The 2017 College Football Season kicks off on Saturday, August 26 culminating with the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic on September 2nd featuring perennial national champion contender Alabama Crimson Tide facing off against the Florida State Seminoles at the new $1.6 Billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta followed by the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets playing the Tennessee Volunteers on Monday, September 4th.
According to the NCAA, over 49 million people attended a college football game last year whether student, alumni or fan. The NCAA also states an attendance of at least 4 million people who attended games at ‘neutral’ sites. The evolution of gameday traditions at nearly every school makes attending any game a unique experience. Whether tailgating at the scenic 10 acre “The Grove” at Ole Miss to a full capacity crowd singing “Take Me Home, Country Roads” in unison after every West Virginia University win.
Here is Events 365’s list of the top college football games in 2017 that are worth traveling to for the gameday experience:
Alabama Crimson Tide – Florida State Seminoles September 2nd Atlanta, GA
“Roll Tide!” versus the “Seminole War Chant”; this week one showdown is going to get a lot of attention. Both Alabama and Florida State can be found in the pre-season top 5 picks of college football experts and enthusiasts. A win/loss for either team has the potential to change the rest of their entire season and overall national championship odds.
Oklahoma Sooners v Texas Longhorns October 14th Dallas, TX
The “Red River Showdown” originated in 1900 when Oklahoma was still an official US territory and not yet a state. This legendary rivalry has been played a grand total of 115 times so far. The game produces approximately $17mm in annual revenue for local businesses & is played in Dallas, as it it is considered a “neutral” site halfway between the Longhorn’s campus in Austin & the Sooners campus in Norman, Ok. Both schools are in early preseason Top 25 rankings giving this year’s rivalry an extra edge.
USC Trojans v Notre Dame Fighting Irish October 21st South Bend, Indiana
One of the longest non-conference rivalries is this annual face-off between two of the most storied college football programs. Both schools lay claim to 11 national championships each & 7 Heisman Trophy winners each. If played in Los Angeles, the game customarily takes place on the Saturday following Thanksgiving.
When played in South Bend, as it will be this season, the rivalry takes place the third week of October. USC is coming off a strong second half run & with an elite recruiting class coming in, they are poised to make a run for this year’s national championship. Notre Dame is not just aiming to play spoiler however; as they are ranked in the Top 25 in a number of preseason polls.
Georgia Bulldogs v Florida Gators October 28th Jacksonville, FL
Since 1915, the rivalry between the Florida Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs is one of the more anticipated matchups each season, especially on the East coast. The “neutral ground” in Jacksonville creates an atmosphere that football fans crave. Seeing a stadium at full capacity split evenly between Bulldog fans’ red/black & the Gators fans’ orange/blue is a site to behold. Both Georgia and Florida fans claim that it is one of the most festive games to attend each season which is why this matchup has earned the sobriquet of being “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.”
Ohio State Buckeyes v Michigan Wolverines November 25th Ann Arbor, MI
The rivalry between the Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes is among the greatest in sports. “The Game”, as it is referred to by some followers, stirs up a lot of excitement in the college football world, due to the fact that most of its past games have determined the Big Ten Conference title and the resulting Rose Bowl match-ups. Many of them have also influenced the outcome of the national college football championship. And don’t just take our word for it, “The Game” was ranked by ESPN in 2000 as the greatest North American sports rivalry! This years’ match-up will be played in “The Big House” in Ann Arbor with a capacity crowd of 107,601 making it the largest stadium in the United States.
Alabama Crimson Tide
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, The Big House
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