best-college-football-schoolsFor many college students, Saturdays in Autumn are the apex of the college experience. Nothing beats the fun and camaraderie of making their way to the stadium hours before a game to eat, drink, and play with friends, or the electricity of thousands of fans cheering on the team in a big game, or the pride and excitement of reliving glorious moments in the team’s past. Football has been a part of college experiences for almost 150 years. And while it has little bearing on the educational value of a school, it has tremendous influence in the life of college students and their ongoing allegiance to their alma maters. There is no doubt that for the football fan, football can have an affect on prospective students’ decisions as to which school they want to attend.

With that in mind, College Choice has compiled a list of the 25 best schools for college football. It will be no surprise that the list is filled with schools that have had success on the field in recent and distant history. But there is more to the football culture of a school than just on-field success. In compiling our ranking, we have taken into consideration four major categories: on-field success, alumni success, game-day experience, and culture and influence.

Given football’s long history in university life, success on the field can ebb and flow. To calculate this portion of a school’s score, we considered a school’s overall win-loss record, their history in the Associated Press poll, the number of national championships won during the poll era, and the number of bowls or playoffs they have played in, with bonuses for BCS bowls.

Alumni success was measured largely by taking account of the professional careers of schools’ former players. These players indicate not only the ongoing success of a football program, but they also become sources of pride for current students and alumni of the universities. So in that way they continue to contribute to the culture and experience of the school. To calculate this portion of a school’s score, we considered the number of Heisman winners in a school’s history, the total number of NFL players, the current number of NFL players, the total number of Pro Bowl players, and the total number of Hall of Famers from each school.

On the field success and the success of alumni can be measured pretty objectively by counting players, looking at poll history, and such. Assessing a school’s game-day experience requires a bit more subjectivity. Still, it is true that a student’s experience on the days of games apart from the games themselves has a lot to do with the memories made and the overall impression of the greatness of a football school. Some things like crowd size and the number of times a school has appeared on ESPN Gameday can be counted and scored. But we also wanted to take into consideration things like stadium atmosphere, tailgating, and unique game-day traditions. To those ends we relied on online rankings to compile a composite score for a school’s overall game-day experience.

Finally, we also wanted to consider the way that a football program contributes to the school financially, the way the town adds to the college football experience, and the overall influence of the football program to student life. This last portion of a school’s College Choice score was calculated by looking at a football program’s revenue, a composite of online rankings for best college football towns, and a school’s score from a student survey on athletics conducted by Niche.com.

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What are the best football schools in America?

Football fandom and what makes for a good college football experience will certainly vary from student to student. We hope this list will give you some ideas about what schools have nurtured a college football culture that lends a lot to an overall memorable college experience.

1

Ohio State University

College Choice Score: 100.00

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Ohio State University is home to the Ohio State Buckeyes. This team can be found on the school’s main campus in Columbus, Ohio, and it competes in the Big Ten Conference. Urban Meyer is the current head coach of this team.

The Buckeyes are known for their incredible history, dating back to the school’s first season in 1890. To date, the team holds an all-time record of 878-320-53, 37 conference titles, eight national titles, and 10 undefeated seasons, six of those being perfect seasons. The school also produced seven Heisman winners, including Troy Smith, Archie Griffin, and Eddie George.

The Buckeyes wear uniforms of scarlet and gray, the school colors, with the logo imprinted on the front of the jerseys. These are the same colors that Brutus Buckeye, the costumed mascot, wears when he makes his appearance during game day.

The Buckeyes play home games at Ohio Stadium, which is known as The Horseshoe to fans and students alike. It is housed on the OSU campus in Columbus, Ohio and has also been a concert venue for such acts as U2, the Rolling Stones, and more.

The stadium currently seats more than 104,000 fans and has a rowdy, loud, and boisterous atmosphere. This atmosphere can become intense when the Buckeyes are facing off against rival teams like the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Michigan Wolverines.

2

University of Notre Dame

College Choice Score: 95.84

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The University of Notre Dame might be the most famous collegiate football team in the country. It is located in Notre Dame, Indiana and is an Independent within the NCAA, although the team does play five games a year in the ACC. The team is coached by Brian Kelly.

The Fighting Irish is known for having a long history of victory, dating back to the team’s first season in 1887. It holds 13 national championship titles, second only to the USC Trojans, and also has produced 486 NFL players. The team has also produced seven Heisman winners, including Paul Hornung, John Huarte, and Tim Brown.

The team’s outfits are supplied by Under Armour and proudly display the school colors of green and gold. The school’s logo is featured on the sleeves of each uniform, and can also be seen on the team’s mascot, the Notre Dame Leprechaun. 

All home games are played at Notre Dame Stadium, where the Fighting Irish enjoy a seating capacity of over 80,000. The football team is the most loved team on campus, and events are regularly sold out. The atmosphere during game day can be light-hearted and enthusiastic, but it can also be downright intimidating for visiting rivals, such as the USC Trojans and the Michigan State Spartans.

3

University of Alabama

College Choice Score: 94.38

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The University of Alabama’s football team is known as the Alabama Crimson Tide, and it is one of the most beloved football teams in the NCAA. It is located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, at the institution’s main campus and is part of the SEC Conference. Nick Saban has just celebrated his tenth year coaching the team.

This university has one of the best histories in college football. Since beginning the team in 1892, the school has gone on to win 16 national titles and 29 conference titles. The school also holds the record for the most NCAA post-season bowl appearances, coming in at 62 appearances. The school produced two Heisman winners in Mark Ingram and Derrick Henry and 64 All-Americans.

The team’s uniforms are covered in crimson and white, the school colors, with the university logo emblazoned on the sides of the helmet. Big Al, the school’s costumed elephant mascot, also wears school colors and travels with the team.

All of the Alabama Crimson Tide home games are played at the Bryant-Denny Stadium, which is located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It holds over 101,000 fans during game days and is known to be one of the loudest stadium atmospheres in the country. It is also a competitive atmosphere during rival games when the team faces off against the Auburn Tigers or the LSU Tigers.

4

University of Southern California

College Choice Score: 90.75

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The University of Southern California is home to the USC Trojans, one of the best football teams in America. It is located in Los Angeles, California, and is part of the Pac-12 Conference. Clay Helton is in his third year of head coach of the team.

The USC Trojans are well known for a storied history of victories, dating back to 1888, when the team was first created. The school has won 11 national championships and has produced nearly 500 NFL players. The school also holds the record for most Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees, with the number being 12.

This school’s colors are featured predominantly on the USC Trojans’ uniforms.The cardinal and gold colored uniforms feature the a Trojan helmet on the right side of the helmet and are supplied by Nike. The school’s mascot, Traveler, often wears the colors while riding a white horse at games.

The USC Trojans play their home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which fits 93,000 fans in its stands. The school is known for having a vibrant and competitive atmosphere during game day, especially when facing off against their rivals, the UCLA Bruins and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

5

University of Oklahoma

College Choice Score: 87.09

Website

The University of Oklahoma is home to perhaps one of the best-loved and most recognized college football teams in America. The Oklahoma Sooners is located at the school’s main campus in Norman, Oklahoma, and is a member of the Big 12 Conference. The current head coach is Bob Stoops, who is celebrating his 18th year in the position.  The Oklahoma Sooners have been a largely successful team since its inception in 1895. To date, the school has claimed seven national titles and 45 conference titles. The football program has all produced 154 All-Americans and five Heisman winners, including Sam Bradford, Adrian Peterson, and Jason White.   
 
The team’s uniforms are adorned with crimson and cream, the school’s colors. The school’s logo is imprinted on the helmets and the front of each jersey has the team name across the chest. The colors are also used for the school’s mascot, the Sooner Schooner, which is driven across the field every home game by the RUF/NEKS spirit team.   
 
The Oklahoma Sooners play their home games at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium that is located on campus in Norman, Oklahoma. It is a large stadium that can fit up to 84,000 people, although there is a standing record for having over 87,000 fans in attendance.  
 
The game day atmosphere at the stadium can be loud, light-hearted, and rambunctious. Games are a big part of life at OU, so students make a point to be at the home games, giving support to the team. And for many die-hard fans, games against rivals like the Oklahoma State Cowboys are ones not to be missed, ensuring that the stadium atmosphere is tense and intimidating for visiting teams.

6

University of Michigan

College Choice Score: 84.39

Website

The University of Michigan houses the Michigan Wolverines. This team is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is part of the Big Ten Conference. The head coach is Jim Harbaugh.

This school is known for a few things, with attendance being one of the most prominent features of the school. Attendance records are continuously broken at the team’s home games. The team is also known for having the most all-times wins out of any football team, with an all-time record of 929-331-36. The team has produced three Heisman winners, including Tom Harmon and Charles Woodson.

The uniforms for the Michigan Wolverines are outfitted by Nike and use the school colors of maize and blue for decoration. The helmets feature wings and are iconic emblems of collegiate football. Biff, the school mascot, also wears the colors during games.

Michigan Stadium is where all of the home games are played. Currently, the stadium can seat over 107,000 fans, but it has been known to stretch to fit 115,000 fans. This stadium is known for having a ferocious and enthusiastic atmosphere on game day, particularly when the school faces off against its rivals like the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio State Buckeyes, or Michigan State Spartans.

7

University of Texas

College Choice Score: 80.99

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The University of Texas houses the Texas Longhorns. It is located in Austin, Texas, and is part of the Big 12 Conference. This team is currently coached by Charlie Strong.

The Texas Longhorns, which held their first season in 1893, is known for having a record 108 winning seasons out of 122 seasons altogether. It also is known for producing two Heisman winners: Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams. The school currently has an all-time record of 888-352-33.

The school’s uniforms are iconic and utilize the school colors of burnt orange and white. The symbol for the school, the Longhorn, is imprinted on the right side of each helmet. This is fitting, as the school’s live mascot, Bevo, is actually a Texas Longhorn steer.

The school’s home games are played at the Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, also known as the Memorial Stadium. It seats over 100,000 fans during game days and is one of the most unfriendly and rowdy atmospheres for visiting teams. The tensions can run high during rival games, particularly when the school faces off against an arch-rival like the Texas A&M Aggies.

8

University of Nebraska

College Choice Score: 79.29

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The University of Nebraska is home to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. This team is part of the Big Ten Conference and can be found in Lincoln, Nebraska, at the school’s flagship institution. Mike Riley is the current head coach of this team.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers is just one of ten teams in total to win more than 800 games, with an all-time record of 884-368-40. The team also claims five national championships and 46 conference championships. The team also produced dozens of NFL players and Heisman winners such as Johnny Rodgers, Eric Crouch, and Bobby Reynolds.

The team wears uniforms outfitted by Adidas in the school colors of scarlet and cream. The school’s logo is emblazoned on the left side of all of the helmets. The school’s two costumed mascots, Lil’Red and Herbie Husker, also wear the school’s logos on their outfits.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers play their home games at Memorial Stadium, which is located on the school’s main campus. This team is so beloved by the school that it holds the record for the most consecutive sellout games, which currently stands at over 350. Students often wear red on game days as part of an intimidation tactic against rivals such as the Wisconsin Badgers, the Miami Hurricanes, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

9

Louisiana State University

College Choice Score: 78.70

Website

The LSU Tigers, also known as the Fighting Tigers, are the Louisiana State University’s sports team. This team is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and it competes in the SEC Conference. Ed Orgeron is serving as the interim coach for the foreseeable future.

This team is known for having one of the best all-time records, which currently sits at 771-405-47. The LSU Tigers have also won three national championships and has over 40 former players currently active in the NFL, including Patrick Peterson and Odell Beckham, Jr. 

The team’s uniforms use the school colors of purple and gold on all alternate and mainstay uniforms. The school’s logo is printed on the right side of each helmet, and the color pattern and logo can also be seen on the school’s costumed mascot, Mike the Tiger. There is also a live Bengal Tiger that is known as Mike the Tiger.

The LSU Tigers play their homes games at Tiger Stadium, which is housed at the school’s main campus. It is known as Death Valley to fans, as it has an imposing presence for visiting teams. The stadium can reasonably seat over 102,000 fans, as is the case when the team is facing a rival like the Auburn Tigers, the Arkansas Razorbacks, or the Ole Miss Rebels.

10

Florida State University

College Choice Score: 72.90

Website

The Florida State Seminoles are the Florida State University’s football team. It is located in Tallahassee, Florida, and is part of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Jimbo Fisher is the team’s head coach.

The Florida State Seminoles has quite a history, including producing over 200 All-Americans and 250 NFL players. Three Heisman winners have also played for this school, including Charlie Ward, Chris Winke, and Jameis Winston. The team also has won over 500 games, including various bowl wins and is known for being one of the toughest football teams in the NCAA.

The Florida State Seminoles has one of the most iconic uniforms in the league. The jerseys all represent and pay respect to the Seminole culture by using the Native American symbols of the arrow, a man on a horse, and fire on the jersey and imprinted on the helmets. The uniforms all use the school colors, garnet and gold, to further complete the look, and these are the same colors used by Osceola and Renegade, the school’s official mascots.

The team plays all of its home games at the Doak Campbell Stadium, which is known as Doak to students. This stadium can fit just under 80,000 fans and is one of the largest brick structures in the world, after the Great Wall of China. This stadium, found on the school’s main campus, is one of the most intimidating stadiums for visiting schools, which is no doubt fueled by the loyal fanbase the team has. The atmosphere in the stadium can get heated if the school is playing one of its main rivals, including the Clemson Tigers, the Miami Hurricanes, or the Florida Gators.

11

University of Florida

College Choice Score: 72.83

Website

The University of Florida is home to one of the best known collegiate football teams in America. The Florida Gators is part of the SEC and is located in Gainesville, Florida. The team is coached by Jim McElwain.

This team, which was formed in 1906, has one three national championships and eight conference championships and holds an all-time record of 701-404-40. It is best known for being the producer of three Heisman Winners, include Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel, and Tim Tebow, one of the most popular football players in modern history.

The team currently has three uniforms that it changes out, based on home and away games. These are adorned with the school colors, blue and orange, and have the school logo imprinted on the right side of each helmet and on the left side of each pant. These colors are also worn by the team’s costumed mascots, Albert and Alberta Gator, which are symbolic of the school animal, the alligator.

Home games are traditionally played at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, which is known among students as “The Swamp.” It is the twelfth largest football stadium by number of seats, which currently sits just below 90,000. However, as football is a beloved sport at the school and the atmosphere is electric, attendance for these games is generally considered to top 93,000 fans. This number is often for games played against rivals such as the LSU Tigers or the Georgia Bulldogs.

12

Penn State University

College Choice Score: 72.62

Website

Penn State University is where the Nittany Lions can be found. This team is housed at the school’s main campus in State College, Pennsylvania and is part of the Big Ten Conference. It is coached by James Franklin.

The Nittany Lions is one of the oldest college football teams in America, having been around since 1887. It has won two national championships and three conference championships. It has also produced one Heisman winner in John Cappalletti and 40 All-Americans. 

The team wears the school’s colors of blue and white on all its uniforms. The school’s logo is emblazoned on the front of each jersey. These are the same colors that the Nittany Lion, the school’s costumed mascot, wears on its scarf during games.

The Nittany Lions call Beaver Stadium home. It is located in University Park, Pennsylvania. This stadium currently houses over 105,000 seats, making it the third-largest stadium in the entire world.

Beaver Stadium is an intimidating place for opposing teams, owing to the fact that the Nittany Lions has a devoted fan base that come out to see every home game. The stadium’s student sections have also been nationally ranked for enthusiasm, particularly as the Nittany Lions play its rivals, the Pittsburgh Panthers or the Ohio State Buckeyes.

13

University of Tennessee

College Choice Score: 72.32

Website

The University of Tennessee is home to the Tennessee Volunteers, the school’s football team that had its first season in 1891. It is lovingly known as “UT” or “Vols” by fans. This team is located in Knoxville, Tennessee and is part of the SEC Conference. The team is currently coached by Butch Jones.

The Vols are known for having one of the best win-loss records in the NCAA, with the all-time record sitting at 824-367-54. The school is also known for being in the top ten best teams by number of victories in a bowl game. The school has won 13 conference championships, six national championships, and 28 bowl games. Some of the most famous football players the team has produced include Peyton Manning, Johnny Majors, and Frank Emanuel.

The school’s team is outfitted by Nike and features the colors UT orange and white, with alternate outfits for home and away games. These are the same colors worn by the Vols mascots, Smokey and Smokey X. This includes a costumed mascot and a live, Bluetick Coonhound mascot, which is cared for by the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.

The Tennessee Vols get a warm welcome every time they play a home game at Neyland Stadium. While this is the home for the football team, the stadium has also been known to house NFL exhibition games as well. It seats up to 105,000 fans per game and is considered one of the loudest stadiums in the nation. The crowd gets especially rowdy if the school is playing one of its rivals, which include the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Vanderbilt Commodores.

14

University of Georgia

College Choice Score: 71.54

Website

The Georgia Bulldogs make their home at the University of Georgia. The team is located at the Athens, Georgia, campus and is part of the SEC Conference. Kirby Smart is in his second year as head coach.

This university is well known for having an overall record of 788-413-54 and a bowl record of 28-19-3. The school lays claim to two national championships as well as 14 conference championships. It has also ranked in the top five by number of bowl appearances. The school has produced two Heisman winners, Frank Sinkwich and Herschel Walker, and over 65 All-Americans.

The team’s uniforms utilize the school’s colors, red and black, on both home and away uniforms. The school’s logo is also imprinted on the right side of the helmets. This uniform is worn by the school’s costumed mascot, Hairy Dawg, and is semi-replicated on the school’s live mascot, an English bulldog named Uga. 

All of the school’s home games are played at Sanford Stadium, which is located on-campus in Athens. This is the tenth-largest stadium in the NCAA and can seat nearly 95,000 fans. Games generally fill the stadium with a light-hearted atmosphere, and these are popular events amongst the student body. This atmosphere changes, however, and becomes tense if the school is playing one of its three main rivals: The Florida gators, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, and the Auburn Tigers.

15

Auburn University

College Choice Score: 71.23

Website

Auburn University is home to the Auburn Tigers, the school’s football team. This team is located in Auburn, Alabama, and is a member of the Southeastern Conference. The head coach is Gus Malzahn.

The Auburn Tigers have had a tumultuous history, but it currently holds a place in the top ten most successful teams in the past 25 years as well as the past 50 years in terms of win percentages. The team, which has been competitive since 1892, also produced three Heisman winners, including Pat Sullivan, Bo Jackson, and Cam Newton. In fact, the Heisman Trophy is named after John Heisman, which coached the Auburn team himself for four years.

The team’s uniforms feature the school’s colors, navy blue and burnt orange and are made by Under Armour. Both sets of uniforms feature orange and blue stripes on the helmet, as well as the school’s logo featured prominently on the left side of the helmet. The school’s mascot, Aubie the Tiger, often wears the school colors when making appearances.

The Auburn Tigers play their home games at the Jordan-Hare Stadium, which is located right on school campus. It currently seats over 85,000 fans and is consistently named as having one of the best game-day atmospheres. This, however, has also been named one of the most intimidating places to play, especially by the school’s rivals. These rival teams include the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Georgia Bulldogs, the LSU Tigers, and the Florida Gators.

16

University of Miami

College Choice Score: 64.10

Website

The Miami Hurricanes is the name given to the University of Miami’s football team. It is located in Miami Gardens, Florida, and competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The head coach is Mark Richt.

The team is best known for its ability to produce stellar NFL players. Two former players have won the Heisman and nine have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The school also holds the record for the largest number of alumni that are currently active in the NFL, with that number being 42. 

The Miami Hurricanes are currently outfitted by Adidas and wear the colors green and orange for all games, with alternate outfits for both home and away games. The school’s mascot is the costumed mascot Sebastian the Ibis, which is a marsh bird. Sebastian the Ibis always wears a Hurricanes jersey with the number zero featured prominently on the front. 

The team shares its home stadium, the Hard Rock Stadium, with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. This facility can hold up to 65,000 fans, which is a good thing, as the team has a fervent fanbase among the college community. Home games are especially important when the team is playing against its rivals, the Florida Gators, the Florida State Seminoles, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, or the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

17

Texas A&M University

College Choice Score: 63.50

Website

Texas A&M University is home to the Texas Aggies, or Aggies as the fans endeavor to call them. This team is part of the SEC Conference and is located in College Station, Texas. The Aggies are currently coached by Kevin Sumlin.

The Aggies holds 18 conference titles and three national titles. It is also known as the college football team of John David Crow and Johnny Manziel, both of which are Heisman Winners. The team has also further produced 22 All-Americans.

The Aggies have always historically worn maroon and white uniforms with the schools logo printed on the right side of the helmets. The outline of the state of Texas can also be seen on the left side of the pants with the logo nestled inside. 

Reveille, the school’s live mascot, wears the school colors. She is a Rough Collie and has always historically been female. Reveille is the highest-ranking member of the Corps of Cadets, which can be found at the school. 

Home games are traditionally huge events at Texas A&M, and are often the most anticipated events of the year. All home games are played at Kyle Field, which is one of the largest college stadiums in the country. It can seat 102,000 people, although it has been known to seat up to 110,000 people when playing rivals such as the Texas Longhorns, the Arkansas Razorbacks, or the LSU Tigers.

18

University of Wisconsin

College Choice Score: 60.29

Website

The Wisconsin Badgers are the University of Wisconsin’s football team. The team is located in Madison, Wisconsin and is part of the Big Ten Conference. The team is coached by Paul Chryst.

This team has been competitive since 1889, although it was first formed in 1896. It has an all-time record of 678-486-53 and has produced two Heisman winners, Alan Ameche and Ron Dayne. The team has also had a total of ten former players inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

The Wisconsin Badgers wear uniforms made by Under Armour. The team wears the school colors, cardinal red and white, with a central stripe and the school’s logo emblazoned on the helmet. The school’s mascot, Bucky Badger, also wears the school colors, but opts for a striped sweater with the school’s logo front and center.

Home games for the Wisconsin Badgers are played at the Camp Randall Stadium, which is the oldest stadium in the Big Ten Conference. It is also one of the 50 largest stadiums in the world and can seat over 80,000 fans. 

This stadium is known for having an electric and sometimes overly-enthusiastic atmosphere, which was punctuated by the famous Camp Randall Crush in 1993. However, the fans have toned down a bit in recent years; the exception to this rule is when the school plays one of its rivals, which include the Iowa Hawkeyes, the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

19

Clemson University

College Choice Score: 59.74

Website

Clemson University is home to the Clemson Tigers, also known simply as the Tigers. The team is located in Clemson, South Carolina, and is part of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Tigers are coached by Dabo Swinney, who is celebrating his tenth year as head coach.

This school is best known for having accumulated over 700 wins since it was first formed in 1896. The Tigers have won 21 conference championships and four divisional titles since 2005 and have produced over 200 players that have gone into the NFL. This was the college team for Jeff Davis, Banks McFadden, and Terry Kinard.

The Clemson Tigers wear uniforms made of orange, white, and regalia, the school’s colors. The helmets are adorned with a white and regalia stripe and a white paw, symbolizing the school’s mascot, the Tiger. The Tiger, which is a well-loved tradition in the school’s history, is a costumed mascot that travels with the team for moral support. 

The school’s home stadium is located on campus in Clemson, South Carolina. It currently has over 81,000 seats. It is most popularly known as “Death Valley,” a moniker given to the stadium owing to the fact that the Tigers hold a record of 227-88-7 there. It is a loud stadium that is known for getting rowdy, especially when the team is playing against one of its rivals, such as the South Carolina Gamecocks, the Florida State Seminoles, or the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

20

University of Oregon

College Choice Score: 58.81

Website

The Oregon Ducks are the University of Oregon’s football team. The team, which is located in Eugene, Oregon, belongs to the Pac-12 Conference and its head coach is Mark Helfrich. This school holds four division titles, 12 conference titles, and has produced one Heisman winner and eight All-Americans.

The team is best known for its dynamic and changing uniforms, resulting in new designs on an almost yearly basis. While the colors change from year to year, the school tries to incorporate wings and feathers and the colors green and gold into each uniform when possible. 

It helps as well that the team’s mascot, known as The Oregon Duck, or Puddles, wears a similar outfit of green and gold when it makes appearances at sporting events. The school even has a special licensing agreement with Disney to use the likeness of Donald Duck for its mascot.

Autzen Stadium is the home stadium for the Oregon Ducks. It can seat up to 60,000 for games. It is a loud environment that can also be quite intimidating to casual football fans, as the team has enthusiastic support at home. The stadium, at times, can be hostile to visiting teams, especially the school’s two biggest rivals, the Oregon State Beavers and the Washington Huskies.

21

University of Washington

College Choice Score: 54.88

Website

The University of Washington is home to the Washington Huskies. This team is located in Seattle, Washington, and is a member of the Pac-12 Conference. The school is best known for having one of the longest-running winning streaks in the nation, including a 27-season winning streak between the late 1970s and the early 2000s. It is also known for being one of the best producers of quarterbacks for the NFL, listing 17 out of the last 20 team quarterbacks that have gone on to the NFL. This team is coached by Chris Petersen.

The Washington Huskies wear uniforms designed by Nike that utilize the school’s colors, purple and gold, as well as white. There are also variations on the uniforms for home and away games. This school’s mascot is Dubs, Harry the Husky, a costumed mascot that accompanies the team to all games.

The team plays all of its home games at the Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium, which is located on campus. The stadium is located right next to Lake Washington and is one of the largest college stadiums in the Pacific Northwest, seating just over 70,000 people. It is also known as one of the most rambunctious and loudest stadiums in the country, especially when the team is squaring off against one of its rivals, including the Washington State Cougars and the Oregon Ducks.

22

University California Los Angeles

College Choice Score: 53.99

Website

The University of California at Los Angeles houses the UCLA Bruins. The team is best known for always being ranked in the top ten of every AP Poll of football teams at least once every decade. The team, which is located in Pasadena, California, plays in the Pac-12 division and is coached by Jim Mora. 

The UCLA Bruins have a long and storied history of wins, most notably through the coaching efforts of Terry Donahue, who lead the school to a 151-74-8 record during the 1980s and 90s. The school is also known for producing nearly 30 first-round picks in the NFL draft as well as being the college team of Heisman winner Gary Beban.

The UCLA Bruins wear uniforms made of “true blue,” a color made especially for the school, and gold. The team’s mascot, Joe Bruin, also wears a similar outfit when he makes an appearance at any UCLA event. 

The team is housed at the Rose Bowl Stadium, which can reasonably fit nearly 95,000 people. Home games are an important event, with games generally being filled to capacity. This is especially true if the Bruins are playing their rivals, the USC Trojans.

23

Michigan State University

College Choice Score: 53.55

Website

Michigan State University’s football team, the Spartans, represent the school in the Big Ten Conference. The school is known for winning six national championships and nine conference championships, the last coming in 2015. This team, which is located in East Lansing, Michigan, and has been coached by Mark Dantonio for the past ten years.

MSU’s Spartans began as an intramural sports club in 1885 and didn’t receive varsity status until 1896. It saw its heyday during the 1950s when the schools was considered the nation’s football factory, turning out some of the best players in the game. 

The Spartans wear uniforms that are green, white and gold. There are different variations of the uniform, depending on whether the team is playing a home or away game. The team is accompanied to every game by Sparty, the school’s mascot. This is a large, muscular male Spartan warrior dressed in Greek costumes that utilize the school colors. 

The Spartan Stadium is where the Michigan Spartans play every home game, and it is located right on school campus. It is the Big Ten’s sixth-largest stadium and can comfortably sit 75,000 people.

This is great news for the Spartans, as the school has a large fan base at home. In fact, the school is considered to be in the top 25 teams based on game attendance. The most popular games are those played by the schools’ rivals, which include Notre Dame, Indiana, the University of Michigan Wolverines, and Penn State. As of 2015, MSU holds all trophies won in these annual games.

24

University of Arkansas

College Choice Score: 52.47

Website

The University of Arkansas is home to the Arkansas Razorbacks, a team that is counted among the top 25 teams in number of wins in college football history. This team, which is located at the school’s flagship campus in Fayetteville, Arkansas, is coached by Bret Bielema, who has held the position since 2013. The school plays in the Southeastern Conference.

The Arkansas Razorbacks hold a record of 13 conference championships and has been the team for 45 All-Americans. This is an astounding record for a team that has been in operation since 1894. The most famous coach for the Razorbacks was Frank Broyles, who served in the position of head coach from 1958 to 1976, the period in which the Razorbacks found glory at the conference and national stages. 

The Razorbacks, which are also known as the Hogs, wear jerseys that are cardinal red and white that were designed by Nike. The school’s mascot is named Tusk, a live Russian boar, who is a staple at the team’s home games. The current live mascot, named Tusk IV, has his own indoor and outdoor home located in Dardanelle, Arkansas. 

The Razorbacks make use of two different stadiums. The main stadium is the Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium that is located near the school’s main campus, which seats up to 80,000 people per game. The second stadium is the War Memorial Stadium, which is the secondary home for the Razorbacks and is generally used during Conference games. 

Razorback games are filled with excitement and anticipation, making for a great atmosphere during the games. Die-hard fans always make the trip to see the Razorbacks play their well-known rivals, such as the Ole Miss Rebels, the LSU Tigers, the Texas A&M Aggies, the Missouri Tigers, and the Texas Longhorns. The latter, along with the Ole Miss Rebels, are thought to be the school’s fiercest rivals, although the last match-up against the Texas Longhorns was in 2014.

25

University of Pittsburgh

College Choice Score: 51.73

Website

The University of Pittsburgh and football are inseparable. The school, which is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has had a football team since 1890, and it is known for its involvement in making changes to the sport, including desegregating the Sugar Bowl. The team, known as the Pittsburgh Panthers, are coached by Pat Narduzzi. The school plays in the Atlantic Coast Conference of the NCAA.

The Pitt Panthers have won nine national championships in its 116-year history, the most recent occurring in 1976. The school has always been known as one of the top 20 college football teams in the country, but its reputation is far more historic. In 1955, the University of Pittsburgh became the first team to desegregate college football when head coach John Michelosen played fullback Bobby Grier, an African-American player, in the Sugar Bowl.

The Panthers’ uniforms are adorned with blue and gold, the school colors. The mascot is the Pittsburgh Panther, also known as Roc, which can be seen in 20 different places around the school campus and football facilities. 

All of the school’s home games are played in Heinz Field, the same facility used by the city’s football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. This school’s fanbase is large and enthusiastic, no doubt owing to the fact that the school enjoys health competition from rivals such as Penn State, Syracuse University, and the University of Notre Dame.

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