As anyone who reads this site will likely know, Georgia and Notre Dame have played exactly once over the span of 100+ years of each institution fielding a football team. On this site and the DudeYouPodcast, I have many times encouraged Georgia fans to make the trip this September if you have the means.
Having been in 2006, Notre Dame is by no means the rowdiest place to watch a football game. Matter of fact, it feels quaint, almost as if the history makes it more of a church atmosphere than a fall Saturday to which we’re accustomed. (Notre Dame joke #1) It’s almost like they’re living among the ghosts of their past successes. Even so, its worth a trip to see Touchdown Jesus, and to see (Notre Dame joke #2) where Rudy was CLEARLY offsides. God, I hate the movie Rudy.
It got me thinking, “what stadium experiences do I need to have while I’m young enough to fully participate?”, and…I need to apply for a Southwest credit card. I’m also hoping we can crowdsource a list from you the reader, so comment with your top 10 and I’ll use my Excel skillz and figure out where the DudeYouNation intends to go.
First, where I’ve been (P5 only), ranked with hopes of not being clouded by any biases. I apologize for it being ACC-heavy:
- Clemson- everything about their gameday experience is just right. I’m growing tired of them being #1 at EVERYTHING these days.
- Georgia- been to too many good 3:30’s and night games to ignore how awesome Athens on a Saturday is. Behind Clemson due to a few too many sleepy games, and less ample tailgating.
- Virginia Tech- Enter Sandman is as awesome at noon as it is on a Thursday night.
- Auburn- Clemson without a lake (and my only experience is an Iron Bowl, so probably overrated).
- Notre Dame- like I said above, cool setting.
- South Carolina- Columbia is the seventh circle of hell, both in the town sense and the literal “I’m gonna die from heatstroke” sense. But fairground tailgating is always fun, and Space Odyssey is cool until your undefeated Georgia team is down 3 touchdowns in the first quarter.
- Alabama- probably low, but it has the NFL feel both in atmosphere, and drunk, grumbling fans complaining about a four touchdown lead.
- North Carolina- fun for a big game, dead otherwise. A 3:30 game in October, though, is about as pleasant an afternoon as you can ask for.
- N.C. State- has the fairgrounds tailgate that makes South Carolina fun, and they let you out of the stadium at halftime to…re-up.
- Virginia- has the UNC/Notre Dame quaintness to it.
- Wake Forest- really not that bad! It has the one-level grandstand that puts you more or less on top of the action, and tailgating is both easy to find, parking-wise, and largely unregulated.
- Georgia Tech- Bobby Dodd has rebuilt its reputation on soccer games.
- Duke- I’ve been to high school stadiums with more people, more atmosphere, and better restrooms.
So, what’s left? A whole hell of a lot.
- LSU: Death Valley at night may well end up having to be part of a dangerous bachelor party, some day.
- Oregon: apparently Autzen Stadium’s pretzel-like design keeps noise in. I’m not an architect, but I’m here for that.
- Texas: DKR is no longer (anywhere close to) the biggest destination in the state any more, but I’d rather tailgate in Austin than do whatever weird stuff they do before games in College Station. Come at me, Aggies.
- Colorado: If you’ve never been to Boulder, you won’t understand why this is on the list. If you have, Rocky Mountain backdrop for college football. Rice-Eccles at Utah gets a shoutout here too, but I don’t really want to go to Utah.
- Ohio State: Taking the Horseshoe as my obligatory B1G destination because, somehow, Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes are less objectionable than Michigan and Penn State right now. I mean…
- Ole Miss: The Grove, which should somehow become more fun given the fact that the Black Bears will NOT be winning football games for awhile.
- UCLA/USC: Lumping them into one doesn’t seem quite right, but then again it does. Stadiums with a TON of history, beautiful LA backdrop, etc. etc.
- Wisconsin: I’m here for the drunkest fanbase in college football and “Jump Around” in the fourth quarter.
- Florida: Yup. The Swamp looks fun on TV due to its asymmetrical layout. Sometimes ya just gotta slum it.
- Arizona State: More off-the-beaten-path Pac-12ness, but this one has a backstory: I hiked the mountain overlooking Sun Devil Stadium, and it was pretty cool. Tempe is INSANE. This would be fun, especially if they were any good.
That’s my list (in no particular order). For this to work, I need yours. Comment or tweet @Chad_Floyd the top 10 you want to go to, and the top 5 you’ve already seen. I’ll tally up the winners for a follow-up for next week.
Anyone wanna bet he follows Todd Grantham again?
Not really Georgia news at all, but always fun to follow Dawgs who move on to other places. Shaq Wiggins, who transferred to Louisville after getting decent burn as a freshman in 2013.
His quote, if you’ll remember, was a bit of a running joke here for a while:
“I am looking for a team who will embrace my personality, someone who is a jovial, carefree and a bit of a jokester but who knows when to put jokes aside, get focused and become a true competitor, especially when on the field.”
We, of course, took liberties with that quote at the time, as the three most famous people in the Louisville athletic department were Grantham, sex-scandal-ridden Rick Pitino, and…sex-scandal-ridden Bobby Petrino.
“First of all, (the) University of Georgia is a great school but Coach Richt has lost control of what it means to be a college student. When you are new to an organization, it’s extremely important to have the right fit. I love motorcycles and want to reach my highest number of potential job contacts. Therefore, after careful thought and much consideration, I believe that it is in the best interest to transfer to Louisville, as Coach Petrino has worked for 5 different organizations in the past 7 years. Hell, his brother has had 7 jobs in the past decade. That’s how you network, baby.
“I am looking for a team who will embrace my personality, someone who is a jovial, carefree and a bit of a jokester
but who knows when to put jokes aside, get focused and become a true competitor, especially when on the field. After playing for Coach Grantham for an entire year, I know he is that man.
“I want to learn, and I feel as if Rick Pitino is a much better role model for me than Coach Richt, because I LOVE hostesses and Italian restaurants. I want someone who can channel my energy and enthusiasm to take my game to the next level. “
Safe to say that only Grantham embraces his personality. The Dawgs will get a chance to go 2-0 vs. Wiggins when they host Mississippi State in September.
I haven’t filled out my bracket yet. Let’s walk you through my failure!
The 2016-17 college basketball season was characterized by an absurdly strong commitment by all teams to keep fans not knowing what the hell was going on. I saw the top 25 at some point this season headlined by Baylor, a team who I didn’t know (and still don’t think, FWIW) was good. Kansas, Villanova, Gonzaga, Kentucky, and Duke also spent time at #1, and all five would be pretty good picks to win it all.
There were no Kevin Durant or Anthony Davis performances by freshmen, as the young guys largely (non-Lonzo Ball/Malik Monk division) underperformed compared to expectations. Instead, senior Frank Mason (Kansas), junior Josh Hart (Nova), and junior Justin Jackson (UNC) won conference player of the year awards and each led their teams to #1 seeds.
Basically, you can’t get this right. I know nothing, so here we go.
Favorites: Villanova and Duke, and given Duke’s performance last week could be viewed as interchangeable. If you’ve followed the blog for long, you know that brings me zero joy. As the defending champ, Villanova comes in with more experience, but Duke has amassed an insane amount of talent and finally sat repugnant asshole Grayson Allen in favor of athletic PG Frank Jackson.
Final Four possibilities: I submit #5 Virginia and #6 SMU. Virginia suffered a midseason lull, but almost won at Villanova in a weird late-season nonconference game. SMU is back from last year’s postseason ban, and damn near won the AAC title with what we thought would be a depleted roster.
#3 Baylor, as referenced above, I’m not buying. Florida is the 4, and they played well in the SEC. Take that for what it’s worth.
Potential crazy upsets: #8 Wisconsin over Villanova in round 2, as they’ll at least limit possessions and keep the game close. It’ll be aesthetic hell to watch if they can pull it off. I’ll give #7 South Carolina over Duke a slight nod as well since the game would be in Greenville, SC, where UNC also plays, which means a good chunk of the crowd will be heavily invested in cheering for Duke’s opposition. Finally, whomever wins the play-in between #11’s USC and Providence will have a puncher’s chance to beat SMU and go on a run.
Favorites: Gonzaga is the first mid-major since Wichita State (in 201…2? maybe?) to get a #1, and they actually promise to be a tough out. Wichita State ran into an 8-seeded Kentucky team that nearly won the whole damn thing. #2 Arizona lost to Gonzaga in the regular season, but was without two key players and just won the top-heavy Pac-12. #3 Florida State looks like an NBA team from a size and athleticism POV.
Final Four Possibilities: #4 West Virginia presses like crazy, #5 Notre Dame is good…this one’s tough. Special shout-out to St. Mary’s at the 7-seed as well, they’d be the nation’s top mid-major…had they not lost to Gonzaga three times. Hell, 11 seed Xavier started the season in the top 10-15 in major polls.
Potential Crazy Upsets: Either #7 St. Mary’s or #10 VCU could beat Arizona in Round 2. Same for #6 Maryland and #11 Xavier over Florida St. I’m gonna ride with #12 Princeton over Notre Dame as my 12/5 because both teams play such a slow tempo that it’ll come down to the final two minutes.
I know you’re looking at Vanderbilt/Northwestern’s winner (damn this is an academically-sound bracket, even with Florida St. and Arizona) as a possible Gonzaga-beater…but both teams are hella inadequate to do this.
S16: Gonzaga/WVU/Florida St./St. Mary’s (ALL SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
E8: Gonzaga/Florida St.
Winner: Florida St., who serves as my annual ‘Final Four pick to lose on Day 1’.
***IF YOU ARE WILLING TO SPONSOR THIS WEBSITE FOR FOOTBALL SEASON 2017, I’LL LOCK THIS BRACKET IN AND LET YOU MOCK ME WHEN FLORIDA STATE LOSES TO FGCU.***
Favorites: Kansas is here. Louisville is big and again developed a sick combo guard in Shelton Mitchell.
Final Four possibilities: If I don’t go
rock chalk, there are a bunch of teams that could theoretically have potential. However, #3 Oregon just lost a key player, apparently. #4 Purdue was the best team in the B1G and didn’t win a game in their conference tourney. #5 Iowa State is hotter than most teams, and I didn’t know that until looking at the ‘info’ button on the brackets. #7 Michigan is riding high after the plane derailment/B1G title, and #9 Michigan St. is always a tough out in March because Tom Izzo.
This bracket has nobody I’m actually that confident in.
Potential Crazy Upsets: I mean, pick one. I’ve got my eye on Oregon and Iowa State to possibly both get KO’d in the first round. Literally anything besides Kansas vs. play-in is on the table.
S16: Kansas, Purdue, Rhode Island, Louisville
E8: Purdue, Louisville
Favorites: Uhhh…Carolina, Kentucky, and UCLA are interchangeable as 1/2/3, with Carolina having the advantage of having to play one of them, at most. Butler is the fundamentally sound gym rat squad of the tournament who could give the three aforementioned up-tempo teams fits.
Final Four possibilities: Gonna be a tough road to hoe, but #6 Cincinnati and #10 Wichita State both feel criminally underseeded.
Potential Crazy Upsets: The 12/5’s strike again. Minnesota seems pretty nondescript and Middle Tennessee went 30-4. #13 Winthrop has some dude scoring 23 points a game, and guard play wins in March. Anyone knocking off the top 3 would register as well, and I think Cincinnati over UCLA and Wichita over Kentucky in round 2 should both at least merit consideration.
S16: UNC, Middle Tennessee, Cincinnati, Kentucky
E8: UNC, Kentucky
Winner: Kentucky (let’s…let’s not talk about it.)
Villanova vs. Florida St., Kentucky vs. Louisville: Seriously, Florida State is such a weak pick here. Villanova picks them apart and wins by 17. Hey, the nation’s (second) best rivalry! I think its a Kentucky run year.
Shit. Go SEC, I guess.
Back in the summer of 2015, the whole DudeYouCrazy braintrust reached a consensus. With the loss of Mike Bobo and the laughable hire of Brian Schottenheimer, any objective observer knew the offense would lose its spacing in the run game and its aggressiveness through the air.
We wanted Brice Ramsey, QB1, Georgia Bulldogs. We never got our wish. Instead, things went from bad to worse in a hurry, as our Schottenheimer nightmares were further buoyed by the wholly unexciting transfer of Greyson Lambert. I wrote the following:
While I could’ve lived with Golson at the helm, the news that Lambert is now considering heading to Athens with two years’ eligibility remaining horrifies me. It tells me that a) maybe Ramsey isn’t as ready as I thought; and b) to the extent that we’d take a flier on a guy who was somewhere below mediocre at Virginia.
Below mediocre, you ask? Lambert’s 2014 numbers: 154/261 (59%), 10 TD, 11 INT, raw QBR of 45.1 (QBR is ESPN’s method of evaluating quarterbacks on a 1-100 scale versus replacement and adjusted for situation- if you see me talking QB’s I’ll probably reference it). Against ACC competition? That QBR dips to 39.5, with a paltry 6.5 yards per attempt. In fact, Lambert’s only non-pedestrian performances came against BYU (71.1 QBR) and Richmond (92.2, YAAAAYYYYY).
Even Jason Smith, who wrote about football quarterly in a good year, chimed in:
So while most predict that Brice Ramsey will still be the starter come opening day, the speculation will only ramp up as to how solid that prediction actually is. Moreover, if Ramsey is named the starter there will inevitably be a huge swath of fans wondering why on earth you decide to pursue Lambert in the first place.
Take all of that into consideration and this new transfer has already put the 2015 season into a chaotic register, but I don’t think its as bad as some folks will make it out to be.
The consensus we reached was this: Greyson Lambert seeing the field for the University of Georgia was bad. We hoped Brice Ramsey could save Schottenheimer from himself, but apparently the prospect of seeing him on the field was worse than the mediocrity to which we were subjected by Lambert.
To his credit, Ramsey was a good sport about it. He tantalized us with his arm talent (and frustrated us with his bad reads) in spot duty in 2014 and 2015. He took over as the punter, of all things, for parts of the ’15 and ’16 seasons. And he was last seen in Rodrigo Blankenship’s claim that “even the backup punter has a scholarship”, when the backup punter happened to be one Brice Ramsey.
Given the events of the past two years, one ponders an alternate universe where Ramsey lives up to his billing as the nation’s 6th-ranked pro-style QB. Does his ability to actually throw a 15-yard out make the 2015 Bulldogs more explosive? Does he save Mark Richt’s job? I have to imagine that he’d have tried to be a little more efficient given a longer leash, but that’s based on nothing but my vindicated fears of a Greyson Lambert-led offense.
We never got the chance to find out. It probably would’ve been more fun if we did.
Unfortunately, we’ll never know. Ramsey may go down in the ethos of Georgia football as the recruiting bust who cost Mark Richt his job, or the quarterback-turned-punter who found a way onto the field in order to try to help his team win.
But here’s to you, Brice Ramsey, I hope the grad transfer choose-your-own-adventure leads you to a Jeff Driskel/Louisiana Tech redemption tour (or hell, aim higher if you want), where you’re put in a position to throw for 4,500 yards.
College football season is not long enough, because yadda yadda amateur athletes, and something something concussions. This means that while the sport, in season, is the best sport on the planet, there is a TON of dead air surrounding it. A player arrested for failure to yield while on a bicycle qualifies as news in college football in June.
If the NFL gets one thing right, its staying in the news cycle. They somehow make minicamps and a SECOND round of free agency news, and draft hype carries them four months. Unfortunately, the NFL Draft makes May more compelling for college football. That is the level of dead space we have to conquer.
SPOILER ALERT: This is being written in March, a month in which there is nothing to write about, further explaining our conspicuous absence on the DudeYouPodcast and this website.
- October. If you think November is better, I won’t fight you about it. October, though, gives me all of the football feels. Great weather, perfect tailgating, awesome rivalry games, and every team still has some semblance of something to play for.
- November. Like October, but with slightly better rivalry games, slightly worse weather, and a lot more dead weight in games that have no significance on conference or playoff standings. College football writer/savant Bill Connelly disagrees with me, and you probably will too after reading this.
- September. Hope. Sundresses. Tailgating. Pretty sweet neutral-site matchups on Labor Day Weekend. And the novelty of college football. If I were to rank the 52 weeks of the sport, opening week would probably be #1.
- January*. Important bowl games. The caveat here is the playoff returning to January 1 as opposed to New Year’s Eve. January’s intrigue doesn’t last very long on the field, but you get weird recruiting stuff leading up to Signing Day, if you’re into that, after.
- December. Conference championships and a personal favorite, getting sneaky whiskey buzzed and watching meaningless bowl games with friends and family. Cheers to you and rest in peace, San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
- April. Hey, spring football games are ABSOLUTELY meaningless. But they’re still worthwhile so people like me can pretend to know who’s going to break through in the subsequent season. The little taste of football is just enough to not drive one mad.
- February. Signing Day. If you’re into that. Gives us something to talk about for a couple of weeks, at least.
- June. Phil Steele’s magazine comes back, and if you can’t bridge July to training camp with Phil Steele, you’re doing it wrong.
- August. Training camp. This is actually the worst month because the only thing that ever really happens is your key receiver goes down and you stress over how the offense will cope.
- May. NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS IN MAY. Best case, your school only ends up with 1-2 academic casualties, and if you’re living right none are on the two-deep.
- July. NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS IN JULY. Someone will be arrested on Independence Day, and that will suck. July has the most helium of all of the months, because if God graced us with a return of the NCAA Football video game series, it would drop in this month. July’s ranking, up through 2013? Probably #6.
- March. Sweet God, there is nothing to talk about. Bye.