Stadiums are super cool, and winning teams are really fun. But the best part of college football? The atmosphere. While there might be a huge difference between being at Oregon when they win versus when they lose, there’s also a huge difference between being at Alabama when they win, and being at Rice when they win. All the different college football conferences and teams provide drastically different experiences for their fans.
And who doesn’t like a live game with a little “crazy?” When the audience pours their spirit into the stands, into each play, going wild at every touchdown? Whether you’re planning your next college football weekend or making a decision on where to attend school, you want the best experience possible! And if you need some gear, check out this excellent collection of gameday ready apparel.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top 10 college football conferences and teams that provide the wildest, rowdiest, most exciting fan experience.
- Penn State
- Ohio State
- Texas A&M
It’s an enclosed stadium. Wisconsin usually hovers just above the top 10, sometimes breaking down beneath. You can always feel the tension within the arena, fans hoping that one big victory—and a couple losses from other contenders—will shift the rankings just enough to propel Wisconsin forward. They have hearts of contenders, but long to be the champions. This character type motivates huge crowds that whip the team into a bit of a frenzy, come game time.
9. Texas A&M
In recent years, Texas A&M has served as the younger brother to the Texas Longhorns, from UT Austin. The Texas Longhorns are the hip older brothers who show up to games wearing bright orange, and sport running quarterbacks, fast-flying wide-outs, and a lot of football antics. That makes the Texas A&M Aggies a bunch of Texas boys with chips on their shoulders. And if you can’t see where this is going, then let’s spell it out: A bunch of Texas boys playing football with chips on their shoulders is a very rowdy environment.
Their fans want the wins, and feel like they have something to prove. The team is still trying to show that slapping an A&M on the end of their state name doesn’t make them less intimidating than the Austin boys in orange.
8. Ohio State
Taking over an iconic football program is a tough task. Taking over for an iconic coach makes it even more difficult. And yet, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day has started his tenure with the high-flying Buckeyes quite well. Ohio State simply expects to win football games in a way that other teams don’t. They think anything less than a national championship is a failure.
This environment creates one of the more interesting college football conferences and teams. Fans with high expectations are fans that will be incredibly loud when winning, but will just as quickly vocalize their disappointment when losing.
7. Penn State
Fans line up in the freezing Pennsylvania weather for Penn State games, long before fans would even dream of lining up for a game in sunny California. Competing in one of the top conferences is difficult for even the top teams, and the Big 10 is no exception. After joining the conference in 1993, they’ve won the conference four times to solidify their spot in it. Their team has boasted 13 undefeated seasons over the last century.
Famous rivalries, a long and storied tradition, and passionate fans make it a wild place to attend a football game.
Of all the college football conferences and teams, the Oregon Ducks are the coolest. That’s a pretty uncontroversial statement. Isolated to the hip, west coast Pac-12 conferences, they don’t generally compete with the Florida’s and Alabama’s side of the world. They’ve also managed to overcome having a duck as their mascot.
Oregon Football is built on the backs of Phil Knight and the Nike empire, and its Pacific Northwest fans are incredibly proud of their team. A mid-size stadium gets packed, week in and week out, as they play host to all sorts of heavy-hitting California teams.
The Gators play in a stadium simply known as “The Swamp”—and, for real, there’s something in the water over there. The Gators fans’ chants in the crowd are enough to intimidate any opponent. It’s one of those few stadiums and teams where any game is winnable. No matter what the season looked like until that point, the Florida Gators are always a dangerous competitor. Even a mediocre Gators team can pull out a victory at home, and the fans know it. This simple fact helps the crowd stay loud, even in situations where the scoreboard doesn’t look great.
Trojans, colluseums, gleaming swords, the most iconic chant in all of college football, and fire coming from the stadium. It would be enough to get any crowd to go crazy. And this California football powerhouse is the pride of the Los Angeles area, bay area, Central Valley, and Southern California beaches. Everybody loves their Trojans. Everybody paints their face, dons the red and gold, and pulls out their Trojan gear.
Of all the college football conferences and teams, USC brings something special to a Pac-12 conference that always boasts fun, mid-level teams. USC is the Pac-12 team that can at times go head to head with the big boys of other conferences, like the SEC and Big 10, and pull out a victory.
LSU plays in the SEC, one of the most consistently brutal conferences in all of college football. At the beginning of the year, LSU fans can look down the schedule of conferences and see that they’ll play Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss.
It’s the opportunity to either lose a lot of games in a single season, or top the charts of college football fame. LSU fans love their purple and gold, and show up in stadium-crushing numbers to support the Tigers. It’s consistently one of the louder stadiums in football. LSU fans expect to go undefeated every season, and will scream their approval and disapproval alike to the coaches and players. It’s an electric environment, with a ton of pride for their team.
It’s called the “Crimson Tide”— the blood red colors clash strikingly with the bright greens of the grass, and the craze ensues. Alabama is probably the only team on this list that can feel like they have home field advantage when they show up to an away game. After all, as the best team in football for about a decade, the Crimson Tide is a unit all to themselves. They’re more than a football team; they’re an icon. Nick Saban’s demeanor is a personality all of its own. Their fans are absolutely bonkers for their red rivals.
Of all the college football conferences and teams, Michigan is the one that has begun to stand out in recent years. After some rough patches, they turned to legendary coach Jim Harbaugh to turn around the program. Glints of yellow jerseys speckle a bright green field, while the largest crowd in all of college football screams at the top of their lungs. Michigan Stadium is the largest stadium in the United States, and the second largest stadium in all the world.
While it may not be the loudest stadium in all of college football, it is certainly one of the most imposing. Add to that feeling the excitement of a Michigan crowd that expects to conquer every home game, and you get the rowdiest team in all of college football.
Making Some Noise
The energy at a game can truly make a difference. If you are fortunate enough to have attended a game at any of these stadiums, you are lucky (and even luckier if you are a season-ticket holder). If you are a part of the group who has not, we recommend you get to one ASAP.