As we celebrate Mount Rushmore week at The Tailgate Society, here are the four stadiums in each Power 5 League which would be immortalized if such a monument to cathedrals of the sport were created. Stadiums were given their spot atop college football’s Mount Rushmore of stadiums based upon quality of facilities and overall environment in and around the stadium. I’m sure none of these picks are controversial.
George: Memorial Stadium (Death Valley), Clemson
Thomas: Lane Stadium, Virginia Tech
Teddy: Doak Campbell Stadium, Florida State
Abe: Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame*
Ranking ACC stadiums was somewhat difficult, considering the top of the league has some very impressive venues. Although Virginia Tech and Florida State have phenomenal venues, it’s hard to go against a place known as “Death Valley.”
*denotes conference affiliation without actual football membership
George: DKR Memorial Stadium, Texas
Thomas: Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium, Oklahoma
Teddy: Bill Snyder Family Stadium, K-State
Abe: Boone Pickens Stadium, Oklahoma St
The Big 12 may have been the easiest conference to choose. DKR Texas Memorial Stadium has seen some rough football over the last 7-8 years, but the stadium still remains the best venue in the Big 12, most notably during the Notre Dame game in 2016. Two “Little Engine that Could” schools in Oklahoma State and Kansas State have also built themselves some fantastic venues filled with rabid fans. They should definitely be commended for having great facilities and fanbases which fill them.
George: Ohio Stadium (The Horseshoe), Ohio State
Thomas: Beaver Stadium, Penn State
Teddy: Camp Randall Stadium, Wisconsin
Abe: Michigan Stadium, Michigan
Six stadiums were in contention for a spot on Mount Rushmore in the Big Ten Conference. This league features six or seven very great venues (facility-wise and crowd wise) and then seven stadiums which make you question whether football games even take place on a Saturday afternoon. I have a feeling that Iowa and Michigan State fans feel they’d be on Mount Rushmore if they were in other conferences.
George: The Rose Bowl, UCLA
Thomas: Autzen Stadium, Oregon
Teddy: Husky Stadium, Washington
Abe: California Memorial Stadium, Cal
The Rose Bowl is the grandaddy of all sports venues and a recent uptick in UCLA Football has the Rose Bowl at the top spot. The most raucus crowd in the Pac 12 is at Autzen Stadium at Oregon and I struggled not putting them at number one. You know your conference has some nice venues when Washington’s Husky Stadium, located in one of the most picturesque settings in college football, is third on the list. Let’s hope no more fault lines open up under Cal’s stadium… great venue.
George: Tiger Stadium, LSU
Thomas: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Alabama
Teddy: Neyland Stadium, Tennessee
Abe: Kyle Field, Texas A&M
The SEC has the best stadiums in college football and it really isn’t close. The fact that a stadium which just underwent a $480 million renovation is fourth on this list signifies just how great the facilities and venues are in America’s best football conference over the last decade. At the end of the day, Tiger Stadium takes the cake as America’s most rabid fanbase flocks to Baton Rouge every Saturday to make the earth shake around them in their own “Death Valley.” Not to be too shadowed by LSU, hearing “Rocky Top” at Neyland Stadium is still on my bucket list of football stadiums, and “Sawing Varsity’s Horns Off” can send chills up your spine in College Station. This conference could probably have two Mount Rushmores of stadiums. It just means more in the SEC.