Entries in Oklahoma Sooners (7)
CAMPUS CORNER — Surveying the sea of tents, fans and crimson Saturday afternoon at Lindsey and Asp streets, Sam Deakin‘s eyes shined and the smile could not be erased from his face. That’s been the norm this week for the 26-year-old who calls himself on Twitter the “British Sooner.”
He’s visiting Norman for the first time. Saturday night’s OU game, against Missouri, was his first at Owen Field.
“It’s not like this at home,” he said, pointing toward the pregame scene. “We don’t have the tailgating, the BBQ. We don’t have people setting up the day before games.
“And, the best part, when you walk up, people are so inviting. They want you to come hang out and tailgate with them.”
Yes, Deakin is from England. Yes, he’s a Sooners fan.
When the Fall semester begins in August, the art of college football tailgating will once again take over the stadium parking lots and campus courtyards across the country when the 2011 season kicks off in September.
The pageantry of college football comes out well before the games start as it extends to the pregame where the campus' are littered with people grilling out on a warm Saturday morning to the ceremonial walks that certain programs conduct on the way across the campus to the stadiums.
No matter the stadium size or how good the school is during a given year, tailgating is an essential part in the world of college football across the country that differentiates the college from the pro game, and the teams are like extended families during the fall.
With that, let's check out the places that know how to tailgate better than any other student body on a Saturday game day.
Location: Clemson, SC
Student Body: 15,000-plus
Even though the Tigers haven't enjoyed a great deal of success in recent years on the football field, the Clemson fans have been solid year in, year out being recognized as some of the nicest in the country with the tailgating that goes on outside and nearby Death Valley.
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Student Body: 25,000-plus
While the atmosphere isn't the best for a visiting team, the tailgating for those who are rooting for the Bayou Bengals is an amazing experience with the famous Louisiana cuisine made outside the RV's and other vehicles that make the pilgrimage to Tiger Stadium.
Ole Miss Rebels
Location: Oxford, MS
Student Body: 15,000-plus
There are not many places across the college football tailgating landscape that can compare to The Grove on Ole Miss' campus on a game day. People have been known to set up their stop at the beautiful location at five or six in the morning on a Saturday.
Location: Gainesville, FL
Student Body: 50,000-plus
With the most picturesque scenery of this list, the Florida Gators' tailgate festivities throughout the year are lead by the annual Gator Growl, one of the biggest student tailgates in college football, at the Swamp headlined by different celebrities and musical acts during homecoming week
Location: Knoxville, TN
Student Body: 27,000-plus
With a fan base so strong that it has a navy that floats down the adjacent Tennessee River, the Volunteers have some of the best tailgates in the Eastern Tennessee city. The people are very hospitable, just like many other SEC and southern football programs in the country, in addition to some of the best food on a game day morning on a Saturday.
Location: College Station, TX
Student Body: 46,000-plus
Deep in the heart of Texas, the folks that have the most unique pregame tradition are in College Station as they start at midnight before a game day with the "Midnight Yell," where students will pack Kyle Field and practice screaming for the big game on Saturday or the Grove for a road game during the season.
Location: Norman, OK
Student Body: 29,000-plus
As the Crimson and Cream masses gather on a Saturday to root on the Sooners, Lindsey and Jenkins street in Norman will welcome tailgaters for the game-day experience before Oklahoma takes the field in front of the crowd at Memorial Stadium.
West Virginia Mountaineers
Location: Morgantown, WV
Student Body: 29,000-plus
For many years, WVU has been well known for its tailgating prowess across college football outside Mountaineer Field in the infamous Blue Lot as much as for the success that the Mountaineers' football program has enjoyed in the previous decade.
Location: Athens, GA
Student Body: 34,000-plus
When the sea of red and black flows into Athens, Ga., fans will set up their tailgates, in some cases nearly 10 hours before kickoff, most notably at Reed Alley to the north and Oconee Hill Cemetery to the east of Sanford Stadium.
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
Student Body: 30,000-plus
For the Crimson Tide faithful on game days, the Quad and Dreamland Ribs are some of the most iconic tailgating venues in the college football. The Alabama fans will gather at those places before heading toward the massive Bryant-Denny Stadium that will house more than 100,00 fans on a Saturday afternoon.
Feature 1: Check out this old Greyhound bus found in Oklahoma by Gameday Rivals.
Feature 2: Gameday Rivals also found a 1940's era fire truck, re-purposed as an ultimate Sooners tailgate ride.
Texas may have played a cupcake, but she was just happy to escape this first week injury-free...unlike her OU buddy in the above picture.
On the wake up call this morning, we have a double feature with some Oklahoma Sooner goodness.