Best in the B1G: Ranking the Best Football Stadiums in the Big Ten

By David Regimbal on April 13, 2020 at 2:50 pm
Ohio Stadium

This should've been the Monday we all settled into our work day and then promptly rewatched highlights of Ohio State's spring game from this past Saturday. The pandemic has robbed us of live sports, though, and has the college football news cycle feeling like the dead stages of June as opposed to the busy spring season.

Because of that, we're ranking stadiums!

This list was assembled via science and is absolutely 100 percent accurate. These findings are not a matter of opinion, but rather the results of the hard work of hundreds of scientists. If you argue with the placement of any stadium listed below, you are arguing with science.

Don't do that. Use the comments section to agree with the list.

With that out of the way, let's get to the rankings.

14. Ryan Field, Northwestern

First... er... last up is the worst stadium in the Big Ten, which is unequivocally Northwestern's Ryan Field.

The capacity of 47,130 has extreme MAC vibes, and even though that's the lowest in the Big Ten, it's the atmosphere that has them last on this list. There isn't an opponent on the Wildcats' schedule that couldn't account for more than half that capacity if it was motivated enough.

13. High Point Solutions Stadium, Rutgers

Hang the banner Rutgers, you didn't finish last in a football-related competition.

The only reason Rutgers is on this list is because the Big Ten wanted to capture the New York television market. It's fitting, because watching the Scarlet Knights in action is much more preferable via television than in person.

12. Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium, Maryland

When your college football stadium is sponsored by a credit card, you've done something wrong. That is my literal only opinion of Maryland Stadium.

11. Memorial Stadium, Indiana

I can't specifically remember the year — I believe it was 2009 — when Indiana implored it's fans to wear red / crimson to the Ohio State game in order to match the hoards of Buckeye fans wearing red in their stadium. They did this so they could get some good photos for promotional purposes.

I remember when Ohio State fans caught wind of this, there was a push for Buckeye fans to wear gray as a way to spoil this effort.

If you're a university and you find yourself needing to do this, you're gonna be near the bottom of lists like these.

10. Memorial Stadium, Illinois

Ohio State has played some memorable games in this stadium, most noticeably in 2002 when it came away 23-16 overtime winners.

The atmosphere is typically dull, though, particularly as the program declined competitively over the last decade. There's also some kind of dark magic that always yields miserable, windy playing conditions. 

9. Ross-Ade Stadium, Purdue

We're starting to get into some legitimately good gameday experiences.

On a typical Saturday afternoon, Ross-Ade Stadium isn't much different than the stadiums ranked behind them here. But on special occasions, like when Ohio State visited on October 20, 2018, the Boilermakers showed what they were capable of in more ways than one.

Few losses have been more shocking for Ohio State than that one, but considering the implications and what that night meant to Purdue fan Tyler Trent, it's easier to swallow and even appreciate.

8. Spartan Stadium, Michigan State

If 2:00 AM Taco Bell was a football stadium, it'd be Spartan Stadium.

That might sound like an insult, but that's because you're likely reading this sober. If it were 2:00 AM and you were not sober, and had safe means of securing taco bell, you'd think differently.

That's what Spartan Stadium is to me. Sometimes great, sometimes meh.

7. TCF Bank Stadium, Minnesota

The home of the Minnesota Gophers cracked the top half of this list because of one thing, and one thing only.

Continue doing you, Minnesota.

6. Memorial Stadium, Nebraska

The fans are the nicest in college football, they conceptually try and recreate the fundamental scene in Disney's UP every game, and despite all that, it can be as tough a place to play for an opponent as any in college football.

5. Michigan Stadium, Michigan

Michigan checks in at a familiar place, third in the Big Ten East Division.

Michigan Stadium should get more credit, though. Recent renovations to the stadium have helped increase the hostility for opposing teams as the crowd noise doesn't just blindly escape to the open sky. Their tailgating is some of the best, if not the best in the Big Ten.

But Ohio State has only had trouble navigating a trip there once in the last fifteen years. (Insert shrug emoji here).

4. Kinnick Stadium, Iowa

Hello Kinnick Stadium, you terrifying monster with the most heart-warming tradition in all of college football. Take it away, humanity!

3. Camp Randall, Wisconsin

Jump Around rules.

I love Wisconsin's tradition of just turning the h*ck up before the fourth quarter and amping the energy in what already is one of the best environments in football.

When Wisconsin upset No. 2 Ohio State in 2010, I was in a Columbus TGI Fridays carb-loading for the marathon set to take place 12 hours later. I learned something that night, and it was that Camp Randall is house of horror that's very difficult to survive. I also learned that carb-loading shouldn't be dne at TGI Fridays.

2. Beaver Stadium, Penn State

If this was a ranking of the best stadiums under the lights, Penn State would top the list.

The Nittany Lions' White Out arguably creates the most hostile environment in the country. Ask any former Buckeye what the loudest stadium they ever played in was, and they'll all tell you about their trips to Happy Valley.

1. Ohio Stadium, Ohio State

Was there ever any doubt? 

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