15 Best College Football Tailgating Experiences



While nearly every sport in the world does it, college football does it best (and some schools do it way better than others). With that in mind, here is a list of the top 15 tailgating schools in college football. Did I leave your school off the list?

15 Best College Football Tailgating Experiences:

15. University of Arkansas
True, many might be shocked to see Arkansas make the cut, as they don’t have the tailgating reputation as some of its SEC brethren. But, that doesn’t mean that less can’t be more — it’s still a great spot for fall Saturdays. The heart for tailgating takes place in an area known as The Gardens, a manicured open area for fans to congregate before the game, where visiting fans should prepare themselves for the constant Calling of the Hogs battle cry —”Woo…Pig! Sooie!” It’s the perfect spot to get game day started in Fayetteville.

14. University of Southern California
It’s football in the land of Hollywood, so why wouldn’t you expect a party atmosphere for USC tailgates outside of the Coliseum. Tailgating in Southern California means two things — great weather and the possibility you’ll see a celebrity. Hours before kickoff, USC fans flood the spacious Trousdale area to set up for a raucous day, where you won’t ever be too surprised of whom you might run into.

13. Penn State University
With close to 100,000 fans swarming the games and mulling around Nittanyville, the tent city students set up before game day, there is no denying that this is a top place to tailgate in the Big Ten. The spirit is strong, the crowd is always ebullient, and there are tons of traditional, as well as not-so-traditional, foods to enjoy other than just your average tailgate fare.

12. University of South Carolina
The South Carolina tailgating experience is truly one that is so unique you will not find anywhere else, because Brice-Williams Stadium is not located on campus. However, there are a number of ways to travel off the campus to get to the thousands of tailgating destinations. The park across the street, and the cabooses you can rent behind the stadium, create such a unique atmosphere that it’s hard to find something to complain about.

11. Texas A&M University
No one loves their football as much as the natives of the Lone Star State. And, thanks to the “Midnight Yell,” tailgating at Texas A&M begins many the night before kickoff, where students, alumni, and A&M supporters pack Kyle Field to practice cheering for the game. It’s one of the most unique college football traditions you’ll find. Besides, any fan base that has earned the nickname “The 12th Man” at their home stadium is obviously a tremendously enthusiastic group.

10. University of Texas
Everything’s bigger in Texas, and that includes the tailgating. On game days, the whole city of Austin becomes one big party (as if they needed another reason to do so). So expect big things when it comes to tailgating: (1) all the great food and music available around the Texas capital; (2) the dozens of bars on Sixth Street; (3) the many a local beer gardens; or (4) even a traditional tailgate on campus itself. There really is something for everyone.

9. Oklahoma State University
At Oklahoma State University tailgates, you’ll find both current students and alumni coming together, reuniting, and singing “The Waiving Song” while feasting on tented tailgating foods and beverages. The crowd is rowdy, but the fun remains safe for family friendly visitors.

8. University of Wisconsin
If you seek one of the best tailgating scenes in all of college football, then it’s high time you make your way to Madison. You won’t be disappointed. Wisconsin tailgates are filled with booze and brats. What else do you need?

7. University of Georgia
The entire town of Athens puts on a huge show for the Dawgs. Moreover, the fans in Sanford Stadium are crazier than just about any other fan base in the country. Fans start setting up as early as 7 a.m. and proceed to grill and party until kickoff in spacious tailgating lot serving up delicious foods, appetizers, and plenty of adult beverages.

6. Auburn University
Auburn fans are some of the most dedicated at The Loveliest Village on the Plains. Tailgater’s certainly put together one helluva of a show between the thousands of tents that envelope the campus to the massive crowds that gather around the Tiger Walk. You’d better get there early, because after 4 p.m. on Fridays before home games, all of Auburn’s campus is opened up for tailgating. You’d better believe that tailgating is more than just a one-day thing on the Plains.

5. University of Tennessee
Neyland Stadium is right on the Tennessee River, so since the creation of the Vol Navy in 1962, “sailgaters” have been able to party on the water, where fans aren’t afraid to get down, show their true colors, and party like Peyton Manning is still under center.

4. Florida State University
The Florida State Seminoles have one of the wildest fan bases in the country though, and when compared to some of the other schools on this list, they don’t have as many tailgating traditions. But who needs traditions when most of the Seminole fans just get as wild as they can before entering the stadium each Saturday when Florida State is in town.

3. University of Alabama
Students and locals alike form together in a joyous atmosphere that surrounds the enormous Bryant-Denny Stadium on the edge campus. The Quad serves as the mecca, and the parties extend outside the campus and into downtown Tuscaloosa’s bars and parking lots. Every available inch of campus is claimed on Saturdays for tailgating and the smell of southern barbecue and adult beverages fills the air.

2. Louisiana State University
There is no college football tailgates as elaborate, fun, and downright wild as LSU’s. it’s a level of passion unlike anything else in sports. The fans who bleed purple–and–gold, regardless of how LSU is performing on the field, will be some of the most loyal people until the day they die. From the typical grill fare of tailgates, to the unique Cajun and Creole cuisines of Louisiana, LSU tailgaters cook anything-and-everything and they do it extremely well. The bar scene around LSU’s campus is also popular for a rabid fan base that does everything to the extreme. Yes, it might be intimidating to outsiders, but it’s a journey that all college football fans should take at least once.

1. University of Mississippi
Hotty Toddy, Gosh Almighty! Like many schools around the country, Ole Miss claims to have the best tailgating scene around and one trip to Oxford and you’ll be convinced. The reason? The Grove. This 10-acre quad at the heart of campus transforms into a tailgate city on game days. To but it simply, it’s special and a step above the rest. This is a bucket list item even for those that aren’t college football die-hard fans.