Skip to main content

The 15 Most Intimidating College Football Stadiums In The Country

When you think of college football, what comes to mind?

The uniforms? The rivalries? The legendary coaches? The memorable players? 

There are a lot of aspects of the sport that make it great, but the one that stands out—in our opinion—is the stadiums. A major part of what makes college football so lovable is the pageantry, and the iconic venues play a big role in creating that pageantry.

What college football venues are most intimidating?

To answer that question, we must first decide, what makes a college football stadium intimidating?

Is it the size? The noise level? The talent of the team that plays in that stadium? The winning percentage a program has playing at home?

The answer: all of that.

Taking everything into account, we’re ranking the most intimidating places to play in college football.

Presenting College Spun’s list of The 15 Most Intimidating College Football Stadiums In The Country. 

Start with No. 15, Texas >>>

No. 15, Texas' Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium

Capacity: 100,119

Opened: Nov. 8, 1924

The largest stadium in the Big 12 and the sixth-largest in the country checks in at No. 15 on our list. 

Why isn't such a big stadium home to one of the country's premier programs higher on our list? The fans that fill Darrel K Royal Stadium just don't seem to be as loud as other fans. That statement is, of course, subjective, but rarely will you hear Texas' home venue mentioned when discussing what college football stadium's are most intimidating. 

Another reason for Texas being low on this list is the Longhorns aren't that intimidating of a team anymore, either. Since 2010, Texas has lost 10 times at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. 

While it's an impressive structure featuring a six-figure capacity, Texas' home venue leaves a little to be desired in the intimidating category. 

Next: No. 14, Georgia >>>

No. 14, Georgia's Sanford Stadium

Capacity: 92,746

Opened: Oct. 12, 1929

When it comes to appearance, Georgia's Sanford Stadium is as good as it gets in college football. The green hedges that line the field, separating the fans from the players, give the stadium an unprecedented look. 

It's quite a tough place to play as well. 

Georgia's Mark Richt is 69-14 at home during his career as the Bulldogs' coach. 

The fans are quite loyal, too. Georgia fans filled Sanford Stadium to 100 percent capacity in 2013. 

Next: No. 13, Michigan >>>

No. 13, Michigan's Michigan Stadium

Capacity: 109,901

Opened: Oct. 1, 1927

When it comes to the most iconic stadiums in college football, Michigan Stadium might be No. 1. The classic bowl structure built into the ground provides for an incredible place to watch the sport. There isn't a bad view of the field in the place. 

Is it incredibly intimidating? No. 

Due to its open structure, it's tough for all the noise to stay in the stadium. While Michigan annually leads the country in attendance, the support the Wolverines receive at home seems to be slowly decreasing. The number of students who show up to the games is lessening, too. Roughly 26 percent of Michigan students who purchased tickets didn't show up to the games last season. 

This all adds up to Michigan Stadium checking in at No. 13 on our list. It's big, it features a ton of fans, but it's not as tough a place to play in as some of the other large venues. 

It does provide for a great place to parachute into, though. 

Next: No. 12, Tennessee >>>

No. 12, Tennessee's Neyland Stadium

Capacity: 102,455

Opened: Sept. 24, 1921

If Tennessee's football program was as impressive as its playing arena, Neyland Stadium would be a much more intimidating place to play. 

The Volunteers, though, have lost 28 games over the past four years, and as a result, their stadium has seen decreased attendance. While Neyland Stadium is one of the largest venues in the country, it was only 93 percent full in 2013, a percentage that ranked No. 11 in the SEC. 

A stadium simply can't be that intimidating if it's not close to full on a week-to-week basis. 

Tennessee is starting to recruit well, and there's optimism in Knoxville. In time, maybe Neyland Stadium will see increased attendance and it'll rank higher on this list. 

Next: No. 11, South Carolina >>>

No. 11, South Carolina's Williams-Brice Stadium

Capacity: 80, 250

Opened: Oct. 6, 1934

The South Carolina football program, historically, hasn't been very intimidating. Before Steve Spurrier arrived in 2005, the Gamecocks were mediocre-at-best. Spurrier is turning South Carolina into an elite program, and with that, the Gamecocks' playing arena is turning into a pretty tough place to play, too. 

South Carolina has currently won 18 straight games at Williams-Brice Stadium, the second-longest home winning streak in college football, trailing only Northern Illinois, though some will claim the Gamecocks are No. 1 due to a technicality

Whether the streak is No. 1 or No. 2, facing South Carolina in Columbia is a daunting task. The Gamecocks last lost at Williams-Brice Stadium in 2011 to Auburn. 

You could argue, based on the winning streak, that Williams-Brice Stadium deserves to be much higher on this list than No. 15, and perhaps you'd be correct in doing so. There's just not as much history here as other places, though, and it hasn't been intimidating long enough to deserve a better place on this ranking. 

Next: No. 10, Wisconsin >>> 

No. 10, Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium 

Capacity: 80,312

Opened: Nov. 3, 1917

We ranked Wisconsin as the No. 1 tailgating scene in college football. The Badgers' home venue is a pretty tough place to play in, too. 

In 2010, an undefeated Ohio State team, ranked No. 1 in the country, traveled to Madison, Wisc. to face the Badgers. The Buckeyes headed back to Columbus, Ohio with a loss. Much of that defeat can be attributed Camp Randall Stadium. 

Losses often occur for visiting teams at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin has been defeated at home just three times since 2010. 

The fans are loud and passionate, most so before in between the third and fourth quarters when "Jump Around" starts to play. If you've never experienced it in person, you should put in on your college football bucket list immediately. 

Next: No. 9, Alabama >>>

No. 9, Alabama's Bryant-Denny Stadium

Capacity: 101,821

Opened: Sept. 28, 1929

Yes, Bryant-Denny Stadium is big, and yes, Alabama fans are loud and passionate. 

Alabama's home venue checks in at No. 9 on our list, though, mostly due to the fact that the Crimson Tide football team is often incredibly intimidating, and therefore, Bryant-Denny Stadium is an intimidating place to play. 

If you're a college football team seeking a victory, don't travel to Tuscaloosa. The visiting locker room is named "The Fail Room," after donor James Fail, for a reason. The Crimson Tide have won three national championships since 2009. During that time, Nick Saban's team has lost just three times at home.