Best/Worst Tailgating in the Big Ten?

Submitted by SBo on June 18th, 2016 at 6:21 PM

Best- Wisconsin

Worst- MSU (haven't been to Rutgers, Maryland, Illinois, or Purdue)


Autocracy Now

June 18th, 2016 at 6:37 PM ^

Went to Maryland last year for the Michigan game and it was reall terrible.There were more Michigan fans than Terps. I live in the area and the weather had been really bad, with a monsoon the hours before the game, but these fans had no heart. I'll try again next time we are in town to lay out a more objective rating.


June 18th, 2016 at 7:11 PM ^

My guess is that a fair number of those people meant to get off at Saint Georges Mall and, in their frustration, saw a tailgate know, it wasn't the best weather and it is sort of a hike back to the College Park stop. A drink for the journey back probably wouldn't harm anyone anyway...


June 19th, 2016 at 2:00 PM ^

I doubt you're missing much at Rutgers...

I have several family members and friends who work in the Army Athletic Dept (West Point). Rutgers has come a few times recently to play. There was talk at West Point of attempting to ban Rutgers fans from tailgaiting in the future, as the past few times they've completely trashed the lots. I was told there's never been lower-class fans than Rutgers at West Point. 


June 18th, 2016 at 6:47 PM ^

Best to worst: 1 Mich, 2 PSU, 3 Nebraska, 4, Wisky, 5 Iowa, 6 OSU, 7 Rutgers, 8 MSU, 9 Purdue, 10 Ind 11 MD 12 Illini 13 NW, 14 Minny


June 18th, 2016 at 6:39 PM ^

I had a great time at the Minnesota tailgate last year. Fans were friendly and fun. Felt bad for them the way that game went down, but glad we escaped with an exciting win!


June 18th, 2016 at 6:40 PM ^

Purdue is very bad.
Northwestern is just ...Northwestern and not conducive to it.
Wisky is a big, fat party.
OSU is a drunk fest shit show if I've ever seen one.

MICHIGAN is the best ..can't beat the golf course on a fall Satuday.

Perkis-Size Me

June 18th, 2016 at 7:45 PM ^

Your average Northwestern student is spending his or her average Saturday in the Fall studying. They're not tailgating for a football game. Part of it is the culture of the school (not a bad culture at all, but it is an elite school with an academic reputation) and they don't have a football culture. They just largely don't give a shit.

So why should their tailgating reflect anything different?

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Bando Calrissian

June 18th, 2016 at 8:09 PM ^

There's so much potential, with the lake a fairly easy walk to the stadium and the university controlling so much land on and around the lakefront, but... Yep, NU is as tame as it gets. 

Lack of student interest has a lot to do with the fact that they get into the games for free. There's no financial consequence for not showing up. They're a pretty docile bunch.

Perkis-Size Me

June 18th, 2016 at 9:06 PM ^

I mean can you blame them. Before Fitzgerald showed up, Northwestern wasn't even average, save for a miracle season here and there. They were cellar dwellers for decades.

But to their defense, their identity is established around never being a Michigan or an Ohio State. It's being an elite school that can still not necessarily beat top programs week in and week out. But at least compete with them.

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June 19th, 2016 at 7:27 AM ^

I think the culture aspect has much more to do with it than lack of success on the field. It was really Gary Barnett that turned Northwestern around; they also had some decent teams with Randy Walker and then Fitzgerald took over when Walker died. So Northwestern has been reasonably competitive for the better part of 20 years now. That's almost as long as Wisconsin has been good, for example. But other B1G schools are mostly all large public institutions with massive local alumni bases, and most are located in small, often pastoral college towns. Northwestern is smaller and private, and has an urban campus--so the people who do come to their home games are less likely to arrive by automobile and more likely to pre-func at bars or house parties.


June 19th, 2016 at 12:10 AM ^

Lighten up.

I did myself and knew plenty of M kids who studied on Saturdays too ..NU isn't that damn special and it's the smallest - by far - of the B10 schools and essentially an urban campus. Dyche Stadium was not built by Fielding Yost but NU ain't Yale either.

I lived in Evanston as a kid during that multi-year losing streak and when it ended, the students tore down the goalposts and threw them into Lake Michigan after walking them all the way


June 18th, 2016 at 6:59 PM ^

I went to Utah last fall and aside from the outcome of the game, it was great. Utah fans are some of the nicest opposing fans I have ever encountered. We were stopped more than once an asked if we were enjoying ourselves and although there was some light heckling, they were incredibly friendly hosts.


June 18th, 2016 at 8:29 PM ^

utah has its oddities but its easily one of the more beautiful states, the people are generally friendly and theres plenty of beautiful women - never had a bad time in utah.

also never had a bad time at a tailgate, though its all relative.  i guess maryland is the "worst" (though still fun), while wisc and psu prob top my list.

every tailgate / school has its charms and attractions so its tough to compare or rate - for instance my favorite tailgates might be in knoxville but ive enjoyed baton rouge, bloomington, ann arbor, oxford, etc, and for variety of reasons.

basically its tough to call anything "worst" when you enjoy drinking, eating and chasing skirt all while waiting to watch football.  but interesting topic

rob f

June 18th, 2016 at 7:33 PM ^

and tailgated at all but 2 of them.  Twice tailgated on their golf course, which is just a short walk from RossAde Stadium, and it was like a much quieter version of tailgating at AAGO.   Still made the best of it, though.  Another time tailgated a few miles away and took a shuttle bus to-and-from game, a wilder crowd there than i expected.  All-in-all, never had a bad tailgate experience there, but OTOH nothing really special either.  

With the tire-fire their football program is, I imagine that being a Purdue fan at a tailgate is roughly the equivalent of  attending a funeral luncheon, anyway.

Goggles Paisano

June 18th, 2016 at 6:49 PM ^

I can't believe there could be a better tailgate atmosphere than Ann Arbor.  The only big time other tailgate I attended was LSU at Florida in "07 I  believe - not impressed.  We have something special as Wolverines fans and there is nowhere I would rather be on a football Saturday than Ann Arbor.  


June 18th, 2016 at 6:54 PM ^

I haven't been to many games outside of the Big House, so really have no opinion on others tailgating scene.  But I have been to PSU and it was great.  This was '97, before anyone knew about Sandusky and when they were a really good team.  Don't see any way it could be as good now as it was then...

Bando Calrissian

June 18th, 2016 at 7:04 PM ^

I thought Penn State's situation was awesome--tons of parking all around the stadium, really easy to get a parking pass, really friendly atmosphere. 

MSU's is pretty cool, too, with all of the spots and areas spread throughout campus. I tailgated with some people whose usual spot was inside a parking structure, and it was surprisingly great.

And I'll say it--since the Athletic Department just about killed the Blue Lot, Michigan's scene is downright dismal now. The parking situation is a disaster just about across the board.


June 18th, 2016 at 9:39 PM ^

And I'll say it--since the Athletic Department just about killed the Blue Lot, Michigan's scene is downright dismal now. The parking situation is a disaster just about across the board.

Agreed. I wish the athletic department had built a new basketball arena somewhere else. Crisler is much better than before, but it's still nothing special and that space would have been really convenient for tailgating etc.


June 18th, 2016 at 7:06 PM ^

Ohio state, easily. I went to a game there in the late 90's with my then two young daughters (idiotic mistake on my part), and a group of asshats around a grill started calling them cunts. Closest I've ever come to spending the evening in lockup.

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June 18th, 2016 at 9:21 PM ^

I went to Iowa a few years ago - was the coldest kick off in Nile Kinnick stadium, 0 degrees. Seemed like a pretty cool vibe, but hard to tell with the conditions. I did ask one tent for some chili, and was denied (wife called that one).

Pretty cool city though. Some great restaurants and nightlife. They have a tradition where the band goes around to each bar and plays insulting versions of the opposing team's fight song, and every band member gets a free drink at every bar.

Still doesn't hold a candle to UM tailgates. 

Purdue was pretty lame, in my opinion. I liked that you could leave the stadium at half time and return. Beer store right down the street, wink.

Avon Barksdale

June 18th, 2016 at 7:32 PM ^

It is pretty bad or maybe I was just at the wrong spot. There wasn't much going on around campus in 2012. Then again, Michigan brought as many fans as Purdue (and they were projected to compete for the division title that year).

Doc Brown

June 18th, 2016 at 8:30 PM ^

The issue with Purdue is that the vast majority of Purdue students are at Breakfast Club. Really only the alumni and visiting fans tailgate at the intramural fields or at Slayter Hill. When I was a student at Purdue I never tailgated. I just went to one of the few bars on State street to get freaking shit faced.

Wolverine In Iowa

June 18th, 2016 at 9:18 PM ^

I had a good time tailgating at Notre Dame back in '88, but that's a given when you get to South Bend at about 11:00am and the game didn't start until 7 or 8...sucked that we lost (War of 19-17), but a good time.  Too many "Muck Fichigan" shirts though.


June 18th, 2016 at 9:35 PM ^

Besides Michigan, Nebraska was pretty awesome. Msu was horrible we parked in a random lot and we were the only ones tailgating. The parking and tailgating situation at Msu is awful.

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