Whether you enjoy playing or watching football, if you are a college football fan, you can relate to the joy that many people feel on Saturdays in the fall, when college football is in full swing. Since its start in 1869, college football has been an essential part of the college experience. Even though it doesn’t have a lot to do with the educational side of college, it does matter for the camaraderie and great memories.
From tailgating to cheering together with thousands of other fans, football brings people together and creates memories that many people carry with them for years. Saturdays in the fall bring together future fans, current students, alumni’s, and team supporters for fun, fellowship, and football.
Football culture is so much more than just team wins and determining the best colleges for football means looking at current success, previous success, the game-day experience, and the influence football has on its school. Here is a look at 7 of the best colleges for football in the United States. While the order follows the 2017 NCAA football rankings, these top teams were picked because of the overall football experience.
The University of Alabama
Alabama Crimson Tide, the football team of the University of Alabama, is easily one of the most favored football teams in the NCAA. The University is located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and the football team has been coached by Nick Saban for a little over ten years.
The University of Alabama football team was founded in 1892, and their colors are crimson and white. Their mascot is Big Al, a costumed elephant, and the school has won 16 national titles, 29 conference titles, and they hold the record for the most post-season bowl appearances. The University of Alabama also produced 64 All-Americans and two Heisman trophy winners, Derrick Henry and Mark Ingram.
The Bryant-Denny stadium is located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, holds over 101,000 fans, and is known for being one of the loudest stadiums in the country.
The University of Georgia
The University of Georgia is home to the Georgia Bulldogs football team, located in Athens, Georgia. Kirby Smart is the head coach since 2015, and the Bulldogs are part of the SEC Conference. The University of Georgia football team has an overall record of 788 wins, 413 losses, and 54 ties, and they have 28 bowl wins. The Bulldogs have had two national championships, 14 conference championships, and is the ranked number five in bowl appearances. They have produced 65 All-Americans, and also have two Heisman winners, Herschel Walker and Frank Sinkwich.
The University of Georgia’s colors are red and black, and those are the colors of the football uniforms. Their costume mascot is Hairy Dawg, who looks similar to Uga, their English bulldog live mascot. The Sanford Stadium is located on campus and is the tenth-largest stadium in the NCAA. It houses almost 95,000 fans, and the atmosphere is known for being light-hearted during most of the games unless they are playing their rivals, The Florida Gators, Auburn Tigers, or Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
The University of Oklahoma
One of the most well-known and loved teams in the United States is the Oklahoma Sooners, located at the University of Oklahoma’s main campus in Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners are members of the Big 12 Conference, and their current head coach is Lincoln Riley, who has just started after Bob Stoops announced his retirement in 2017.
Since their start in 1895, the Oklahoma Sooners have been mostly unbeaten, with 45 conference titles, seven national titles, 154 All-Americans, and five Heisman trophy winners, which include Sam Bradford, Adrian Peterson, and Jason White.
The mascot, the Sooner Schooner, is driven across the field during every home game, and the team colors are crimson and cream, to match the school colors. Their games are played at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, which is on campus in Norman, and it can hold 84,000 people.
The people who love the OU team are known for being all-weather fans, and game days are known for being vibrant, loud, and fun. The students are avid fans and games are a big part of student life.
Clemson University, home to Clemson Tigers, is located in Clemson, South Carolina, and is part of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Dabo Swinney has been the head coach since 2008. Since its start in 1896, the Clemson Tigers have over 700 wins, 21 conference championship wins, and four divisional titles since 2005. The school is also known for producing over 200 players who have gone to the NFL, including Jeff Davis, Terry Kinard, and Banks McFadden.
The Clemson Tigers have orange, white, and regalia uniforms that match the school’s colors. Their mascot, the Tiger, is well-loved. The stadium seats 81,000 people and is located on campus. The stadium is known as “Death Valley” because of their impressive record within the stadium. The in-stadium record is 227 wins with only 88 losses. The stadium is loud, and the fans are known for being rowdy. College football is a big deal in Clemson.
Ohio State University
The Ohio State Buckeyes, from Ohio State University, are always high on college ranking lists. The Ohio stadium, called The Horseshoe, is located on the Ohio State main campus, located in Columbus, Ohio. The university competes in the Big Ten Conference, and Urban Meyer is their head coach.
The Buckeyes have a remarkable history that began in 1890. Their accomplishments are impressive, with an all-time record of over 878 wins, 320 losses, and 53 ties. They have earned 37 conference titles, eight national titles and have had ten undefeated seasons, with six of them being perfect. The football team has produced seven Heisman winners, including big names like Archie Griffin, Troy Smith, and Eddie George.
The Ohio State Buckeyes have scarlet and gray uniforms, matching the school colors, and their mascot is Brutus Buckeye. Their stadium is a popular concert venue during off-seasons and has been the location for some favorite music groups like U2 and Rolling Stones.
The Horseshoe seats over 104,000 fans and is known for being boisterous and rowdy during games. Their rival games against the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Michigan Wolverines are known for being exceptionally intense. Ohio State is regularly listed as one of the best colleges for football.
The University of Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin is located in Madison Wisconsin and their football team, the Wisconsin Badgers are part of the Big Ten Conference, and the head coach is Paul Chryst. Since it started in 1889, the Wisconsin Badgers have been known for being competitive, and they have an all-time record that includes 678 wins, 486 losses, and 53 ties. They have had ten players who were inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, and they have produced two Heisman winners, Alan Ameche and Ron Dayne.
The University of Wisconsin school colors is cardinal red and white and the football uniforms match. Their beloved mascot is Bucky Badger. The Camp Randall Stadium is known as one of the largest stadiums in the world and is the oldest stadium of all the teams in the Big Ten Conference. It seats over 80,000 people.
The atmosphere is enthusiastic and electric and has a history of being over-the-top, even though it has toned down some in recent years. The University of Wisconsin is number 7 on the NCAA college football rankings.
Penn State University
Penn State University is home to the Nittany Lions and is located in State College, Pennsylvania. The school is part of the Big Ten Conference, and their head coach is James Franklin. The Nittany Lions were founded in 1887, making them one of the oldest college football teams in the United States. They have won three conference championships and two national championships, and they have produced 40 All-Americans, and their one Heisman winner is John Cappelletti.
The team colors are blue and white, and their mascot is the Nittany Lion. Their impressive stadium, Beaver Stadium, is located in University Park, Pennsylvania, and it houses over 105,000 people, which makes it the third-largest stadium in the world.
Many opposing teams consider Beaver stadium to be intimidating, not only because of its size but also because of its devoted fan base. Their fans are nationally ranked for their enthusiasm. Penn State is well-known as one of the best colleges for football.
When you are looking for the best colleges for football, there is no shortage of fantastic picks. While this article focuses on the Top 7 teams, ranked by the NCAA, there are so many other great teams as well. Picking the best college football teams comes down to the number of wins, vibrant history, fan support, and football programs.
The best college football programs not only bring financial success to the school and the town where the school is located, but they also bring camaraderie to the city, and the fan experiences are a large part of what makes it great. College football is a big deal it makes Saturdays in the fall a mix of family, friends, football, and fun.