American Football is unique from many other popular world sports in several ways, but one of the most interesting of these differences must be the way that the college league is regarded in many ways as being almost as important as the professional league. In European countries where Soccer is the national game, the Under-21’s league is often little more than an afterthought – very little media attention focuses on how players are plucked from this lower tier and promoted to the professional game.
The United States and the National Football League does things very differently – so much so that there are several college teams worth travelling cross-country to see in action on the field. There are even one or two college teams with bigger social media followings than the lowest ranked professional teams! If you were going to go on a road trip to visit some of the best college football teams in the USA, where should be on your list? We’ve whittled it down to just a handful here, though we just must give a few honorable mentions at the end as well. Let’s roll!
First on the list simply must be the State of Ohio, the home of the modern game of American Football. Choosing a town or city here was tough – the state is simply stuffed to the brim with NCAA ranked football teams. From the Cincinnati Bearcats to the Ohio Bobcats, you could make an argument for almost any of the college teams based here.
We picked the Ohio State Buckeyes, who play in the Big Ten Conference. Ohio State University in Columbus is the only place in Ohio to have an NCAA Division 1 Football team which also boasts sponsorships for all five other major forms of college sport competition. If you want to enjoy some other sporting action after watching the Buckeyes, you are truly spoilt for choice in Columbus.
Virginia has recently joined the list of US states to offer regulated online gambling, so why not place a bet via a Legal sportsbook in Virginia to boost the excitement when you descend upon Virginia Tech to see the Hokies play? Another NCAA Division 1 team, the Hokies first played in 1892 and are still going strong today – an unbelievably long heritage for a college team.
They say the best part of a Hokies game is getting to the stadium early – 30 minutes prior to kickoff at the absolute minimum, to ensure you get to watch the boys take to the field as their anthem “Enter Sandman” shakes the stadium to the rafters. It doesn’t hurt that the town of Blacksburg boasts stunning scenery either – it’s a mountain getaway and a sporting weekend all rolled into one.
The lone star state is another heavyweight of the college football world, but the Red Raiders from Texas Tech have been playing Football since 1925 and have been delivering stunning performance after stunning performance in recent times. The raiders play in the Big 12 Conference, which is a subdivision of the NCAA Division 1, though it’s been a while now since they managed to collect a trophy for either a Conference or Divisional Championship. Considering recent performances, this deserves to change soon.
The Red Raiders play at the Jones AT&T Stadium which is located on campus at Texas Tech, making a visit to see this team an easy way for prospective future students to take a look around the school. You don’t need any excuse to go watch this team play however, as the attendance records for the stadium show – it isn’t unusual for 40,000 people to turn up to watch the Red Raiders play – a record of 61,836 spectators was set in 2013.
With our three best picks out the way, how about those honorable mentions? If you fancy a trip down to the Sunshine State, you could do a lot worse than visiting Gainesville to see the Florida Gators play. Another NCAA Division 1 FBS team, the Gators have claimed 3 national titles and 8 conference titles all since 1991.
Head straight up North from Florida and you could catch the Army Black Knights Football team based at West Point in New York State. Army has a rich history, just like the school they are attached to, and a day out here offers countless opportunities to soak up American history.
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We can’t resist one more pick, if only because of the bizarre choice of name – Notre Dame Fighting Irish are based at the Notre Dame University in Indiana and have an unbelievably history full of stories, legends, myths, and controversies dating all the way back to 1887. One of the most recent historic games involving Fighting Irish occurred in 2007, when the longest all-time college football consecutive winning streak by one team or another was ended as the Navy Midshipmen beat Fighting Irish 46-44 following one of the most hard-fought games in college football history.