It is that time of year again, when the leaves start to change colors, the temperature begins to drop, kids are back in school, and the weekends are reserved for football. The National Football League (NFL) provides us with great entertainment on Sundays through their large stadiums, corporate sponsorships, and extremely well paid athletes. But for many football fans, Saturday is the day they are looking forward to. There is something special about college football; it might be the tailgating, the marching bands, the body paint, the community spirit, or it might just be the great competition.
College football is a place and time for students, alumni, and fans of the sport to come together in spirit to cheer on their team. There is something electric about standing in the student section; the spirit, the enjoyment, and the hatred for the other team is unparalleled in any other sport. Many college students do not get to experience what it is like to feel the rush of sitting in the stands on a Saturday afternoon in November screaming, jumping, and worrying about their schools chances of making it to a bowl game. But for many of those who have, will remember those days for the rest of their lives.
For that reason, we have put together a list of the best colleges for football fans. This list can be a guide for high school students looking to rally around their college’s football team, and have many memorable Saturdays. Criteria for making the list obviously included the quality of the football team, but as well as other factors such as acceptance rates, tuition costs, on-campus crime, room and board, as well as the weather (not everyone will risk frostbite to watch a game). This list does not guarantee your college will win a national championship in your time there, but it does guarantee you will have something to do every Saturday during the fall.
Located in Lubbock; Texas Tech provides great academics as well as great academics. The only school in Texas to host undergraduate programs, a law school, and a medical school; students are guaranteed to find a path to a career. With annual tuition below $16,000 a year, Texas Tech is one of the least expensive schools that made our list. With an acceptance rate of 64% Texas Tech is also one of the easiest schools to get into on the list. But for those sports fans, not only does Texas Tech football deliver year after year; the Red Raiders basketball team isn’t half bad either.
The University of Florida has been perennial powerhouse in college football over the past few years; pumping out winning seasons, first round draft picks, and plenty of news worthy stories. With a staggeringly high student population of over 56,000 and an acceptance rate of 44% plenty of young students are vying for a spot at Florida. With a 60% chance of sunshine during the football season, most games will be very enjoyable. If nothing else, you might end up hanging out with Tim Tebow one day in Gainesville (he doesn’t have much else going on in his life right now).
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Football is life in Texas; from high school games on Friday afternoon through watching the Cowboys play on Sundays, Texans love their football. Among the great football colleges in Texas, Baylor is one that stands out. Being a private Baptist college, tuition at Baylor is the highest on our top 10 list at over $33,000 a year. Located in Waco, Baylor is a top tier academic school and a dominating sports school. Football, basketball, and baseball seasons provide plenty of entertainment for Baylor Students.
The second largest school in Florida is also the second Florida college to make our list. Located in Orlando, FL the University of Central Florida (UCF) is a noted leader in the engineering and technology fields, with many notable alumni in the aerospace industry. A leader in academics and a leader in athletics, UCF is a great choice for students looking for an all around awesome school. If you are not sold yet, do a web search for “Spirit Splash”.
The Clemson Tigers always seem to put together a competitive football team. Located in Clemson, SC the rural setting provides an excellent venue for a college football team. The entire town rallies on Saturdays to support their team, creating a sense of unity and spirit unmatched in many other college towns.
An all around dominating athletic school, the University of Oklahoma has won national titles in just about every sport. With tuition just around $20,000 and an acceptance rate of close to 80%, becoming a Sooner might be the most accessible way to become a die hard college football fan.
Saturdays in Blacksburg, VA are centered on Virginia Tech Hokie football. A highly touted academic school and an athletic program to match, makes the $25,000 tuition at VT very reasonable. With 65 undergraduate degree programs Virginia Tech will surely suffice for any student’s academic needs while providing amazing athletics year round.
You can’t mention college football without someone mentioning the Alabama Crimson Tide. A constant fixture among the top college football teams in the nation, the University of Alabama is as important to college football history as the New York Yankees are to baseball. Football is the center of the university, and if you walk into any bar on a Saturday across the country, you will find someone wearing a Crimson Tide t-shirt.
The most affordable school to make our list is BYU, with annual tuition under $5,000 a year; BYU is a bargain for the college football fan. Located in Provo Utah, Brigham Young is a private university owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and is the largest religious private college in the US. Besides their top academic programs, BYU is constantly a college football powerhouse.
The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the most expensive schools on our top 10 list, with tuition around $30,000 a year. Georgia Tech may also be one of the most academically impressive schools on our list as well, with accepted students submitting composite SAT scores of 1860 or higher. The Yellow Jackets provide extremely impressive academics as well as consistently talented football teams.
Other Notable Football Schools:
United States Naval Academy – tuition is paid for by the United States Navy.
Stanford University – one of the nations leading academic schools.
University of Louisville – great school if you are also a basketball fan.