My two favorite sports are college football and baseball. Here are the top 5 college football stadiums where I have seen games:
1. The Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif. – Saw the great Wisconsin runningback Ron Dayne obliterate the Pac 10 champ UCLA Bruins on a sun-splashed, 70-degree New Year’s Day in 1999. It is truly a setting that is breathtakingly beautiful.
2. Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, home of the University of Tennessee Volunteers. Ok, I’m biased. This is my team’s home. Cut me and I bleed orange. The 102,000-seat stadium is an awesome site, majesticly rising high into the sky along the banks of the Tennessee River. I’ve seen the Vols play Ole Miss (twice), Alabama, Auburn, UCLA, Boston College, Army and Rutgers. (I’ve also seen the Vols play at Kentucky and twice at Vanderbilt).
3. The Shoe. Columbus, Ohio, home of the Ohio State Buckeyes. I had 30-yard-line seats for the 1980 game with visiting Tony Eason and the Fightin’ Illini.
4. Razorback Stadium, Fayettville, Ark., home of the Arkansas Razorbacks. It was there, sitting on the 50-yard-line (if I told you how I got those tickets I’d have to kill you), that I saw greatness. On the first play of the 1995 game, Peyton Manning dropped back and fired a 60-yard laser right down the middle of the field to a sprinting Marcus Nash, who snagged it without breaking stride on a perfectly run post route. Just a sophomore, Peyton went on that day to throw FIVE TD passes in THREE quarters as the Vols routed the Hogs before a stunned soldout crowd.
5. (tie) Faurot Field, University of Missouri and The Stadium at the College of William & Mary. Saw the Tigers lose to the Cornhuskers in last year’s rain-soaked Thursday night affair. Saw Bucknell play both William and Mary on a sunny, crisp late November afternoon in 1987 just a Peyton Manning bomb from the Yorktown Battlefield where Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington.
Honorable mentioned: Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, Indiana. Saw the eventual Heisman Trophy winner, Marcus Allen, and the USC Trojans beat the Hoosiers, 17-0. The Trojan Marching Band was unbelievable.