Monday, August 10, 2009

My College Football Bucket List

I was cruising the Internets the other night, making the rounds on Dawg blogs, when I saw Cousin Walter's College Football Bucket List. Since I have had that same discussion about 1000 times with various people, I wanted in on the action.

I've been lucky enough to see some pretty cool stuff in college football. I was at the 1989 night game against Tennessee in Neyland Stadium and have been to Kenan Stadium, quite possibly the prettiest place to see college football, at least before they closed it in. I've been to Tiger Stadium in Clemson and many, many (The Name That Shall Not be Spoken)’s in Jacksonville. I've seen the Brigade of Midshipmen march into Navy-Marine Corp Memorial Stadium. I've been to Jordan-Hare, Tiger Stadium, Commonwealth Stadium, Vanderbilt Stadium, and Williams-Brice in the SEC. I've been to Memorial Stadium, home of Red Grange and host to a great Monday Night Football match up between Chicago and Green Bay (and FarmAid, if you are that old, which I am). I've been to several Sugar Bowls and saw a couple of awesome overtime games played in person.

Here is my list, in no particular order:

1) Any Game at Notre Dame. Ok, I hate ND, like any good American that isn't Catholic should. I don't have the "I wish they'd quit playing football and close the University" hate them, I but I hate them.

That being said, any game there would be a treat. Yeah, there are older stadiums. There are cooler stadiums. However, ask a random Wyominger (Wyomingite?) or someone from outside the US what they think of when you say college football, and the answer is likely to be Notre Dame, whether I like it or not. The pageantry, the history, the fight song. Sorry, as much as I don't like to admit this, I would love to go to a game there.

2) Army-Navy. This is one of those games that I don't particularly care about the outcome of. I think the idea of the two oldest service academies duking it out on the football field, especially in time of war, is very cool. If you are an American, no matter how upset you might be with the President, the Congress, or the People, you cannot help but to feel patriotic watching this game on TV. I can't fathom how cool it'd be in person.

3) The Rose Bowl. It is the Granddaddy of them all. If Jim Delaney ever lets Georgia play in this one, I am going. I would still go, just to say I did.

4) Ohio State-Michigan at Michigan. Sorry, Columbus, but this game is best played at the Big House. I cannot say why, but I only care to see this one in Ann Arbor. I am not sure if it has anything to do with what I have heard about Ohio State partisans or the fact that if I were forced into a corner and made to root for someone in this game, I would root for Michigan. Not that I do. My high school fight song was copied from Michigan's fight song, so that is the only reason. I swear. Still, I'd love to see this game in person in Ann Arbor.

5) The Iron Bowl in Tuscaloosa. Truth be told, I'd love to see this game played at Legion Field. However, since that'll never happen again, I'll settle for Bryant-Denney Stadium. I've never seen a game there and there wouldn't be one I would want to see more than 'Bama vs. UGA than this one. Since I am doing a bucket list, I am putting Alabama vs. Auburn in Tuscaloosa, in hopes of killing two birds with one stone. Plus, I’ve gotten wet at Jordan-Hare, so if I don’t want the police there mistaking me for a rabble-rouser rooting for Alabama. If I am getting sprayed down, it’ll be for my Dawgs. Again.

6) The Red River Shootout. Oh, yeah. Texas vs. Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. In my mind, this game is the only one that rivals (The Name That Shall Not be Spoken) for a big conference rivalry game played at a neutral site. This game always has Big 12 title implications. It more often than not has National Championship implications. Both teams show up on Wednesday to partake in the Texas State Fair festivities. Funny, neither Texas nor Oklahoma are complaining about how this isn't or is a home game.

7) UCLA-USC in the Los Angeles Coliseum. Yeah, I know. Pac-10. Still, no two major college programs occupy terra firma as closely as these two schools do. While there are several easy jokes about UCLA not caring about football, I assure you, they care about this one. I chose the Coliseum because it just seems like a better college venue. Plus, (sorry to any UCLA fans) USC girls are just hotter.

8) BYU-Utah. The Holy War. Ok, stay with me. This one has more than simple state bragging rights at stake. BYU and Utah are the two largest LDC schools in the world. It would be like Notre Dame playing Michigan (with both being pretty good most years), but Michigan being 75% Catholic. And they are in the same state. Edwards Stadium or Rice-Eccles both rock on this one. A bonus: I am likely to see a 65-62 game.

9) A game at Folsom Stadium Field (h/t j.leonardjr) in Boulder, Colorado. I had to pick one very pretty setting to see a game. Since I'll likely get to go see a game there next year, I put it on here. In truth, it was a toss up with Husky Stadium in Washington. Obviously, Kenan Statdium would have been a consideration, but I've been. Plus, it isn't the same since they added the seating that hides the trees. I also considered Vaught-Hemingway, but more for the experience than anything else.

10) National Championship Game. Only if Georgia is playing in it.

What are your thoughts? What is your list?


  1. Exile, This year you can actually go to the Army-Navy game without missing the SEC championship game. Before my relatives convinced me of reason or more bluntly my father found out that it cost $28,000 a year(1998), I showed some interest in the University of Colorado. For Atlanta private school kids, Colorado seemed to be the "it" school to go to out of state. Beautiful stadium in person not to mention the campus itself.

  2. I noticed that they are moving Army/Navy to the second weekend in December. That is kind of cool, making it the final D1-A game of the regular season. I was in Baltimore last year on that weekend, and almost went up for it. Wish I had.

  3. You saved the best for last. Just hope that #10 is sooner rather than later.

    Don't know that I can add to your list here. But I will plug the Grove since you gave it honorable mention. Anytime you combine beer, tailgate tents with chandeliers and sundresses's a good thang.

  4. is Folsom Field not Folsom Stadium. I can't wait to go there in 2010. I am CU alum but grew up a Georgia fan as both my parents are UGA alum.

    Boulder is a great visual setting for college football even if the stadium is small. It only holds about 52,000. Unfortunately the visitors section can't see the Flat Irons (mountain range)as they face east.

  5. I would take in an LSU night game again, only this time I want to go when the Dawgs aren't playing so I could act like an LSU fan. That's an unbelievable place when all thsoe Cajuns start Rockin & Rollin!

  6. I was talking to a UT fan this weekend who went to the UCLA game last year at the Rose Bowl. His take was that the place was a dump.

  7. If I were UT people, I'd never go near LA again.