The Southeastern Conference has long been home to passionate fans who make college football Saturdays a great atmosphere and an intimidating experience for visiting football teams.
Long before the recent domination on the gridiron by the SEC, the conference boasted some of the best college football stadiums in the country. Narrowing down fourteen candidates to a Top 5 is difficult, given the strong resumes for most of the SEC. It had to be done though and here is a look at the top five SEC stadiums.
5. Tennessee - Neyland Stadium
Over 102,000 fans fill Neyland Stadium to capacity on Saturdays with the goal of watching the Vols score a big win and singing Rocky Top afterward. So you have the huge capacity. You have Smoky. You have the signature checkerboard endzones. You have decent tailgating. You have the fifth best college football stadium in the SEC.
4. Texas A&M - Kyle Field
The chances that Texas A&M finishes near the top of the SEC standings on the football field in its maiden year in the conference are slim. However, the 12th Man, complete with the Corps of Cadets, kissing after scores, and an entire swaying to the War Hymn, will create an electric atmosphere on Saturdays this fall. College football fans will have their eyes on College Station this year to see whether the Aggies will sink or swim in the SEC. The stadium and its fans have been an intimidating environment for big Southwest Conference and Big Twelve opponents in the past. Fanatical support in the stands will now be one of coach Kevin Sumlin's big advantages on gameday and on the recruiting trail.
3. Alabama - Bryant-Denny Stadium
A trip to Bryant-Denny Stadium is humbling and memorable. The Walk of Champions is a tribute to the national championships won in days of yore and in the days of Saban. BDS is impressive in that regard, though the noise level may not reach the levels of the loudest SEC stadiums. Opposing teams and fans may not be happy to hear Roll Tide a million times, only to be topped of by Rammer Jammer. However, that is the destiny awaiting most of the teams an fans who are visitors to Tuscaloosa.
2. Florida - The Swamp
Wait, what's the official name of Florida's stadium? Who cares? The Swamp nickname has stuck and tops many lists for the loudest college football stadiums in the country, and with good reason. Boisterous Gator fans and the layout of the stadium decks together creates an extremely loud environment which make trips to the Swamp difficult. Gainesville has been the site of many great teams, great players, and great moments. There was life after SOS, Tim Tebow, and Urban Meyer. The Swamp will continue to be a fantastic gameday stadium and experience.
1. LSU - Death Valley
Death Valley tops the charts because it is the girl who can pass for a model, is intelligent, has a heart of gold, and can reel off lines from Seinfeld. Fan volume at Tiger Stadium can be seismic - literally. Tailgating there is awesome with great beer, BBQ, and booze available. LSU does have its share of insane fans - for better or worse. The mystique of playing in Baton Rouge at night may be a bit overstated, as most big stadiums will have a more intense and lively atmosphere at night. Funny how twelve hours of guzzling beers and chomping down barbeque can create a frenzied atmosphere for a Saturday night showdown. Tiger Stadium is the real deal though in so many ways, including loudness, atmosphere, and tailgating, and tops the list for the best SEC stadium.