With the long, dreary wait nearly over, it’s time to prime the nation for what we truly love about college football: The tailgating. Yes, of course, the games – and the wins and losses – are of utmost importance. That being said, the fun of hosting or heading to a one-of-a-kind tailgate makes the losses far easier to swallow (unless you’re a little nauseous after that last beer funnel) and the wins just one of many excuses to go just a little bit bigger.
The offseason has kept you waiting long enough, so let’s get right to it, because we here at Gamedayr are ready for some gameday action. With Week 1 of the 2013 college football season quickly approaching, we’ve ranked the top 10 places to be for some of the best beers, babes, barbeque, brats, beans, burgers and, of course, ballgames. Yup, we’ve got our “B’s” in a row, hopefully you do too.
Just Missed The Cut
- Central Michigan at Michigan – Saturday, Aug. 31 @ 3:30 p.m. EST
- Wyoming at Nebraska - Saturday, Aug. 31 @ 8:00 p.m. EST
- Northwestern at Cal - Saturday, Aug. 31 @ 10:30 p.m. EST
- Ohio at Louisville – Sunday, Sept. 1 @ 3:30 p.m. EST
10. Indiana State Sycamores at Indiana Hoosiers – Thursday, Aug. 29 @ 7 p.m. EST, Big Ten Network
Are either of these teams any good? Meh. However, have you ever been to Bloomington on a Thursday night? Goodness.
9. Washington State Cougars at Auburn Tigers – Saturday, Aug. 31 @ 7 p.m. EST, ESPNU
A whopping 83,401 fans showed up to watch a three-win Auburn team’s spring game. What makes you think this battle of three-win out-of-conference opponents (seeing as it’s actually an official game and not merely a scrimmage) won’t be any less intense? Add in the fact that it’s the first game of the year, it’s at night on The Plains and new head coach Gus Malzahn will be making his debut, and you have the recipe for some really heavy tailgating.
8. Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Syracuse Orange - Saturday, Aug. 31 @ 3:30 p.m. EST, ABC or ESPN2
These two programs are expected to put above-average products on the field in 2013, and they will have the chance to prove that in MetLife Stadium. Neutral site tailgates, especially to kick off the season, tend to bring the best out of both fan-bases, and this should be no different. We don’t know whether Penn State true freshman Christian Hackenberg will have a chance to see the field, but if he does, the legions of fans in attendance will probably be treated to a better show than Mark Sanchez gives Jets fans in the same building … zing!
7. No. 19 Boise State Broncos at Washington Huskies - Saturday, Aug. 31 @ 10:00 p.m. EST, Fox Sports 1
After spending the 2012 season in the Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field, Washington finally returns to a new-and-vastly-improved Husky Stadium this fall. Cutting the ribbon and then welcoming in big-time out-of-conference opponent Boise State is a great way to get the ball rolling. A night-time kickoff should have fans fired up for the tailgating scene outside of Husky Stadium, both on and off the water.
6. Ole Miss Rebels at Vanderbilt Commodores – Thursday, Aug. 29 @9:15 p.m. EST, ESPN
Forgive us for a bit of SEC bias here and moving forward with these rankings. The opening season showdown was given the primetime spot, making for increased levels of sheer awesomeness before kickoff (Case in point: This blogger loved going to Wisconsin games as a student, but they purposefully scheduled as many games for 11 a.m. as possible to keep me from imbibing a few too many beverages. It didn’t work, but you get the point.). Both of these programs could either win 10 games in the mighty SEC, or fall flat. There is more excitement surrounding Ole Miss — and Vandy for that matter — than there has been in quite some time, so you know Nashville’s going to be going country crazy.
5. No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Virginia Tech Hokies - Saturday, Aug. 31 @ 5:30 p.m. EST, ESPN
At this point, Tide Nation expects to see championship football each and every year, and its legions of members will travel far and wide to witness it. Further, they basically consider the Georgia Dome in Atlanta a second home field after competing in so many SEC title games in recent years. The Hokies are going to have their work cut out for them on the field, but fans are going to have a great time tailgating off of it. This is going to be big boy tailgating, in big boy football country.
4. North Carolina Tar Heels at No. 6 South Carolina Gamecocks – Thursday, Aug. 29 @ 6:00 p.m. EST, ESPN
South Carolina has been a staple of college football’s Thursday night kickoff for quite a few years now. If you haven’t been to Columbia, SC for one these games, do yourself a favor and make the trip. Add in the fact that border rival North Carolina is coming to town, Jadeveon Clowney is opening up his Heisman campaign, and both the Gamecocks and Tar Heels are looking to make a run at a conference title, and you have the perfect storm for a wild gameday. Make sure to hit Five Points afterwards if you are into good times.
3. No. 11 Florida State Seminoles at Pitt Panthers - Monday, Sept. 2 @ 8:00 p.m EST, ESPN
Unique circumstances catapult this matchup way up the list. This game serves as Pitt’s first-ever as newly minted members of the ACC, meaning its fans are going to be extremely pumped. It will still be warm enough for FSU fans to feel comfortable making the trip to Steel City, and they likely will. It’s a great town, and Heinz Field (shared by the Steelers and Panthers) has always been known for great tailgating, as well as a fantastic game venue. Finally, this is the only college football game scheduled for Monday night, September 2. The eyes of every college football fan in the nation will be on it. If you are making the trip, be sure to strap on your tailgating boots for this one.
2. No. 12 LSU Tigers vs. No. 20 TCU Horned Frogs - Saturday, Aug. 31 @ 9:00 p.m. EST, ESPN
A night game and LSU is involved? You could play this in Russia and it’d still land on the top 10 list for tailgates. The state of Louisiana was recently named the drunkest state in the nation by a Business Insider poll, and with good reason. Tigers fans will show up in droves outside of the home of the Dallas Cowboys. They’ll also have plenty of booze in tow. TCU doesn’t quite have the same reputation, but with beautiful women and plenty to play for in 2013, its fans should be pretty riled up themselves. This is going to be a great one.
1. No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs at No. 8 Clemson Tigers - Saturday, Aug. 31 @ 8:00 p.m. EST, ABC
Do we really even need to explain this one? Just go ahead and get your GameDay signs ready and be sure to have plenty of hangover medicine on Sunday. It’s going to be off-the-charts’ wild in Clemson.