Ranking college football stadiums isn’t easy. I’ve been to 104 of the 130 stadiums (131 in 2022 with the addition of James Madison) thus far and this list took me a ton of time to hash out. Is Wyoming better than Navy? Who knows.
Of course, these rankings are entirely subjective and everyone’s criteria is going to differ. I took the following factors into consideration:
- Overall venue
- Location (background, etc.)
I did not take into account:
- Game environment
- Anything surrounding games
Alright let’s get into it.
Ranking College Football Stadiums: The Top 10
1. Tiger Stadium, LSU
Tiger Stadium has it all: size, uniqueness, grandeur, a tiger enclosure right next to it. It’s a complete football stadium. The midfield tiger eye logo, numbers every five yards (opposed to 10), dual post uprights, it has the highest density of unique and great features. Even without a legendary nighttime crowd, LSU Tiger Stadium is my favorite.
2. Ohio Stadium, Ohio State
Did I mention this list is biased? Slightly so. I’d have to give up my Buckeye card if I were to rank Michigan above Ohio State, but these two stadiums are neck-and-neck. Ohio Stadium has one of the best stadium nicknames in the nation: The Horseshoe or “The Shoe.” It matches the scale and grandeur of any stadium but combines it with a not-seen-anywhere-else historic significance.
3. Michigan Stadium, Michigan
It’s a not-so-great kept secret that I love the Big House; I really do. Even outside of game day, this place is legendary. It’s the largest non-racing stadium in the country and aesthetic of the venue is perfect. The brick wall surrounding the stadium, the midfield tunnel, the blue bleachers, the massive press boxes, it all just works. I also love the open concourse with tunnels directly to the seats.
4. Memorial Stadium, Clemson
Clemson might have the overall nicest stadium in the country, if not the world. Even though it’s not one of the 100,000 seaters, Death Valley feels like one of the biggest stadiums in the country. Howard’s Rock is one of the best touches in a venue and the west end zone is a beautiful and perfect upgrade. Clemson famously has some of the nicest overall facilities in the nation and Memorial Stadium is the pinnacle of it.
5. Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Oklahoma
No other venue in the United States are dubbed a “Palace.” What really brings Oklahoma Memorial Stadium into the elite of the elite tier is the south end zone complex and renovation. The suites, the Barry Switzer Center, all of it is grand. The Heisman Statues are one of my favorite features of any stadium. This place is a living sports museum. Concourses are spacious and there’s no bad views in here.
6. Kyle Field, Texas A&M
Outside of game day, Kyle Field has scale that few– if any– other places have. Though seats at the very top of the stadium can be a little disengaging because of the height, you’re instead impressed. Texas A&M hangs their hat on having the biggest stadium, even if not by capacity, in the country. There’s plenty of amenities inside the stadium, but Kyle Field really shines through on Saturday.
7. DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium, Texas
I haven’t been since the new renovations to the photographed end zone and that likely makes DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium even better. The thing I love most about this place is the scale and the amazing view of downtown Austin from the upper decks. Everything’s bigger in Texas and this stadium embodies that. The one sole knock I have against it: It’s extremely confusing to traverse. It’s a maze and that hurts it, if only slightly.
8. Neyland Stadium, Tennessee
Neyland Stadium’s two greatest strengths are its history and its size. Few places are just a giant crater in the ground and Rocky Top’s got one of them. Tennessee has one of the most iconic stadiums not only just in college football, but in American sports. It’s getting a nice renovation in 2022. When the field is painted with the checkered end zones, it really pops. I’m also a sucker for brick walls. So why isn’t it number one? It’s very, very old. Upkeep isn’t ideal.
9. Rose Bowl Stadium, UCLA
No place in the US holds its water with iconography that the Rose Bowl does. It’s the only bowl game to not have a sponsor in the name, just to page homage to this legendary stadium. The backdrop of Southern California, its location in Los Angeles, the history and statues outside of the stadium, and the most photographed stadium in the world possibly make this one impossible to ignore.
10. Beaver Stadium, Penn State
To Penn State fans, there’s no better stadium in the world. Beaver Stadium is the second largest non-racing stadium in the US and exudes excellence. However, its real strength– like Texas A&M– comes on game day. By itself, Beaver Stadium is still one of the most impressive venues in the world. However, it was built far later than the other ones ahead of it on the list, by upward of 50 years. Is that a knock to most people? No. But the historical significance isn’t quite there.
Ranking College Football Stadiums: 11-25
11. Memorial Stadium, Nebraska
Surprisingly, even at 90,000 capacity, Nebraska Memorial Stadium feels much smaller when it’s empty. However, it’s iconic. From the way the isles are configured to the massive press boxes and the half football-lined scoreboard, this is one of the country’s most unique facilities.
12. California Memorial Stadium, Cal
The setting in the California hills, view of downtown San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay, a terrific bear statue out front, and the historic yet upscale feel of California Memorial Stadium holds a special place in my heart. I love the sleek rebrand Cal went through in the mid 2010s and the end zones are drawn in this style. This one is just special to me, you don’t have to agree.
13. Bryant-Denny Stadium, Alabama
Alabama’s facilities are some of the finest in the country. Bryant-Denny undergoes overhauls and renovations fairly often and is one of six 100,000-seat stadiums in the country. As far as grandeur and modern-ness goes, Bryant-Denny scores an 11 (they introduced the LED light shows). However, I don’t feel the history and tradition within the walls that hallowed ground like Alabama should have.
14. Autzen Stadium, Oregon
Autzen is one of a few stadiums on this list where it falls down the list because of its non-game day presence. This stadium is one of the loudest and most exciting on Saturday, but Autzen still holds water empty. There’s a surprising amount of art here, something I haven’t seen elsewhere. The Oregon hills in the background and an unusual green vibe, Autzen is gorgeous. As it should be– Nike is based in Eugene.
15. Lane Stadium, Virginia Tech
Another personal preference entry, but I love everything about Lane Stadium. From the brick matching the rest of campus to the massive press box, Lane Stadium is incredibly high quality. Sit up high enough on the visiting side and you get a beautiful view of the mountains. It’s not the most sleek, updated, most high-tech stadium in the country, but the vibe of Lane Stadium is perfect.
16. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, USC
When a college stadium becomes so significant that it feels like a professional stadium, you’ve got a good thing going. The Olympic torch and east facade might be the most iconic feature of any venue. So why does it fall to 16? The seating options that aren’t prime are downright atrocious. Watching a football game from the nosebleeds here must be a nightmare.
17. Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn
If your stadium has hedges around the field, it gets a boost from me. Jordan-Hare is one of the most well-known stadiums with hedges, even if they weren’t the first to do so. It boasts one of the largest video boards in college football and offers pristine concourses. Jordan-Hare holds serious tradition and pageantry within its bricks.
18. Doak Campbell Stadium, Florida State
Speaking of bricks, holding the title has the world’s largest continuous brick structure is pretty neat. The most iconic aspects of Doak Campbell lie just outside the stadium walls with the Unconquered statue and others. I really like the authentic Florida feel with the overhanging tarps in one end zone and this place holds real tradition and history, even if it’s not the oldest stadium in the country.
19. Sun Bowl Stadium, UTEP
Location, location, location. The Sun Bowl is one of the most uniquely beautiful set stadiums in the world. Desert mountains outline the skyline, of which actually sit in Mexico. UTEP may not be a premiere football program, but they play in a premiere venue that hosts one of the longest-running and most well-known bowls that has the stadium’s namesake.
20. Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame
No place is better served by its tradition than Notre Dame Stadium. I might get banned from the internet for putting Notre Dame below UTEP, but here we are. The reason it falls to No. 20 for me is that, without the tradition, the stadium is very plain. However, tradition is enough to put it in the top 20 in the country, a high honor if you ask me.
21. Boone Pickens Stadium, Oklahoma State
Where Boone Pickens lacks in size and grandeur, it makes up for in quality. Gold trim in the concourses, one of the sleekest and most upscale feels of any stadium in the country, and a unique continuous press box makes BPS memorable. It ties in nicely to Oklahoma State’s campus, which I maintain is one of the finest in the country. I’m also a sucker for an orange and black color scheme.
22. Husky Stadium, Washington
A few stadiums in the country utilize overhangs, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, but Washington may be most well known for it. Theirs are massive and are the defining feature of Husky Stadium. Its setting on Union Bay is one of the most beautiful in the entire country. Massive renovations brought it into the modern day, but Husky Stadium is one of the oldest facilities in the nation.
23. Sanford Stadium, Georgia
I may catch flack for this one, but Georgia’s lack of space and upkeep in their concourses is enough to bring them down into the 20s. Otherwise, there’s a few great characteristics to this venue. For one, it claims The Game Between The Hedges and the first use of hedges on a football field which I love. The bridge that stands southeast of the stadium gives onlookers a unique look into the stadium. Pretty great, but those concourses really hurt.
24. Camp Randall Stadium, Wisconsin
There’s some pretty big renovations coming soon to Camp Randall in time for the 2022 football season. The capacity of this place is massive and there’s a distinct shape to the stadium I really like. The press box and bowl layout is far more curved than other stadiums. The only thing I don’t love about Camp Randall is that it’s buried in campus. You don’t even really know you’re on it until you see the sign.
25. Williams Brice Stadium, South Carolina
South Carolina takes unique stadium design to another level. The spiral ramps are as iconic here as they are at Florida and the overhang lighting fixtures aren’t found anywhere else in college football. Hedges, of course, are a massive boost, but the way the lights are built make the stadium seem a lot bigger than it really is. They also nail the South Carolina beachy aesthetic even though it’s hours inland.
Excellent Tier: 26-50
26. Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Arkansas
Excellent overall stadium but it’s extremely difficult to traverse.
27. Spartan Stadium, Michigan State
28. Kinnick Stadium, Iowa
29. TCF Bank Stadium, Minnesota
30. Sun Devil Stadium, Arizona State
31. Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Navy
32. Bobcat Stadium, Texas State
Both of these stadiums are smaller and may come as a surprise, but both of them are ridiculously high-quality. Navy is a living museum and Texas State dumps more money in relation to their athletic department size than anyone else in the country.
33. Scott Stadium, Virginia
34. Faurot Field, Missouri
35. Amon G. Carter Stadium, TCU
36. Kroger Field, Kentucky
37. Jones AT&T Stadium, Texas Tech
38. Vaught Hemingway Stadium, Ole Miss
39. Centennial Bank Stadium, Arkansas State
If you have waterfalls in your stadium, I’m in. All in.
40. Maverik Stadium, Utah State
41. McLane Stadium, Baylor
42. Folsom Field, Colorado
Folsom Field is an old stadium and isn’t in the greatest shape, but when your backdrop looks like that…
43. Arthur E. Williams Stadium, Liberty
44. Cardinal Stadium, Louisville
45. Kenan Memorial Stadium, North Carolina
46. Memorial Stadium, Illinois
47. LaVell Edwards Stadium, BYU
48. Rice-Eccles Stadium, Utah
49. Jack Trice Stadium, Iowa State
50. Ryan Field, Northwestern
Potentially the most unique stadium in the country. It’s old and the end zone bleachers almost feel temporary, but its setting on Lake Michigan and the wavy, curved stands coupled with the gothic architecture is pretty neat.
These Ones Are Pretty Alright: 51-89
51. Truist Field, Wake Forest
52. Reser Stadium, Oregon State
53. Stanford Stadium, Stanford
54. War Memorial Stadium, Wyoming
The field turf and the end zones with the pines makes this one of my personal favorites. While the grandstands are pretty whatever, the whole “Highest Elevation Stadium In The US” trope is great.
55. Davis Wade Stadium, Mississippi State
56. Carter-Finley Stadium, NC State
57. Memorial Stadium, Indiana
58. Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati
59. Ross-Ade Stadium, Purdue
60. Bobby Dodd Stadium, Georgia Tech
61. TDECU Stadium, Houston
62. Arizona Stadium, Arizona
63. Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Kansas State
64. Center Parc Credit Union Stadium, Georgia State
65. Canvas Stadium, Colorado State
66. Kidd Brewer Stadium, Appalachian State
The stadium’s pretty nice and much, much better without the track around it (a recent change), but this is a stadium that’s much better on game day. The away stands are bleachers with gaps in them. App State is saved by its beautiful location.
67. Maryland Stadium, Maryland
68. Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis
69. Martin Stadium, Washington State
70. Apogee Stadium, North Texas
71. Veterans Memorial Stadium, Troy
72. Milan Puskar Stadium, West Virginia
I may catch real hate for this one. On game day, WVU is one of the best stadiums in the Big 12. But without fans, this stadium is pretty average.
73. Protective Stadium, UAB
74. Gerald J. Ford Stadium, SMU
75. Bulldog Stadium, Fresno State
76. Wallace Wade Stadium, Duke
77. Vanderbilt Stadium, Vanderbilt
78. Joe Aillet Stadium, Louisiana Tech
79. Carrier Dome, Syracuse
80. Glass Bowl Stadium, Toledo
81. Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium, Western Kentucky
82. Rice Stadium, Rice
As a stadium, this one’s really solid– large, historic– but it’s just way too big for Rice. This isn’t even a game day knock, it just doesn’t feel right for the team.
83. Yulman Stadium, Tulane
84. Albertsons Stadium, Boise State
You either love the blue turf or you hate it. I think it’s cool, I really do, but that’s the only feature of Albertsons Stadium that I think is good. The track still exists under the stands. The stands themselves feel like high school stands. We’re blinded by the blue turf.
85. InfoCision Stadium, Akron
86. David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, Kansas
87. M. M. Roberts Stadium, Southern Miss
88. Aggie Memorial Stadium, New Mexico State
The Bottom Tier: 89-104
89. Huskie Stadium, Northern Illinois
90. Doyt Perry Stadium, Bowling Green
91. Yager Stadium, Miami OH
These two stadiums are exactly the same. Doyt Perry Stadium and Yager Stadium so much so that you think you’re seeing double.
92. Mackay Stadium, Nevada
There’s so much potential for this stadium to be truly great. But the track derails it entirely. Fans are so far from the field it’s disengaging.
93. H. A. Chapman Stadium, Tulsa
94. Floyd Stadium, Middle Tennessee State
95. Dix Stadium, Kent State
96. Alamodome, UTSA
97. Raymond James Stadium, South Florida
98. Heinz Field, Pitt
There’s nothing I detest more than college programs playing in NFL stadiums.
99. Rynearson Stadium, Eastern Michigan
100. CEFCU Stadium, San Jose State
101. Jerry Richardson Stadium, Charlotte
102. Scheumann Stadium, Ball State
103. UB Stadium, Buffalo
104. Malone Stadium, ULM