Tailgating RV Style: The Next Four

We’re less than two weeks away from the opening of the 2015 college football season. It’s been a long, cold winter and a hot summer waiting for the season to get here, but it’ll be worth it once the nation’s best teams hit the gridiron again.

Auburn (Courtesy tailgateman.com)
Auburn (Courtesy tailgateman.com)

While your favorite players are preparing for the season, you should be preparing, too—for tailgating. Done properly, college football is an all-day experience, from loading up your car with the day’s supplies to the celebration following a thrilling victory for your team.

Tailgating is a huge part of that equation. Great food, beverages, and friends all make tailgating special, and there’s no better place to do it than at a college football game. Some places do it a little bit better than others, though.

In an earlier post on Vogel Talks RVing, we detailed the top four tailgating schools in college football. In today’s post we look at the next four.

Auburn

In Auburn, Alabama, football is religion. And the faithful have an incredible cathedral in Jordan-Hare Stadium, which will get even better this fall. Jordan-Hare seats 87,451 and will add the largest scoreboard in college football this season.

It’s the epitome of a Southern football experience, and Auburn fans get there early—like, days early—in their RVs, parking near Jordan-Hare and soaking up the feeling of college football in the SEC.

Auburn fans are friendly and cook a wide variety of foods, and they’re also friendly to visitors, offering a “War Eagle” to all passerby. If you love football and a good party, Auburn is not to be missed.

Texas (Courtesy gamedayr.com)
Texas (Courtesy gamedayr.com)

Texas

With a 6-7 record in 2014, the first season of Texas’ Charlie Strong experience wasn’t what any of the involved parties wanted. But that won’t change the enthusiasm around Darrell K Royal Texas Memorial Stadium, which seats 100,119 and is one of the nation’s nicest facilities, reflecting Texas’ rich athletic coffers.

Texas’ tailgating scene is large, rowdy, and somewhat spread out, as the university is located in Austin, which has a population of 912,000. If you’re in town for football, find some barbeque from one of the city’s best BBQ joints like Franklin Barbeque, or head out to Lockhart, the Barbecue Capital of Texas. Centennial Park, which is just across the street from the Erwin Center, Texas’ basketball arena, is an epicenter for tailgating, although not the only popular area.

Spend a Saturday tailgating in Austin with Longhorns fans, and there’s a good chance you’ll be hooked.

Clemson

Clemson (Courtesy tailgatershandbook.com)
Clemson (Courtesy tailgatershandbook.com)

Over the last seven years, Dabo Swinney has transformed Clemson into one of the nation’s best programs, with four consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins. That makes Clemson an elite program, but the truth is that the football is only catching up to the tailgating experience.

Memorial Stadium, which seats 81,500, will add an Oculus to its already impressive recent renovations. Clemson has an SEC-style game-day experience, with some fans arriving days before the game in their RVs to claim the best tailgating spots. On game day, stadium lots are full of fans who grill and put out amazing spreads of food that they’re happy to share with others.

Just make sure you’re in your seat in time to see the Tigers run down the east-end-zone hill in what Brent Musburger dubbed “the most exciting 25 seconds in college football.”

South Carolina

South Carolina (Courtesy ilovetotailgate.com)
South Carolina (Courtesy ilovetotailgate.com)

Last fall was a big disappointment in Columbia, with South Carolina’s four-year streak of 11-win seasons coming to an end with a 7-6 season. That certainly hasn’t dampened enthusiasm surrounding USC’s program, however.

Williams-Brice Stadium, which seats 80,250, is set away from South Carolina’s campus in what could be described as an industrial area of Columbia. However, on fall Saturdays, it comes alive with garnet-and-black-clad fans who flock from all over the Palmetto State to support the Gamecocks.

The centerpieces of the area are the Cockabooses, 22 tricked-out, repurposed former train cars which sit on a stretch of retired track near Willy-Brice. They attract the attention of college football fans on a regular basis and sell for up to $300,000 (in the rare event one comes on the market, that is).

Worth Pondering…

What started out with a few sandwiches and a couple of beers before the game…has evolved the tailgate party into great American sports tradition.
—Chiff.com

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Tailgating RV Style: The Top Four

Tailgating and football go hand in hand, but on college campuses around the country, the fans often take it to another level. The union of football and tailgating is a marriage celebrated every Saturday with a “renewal of vows.”

Ole Miss (Courtesy of live.oxfordms.com)
Ole Miss (Courtesy of live.oxfordms.com)

It’s a combination of passionate, lifelong fans, the excitement of young college crowds, and of course, the good ol’ pigskin.

Another college football season is almost here. Get out the grill, stock up the cooler, and let the party begin!

Here’s a look at the top four tailgating schools in college football. This is not a scientific list, but rather one that was ranked based on, err…OK, my biases.

Ole Miss

Mississippi is home to the legendary Grove, Ole Miss’ tailgating location for generations. A 10-acre, tree-lined area which does not allow automobiles, the Grove is a mecca for Rebel fans and one of the most unique tailgating environments in college football.

Tailgating and football have been one and the same here since the game first took hold over 100 years ago. Unlike some places where the fans are rowdy, the atmosphere at the Grove is welcoming, family-friendly, and even “sublime.”

2014 was a special year in Oxford. With coach Hugh Freeze’s guidance, Ole Miss finally had a football team worthy of its tailgating success. The Rebels won nine games and upset then-No. 1 Alabama at home, sending The Grove into convulsions of excitement.

You can find all sorts of Southern food there and a genteel atmosphere that lends itself to incredible people-watching. Tailgating goes above and beyond at Ole Miss. It’s a must-do for any serious college football fan.

LSU (Courtesy of LSU)
LSU (Courtesy of LSU)

LSU

If you have a college football bucket list, an LSU home game has to be on the list. It’s one of the most unique and raucous environments in college football, both for the experience inside Tiger Stadium and the atmosphere that surrounds it.

Tiger Stadium seats 102,321, which makes it the fifth-largest city in Louisiana on game days. LSU fans are rabid, arriving well before games in their RVs and setting up tailgates across campus well before kickoff on Saturday.

Louisiana knows how to do one thing better than any state in the country—Cajun! The dishes you’ll see prepared on a Saturday outside the stadium are truly amazing. Not only do you have some of the nation’s best fans, but they bring the absolute best food to the table too—duck, gumbo, sausage, craw fish, etouffee, and grilled alligator.

The food might be better than the football. LSU fans are friendly and willing to share with visitors, and they cook numerous Cajun and Creole dishes that are a delight to the senses. It’s a unique experience and may be the best in college football.

Alabama

Alabama (Courtesy bamahammer.com)
Alabama (Courtesy bamahammer.com)

Since his arrival eight years ago, Nick Saban has done plenty to restore Alabama to national relevance, most notably with three national championships. But even before Saban came to town, the Crimson Tide already boasted a rabid fan base. His success has only ignited their fervor.

Following a recent expansion, Bryant-Denny Stadium now boasts a seating capacity of 101,821, and Crimson Tide football remains one of the toughest tickets to get in America.

It’s also a fun tailgating experience, with some fans arriving days in advance to claim parking spots for their large motorhomes.

Chances are, you’ll hear more than your share of “Sweet Home Alabama” and, with an Alabama win, the famous “Rammer Jammer” chant. It’s a must for any serious college football fan.

Texas A&M

Texas A&M (Courtesy youtube.com)
Texas A&M (Courtesy youtube.com)

The fans at Texas A&M have been compared to a cult. They take their football so seriously that the old saying “Football is a religion in Texas” couldn’t possibly ring truer.

Texas A&M is only beginning its fourth season in the SEC, but the Aggies have shown they’re a perfect fit for the league on the field and in the tailgates. College Station lives for Aggie football, and it starts on Friday nights before home games with Midnight Yell practice.

Following a recent $450 million renovation, Kyle Field seats 102,512 fans, making it the SEC’s largest stadium and the fourth-largest in college football.

Be sure to try some brisket and beer while you’re in town, and don’t forget to visit the gravesite of A&M’s Reveille collie mascots outside Kyle Field, which famously has a working scoreboard on site.

Worth Pondering…

Graham is as Southern as black-eyed peas, scuppernong wine, she-crab soup, Crimson Tide tailgating and a dog with ticks. She is so relentlessly Southern she makes me feel that I was born in Minnesota!

—Pat Conroy

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Aggieland Outfitters Billboard-on-Wheels Road Trips

The Texas A&M football season is about to begin and a local sportswear company has a unique way to travel to away games.

Aggieland Outfitters is ready for a road trip, and its newly tricked-out RV will be perfect for showcasing The 12th Man at away games in the inaugural season for A&M in the Southeastern Conference, reports KBTX.com.

Who doesn’t want to travel to Ole Miss to tailgate at The Grove this fall?

How awesome will it be to experience game day at Auburn and Alabama?

And just how loud are the cowbells at Mississippi State?

Aggieland Outfitters is about to find out!

Aggieland Outfitters recently unveiled plans for the Aggieland Outfitters Road Trip, which plans to travel to every road game this season, bringing the sights and sounds of life on the road.

Want to know where to eat when you travel to the great Southeast? Where to grab a cold beverage before the game in Tuscaloosa?

Aggieland Outfitters will take you there. Get set for a little “Aggie tailgating” too.

The bus features a photo of Aggies tailgating before a game at Kyle Field, cooking burgers, playing with the dog, talking a little smack, and just having a good time.

Aggieland Outfitters RV

The other side of the decked-out RV features a full length photo of Aggieland Outfitters’ most visited location on George Bush Drive.

Fans that spot the bus can see the contact information on the back.

This RV is for company staff and guests, but they’ll be handing out goodies as they tailgate at the road games.

“We’re looking forward to it,” said Aggieland Outfitters Marketing Director Dallas Shipp.

“Everybody talks about tailgating at the Grove. You know, obviously hanging out at Auburn and Alabama and Mississippi State. I mean it’s going to be some great trips. And even SMU and Louisiana Tech games, we’re going take it to every game. We will have t-shirts and koozies we can give away at the tailgate, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The company has been working hard on the bus for several months, and hopes that it will be something Aggies get excited to see on the road, Shipp added.

“We just thought that it would be a great way to travel to all of the games on the road this year, and also take a little piece of Aggieland.

“Not only will it be a great opportunity for us to personally check out the other SEC cities, but we’ll be posting regularly with pictures, videos, and stories from the road. It seems like every Aggie wants to go to these venues, so for those who can’t make it, we’ll try to bring as much of the action to life online for those back home in Texas.”

The first run for the Aggieland billboard on wheels was scheduled for Shreveport, Louisiana for the season opener against Louisiana Tech on Thursday, August 30.

Because of concerns surrounding the effects of Hurricane Isaac, Louisiana Tech officials announced Tuesday, August 28 that they have postponed the season opener against Texas A&M until October 13.

Details

Aggieland Outfitters

Aggieland Outfitters began with a young Aggie’s struggle to support himself through school in the late 1980s. He found that he could design and sell T-shirts to Aggie fans on campus and thus began what has grown into a flourishing retail operation in Aggieland.

Following his graduation from Texas A&M in 1991, he and his wife (fellow Aggie, class of 1990) opened an Aggie T-shirt store in Post Oak Mall in College Station called Inspirations—a store that is as popular with Aggies of all ages today as it was when it first opened nearly twenty years ago.

Fans can follow the Aggieland Outfitters Road Trip online through Aggieland Outfitters’ various social media channels, as well as AggielandOutfitters.com/blog.

Address: 360 Graham Road, College Station, TX 77845

Phone: (979) 775-5030

Website: aggielandoutfitters.com

Texas A&M University

Opened in 1876 as Texas’ first public institution of higher learning, Texas A&M University is a research-intensive flagship university with close to 50,000 students—including 9,500 graduate students—studying in more than 120 undergraduate and 240 graduate degree programs in ten colleges.

Texas A&M University placed second nationally in Washington Monthly’s new rankings, which take into major consideration factors such as research and service.

In the magazine’s 2012 rankings released August 27, Texas A&M was runner-up to the University of California at San Diego.

Website: tamu.edu

Worth Pondering…

Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.

—Vince Lombardi

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