ 3:30 p.m. EST, ABC/ESPN2
At 4-0, Minnesota opens Big Ten play against 3-1 Iowa. Basically, fans of these formerly downtrodden programs are freaking out at the start of conference play. The Gophers have reported that tickets are sold out. That is a first in TCF Bank Stadium history for Minnesota football.
5. No. 14 Oklahoma Sooners at No. 22 Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Saturday, Sept. 28 @ 3:30 p.m. EST, NBC
Generally speaking, games at Notre Dame get docked just for being in South Bend. We are willing to make an exception for Oklahoma, however. Campus is already going nuts for a game with massive BCS implications, and Saturday is only going to see things ratcheted up another notch.
4. No. 10 Texas A&M Aggies at Arkansas Razorbacks – Saturday, Sept. 28 @ 7:00 p.m. EST, ESPN2
Arkansas is only one win away from matching last year’s debacle of a campaign at four. They probably won’t get there against Texas A&M, but Hogs Nation is definitely going to win the game outside of the game - especially with a night-time kickoff.
3. No. 6 LSU Tigers at No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs – Saturday, Sept. 28 @ 3:30 p.m. EST, CBS
If it wasn’t for the kickoff time, this game would definitely be at the top of the list. ESPN’s College GameDay is going to be there, and so will some of the most wild fans in the nation. Buckle up.
2. No. 21 Ole Miss Rebels at No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide – Saturday, Sept. 28 @ 6:30 p.m. EST, ESPN
The Tide’s only home game of the season thus far has been an easy win over Colorado State. Bama Nation should be absolutely frothing at the mouth for some full-on, SEC tailgating. That holds especially true considering Ole Miss fans travel with the best of ‘em – and the Rebels are no longer a pushover. Hopefully Tuscaloosa survives this nutty night game.
1. No. 23 Wisconsin Badgers at No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes – Saturday, Sept. 28 @ 8:00 p.m. EST, ABC
In recent years, the animosity between these two programs has grown to historic levels. The winner on Saturday has the inside track to the Big Ten title game. Ohio State could not participate a year ago due to sanctions, although they beat Wisconsin. Fans will be coming out in droves to see if their Buckeyes can put Bucky away once again.
So many all-red outfits. So much drinking – even Bradley Roby wants to see how much fans can party beforehand.