Apartment Living BlogOff-campus Living › The 10 Best College Football Towns

When fall arrives, so does the start of football season, which excites many people much more than the promise of colorful foliage, pumpkin lattes and cozy sweaters. Cheering on one’s alma mater (and tailgating!) is one of autumn’s most anticipated joys — no matter what school one is true to — but it goes without saying that some schools have more rabid football fans than others. In no particular order (because fans are fans, and every fan thinks his or her school is the best), here is a list of 10 of the best towns for college football.

10) Los Angeles: Boasting two major players in the Pac-12 — and of course, by way of that, a fierce crosstown rivalry — LA is hard to beat when it comes to college football fanaticism. In this town, you’re either a fan of the University of Southern California or the University of California, Los Angeles. Period. Banners across all of the city’s subdivisions mark loyalties by either blue (UCLA) or red (USC). You can even find special corn chips at the grocery store — blue ones or red ones, in a special logo-emblazoned bag.

9) South Bend, Indiana: The University of Notre Dame has produced numerous legends (George Gipp and Joe Montana) as well as inspired films and books. The beautiful campus hosts some truly fierce football, as the Fighting Irish are looked over by none less than “Touchdown Jesus,” a mural of the resurrected Christ visible from their famous stadium. As players file out of the locker room to hit the field, they touch a special sign that says “Play like a champion today.” Amen to that.

8) Austin, Texas: Hook ’em. That’s the slogan of the University of Texas at Austin, and not surprisingly, the school’s mascot is a huge longhorn bull named Bevo. Chief rivals like the Texas A&M Aggies have been known to make comments such as “would make a nice burger” about the bovine, while YouTube video exists of the animal placidly, er, going to the bathroom on the rival’s home field. Woe betides anyone who chooses not to wear burnt orange on game day. The city’s slogan is “Keep Austin weird,” but in this case, it’s best to fit in.

7) Norman, Oklahoma: If you’re not quite sure what “Boomer Sooner” means, that’s OK. Just go ahead and yell it with the rest of this town’s University of Oklahoma fans. OU devotees also take pride in their Sooner Schooner, a scaled-down model of the Conestoga wagon used by Oklahoma settlers back in the 1800s, which is pulled by two horses named, you guessed it, Boomer and Sooner. The program itself has won a whopping seven national championships, so don’t feel weird about giving out a “boomer” shout.

6) Oxford, Mississippi: Ole Miss may have come under fire recently for its ties to the Confederate flag, but the home of the Rebels is unshakeable as a mean contender in the highly competitive SEC. The school boasts two Mannings as alumni (Archie and son Eli), as well as the historic home of William Faulkner. Alcohol laws don’t keep tailgaters from imbibing; they choose instead to put their drinks in the classic red cup.

5) Clemson, South Carolina: Look carefully — or not so carefully, actually — and you’ll see orange paw prints all over this town. They’re painted on the roads, splashed on driveways, decorating car bumpers … this is Tiger country. Clemson University fans know to arrive early to home games in order to see the “25 most exciting seconds in college football” — the team’s entry consists of a dramatic run down a hill into the stadium at the sound of a cannon.

4) Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University dominates this town, which is a fair-sized city in its own right — but such is the power of Buckeye fever. One of the biggest of the Big Ten, OSU boasts “the best damn [marching] band in the land,” a staggering resume of national championships and a bloody rivalry against its archenemy, the Michigan Wolverines — so much that an entire week is termed “Michigan week” prior to the big matchup.

3) Madison, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Badgers rule this charming collegiate town, which consistently ranks up there annually as one of the nation’s top party campuses. Any school that knows how to party, however, usually has great football (and tailgating) to recommend it as well. The Badgers have played in the Rose Bowl three times in five years, have a Heisman Trophy winner to their name and boast a record of grooming legendary players over the decades.

2) Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Roll tide! Or, if you don’t get what that means, just simply sing “Sweet Home Alabama” with a crowd of obsessed Crimson Tide fans at every home game. The town is devoted 100% to the mighty SEC’s University of Alabama, which boasts of iconic coach Bear Bryant as well as the legendary Joe Namath. Try to frequent any place of business not covered in Alabama paraphernalia — we dare you.

1) Ann Arbor, Michigan: The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor has it all: Record-breaking attendance at games, the best rivalry in sports (against the hated Ohio State Buckeyes) and the most all-time wins in college football history. The team has produced famous alumni ranging from President Gerald Ford to quarterback Tom Brady. Beloved former player Jim Harbaugh returned as coach for the 2015 season. It’s no wonder this school boasts a fight song titled “The Victors.”

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Hi! I’m Maria, formerly the Social Media & Content Marketing Manager for ForRent.com. I was part of a dream team that is dedicated to running this awesome blog along with ForRent.com's social channels. If I am not busy writing blogs and socially sharing, you can find me working out, drinking cappuccinos, stylizing my apartment and doing DIY projects!

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