The following is a guest post from Rainier Fuclan for Road Rat Motors.
You'll never get tired of putting on your team's colors, driving up to your alma mater and tailgating before a big game, but for the diehard college football fans – there are plenty of other games to see. Sure, it’s easier and cheaper to relax on your couch and watch the big games of the week, but there are a few college football games that absolutely must be seen in person. While the games are always good, many of college football's biggest rivalries are defined by the tailgating that goes on outside the stadium.
If you think of yourself as a dyed-in-the-wool true college football fan, here are five rivalry games that you have to see in person.
Red River Rivalry — Oklahoma vs. Texas
Played each October between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns, this is considered one of the greatest rivalries in American sports. Formerly the Red River Shootout, each team receives an equal amount of tickets and the Cotton Bowl is split evenly at the 50-yard line. Perhaps most special about this game is the atmosphere outside the stadium, as the game always takes place in the midst of the State Fair of Texas in Dallas, lending a carnival air to the game. With so much going on around the game, the Red River Rivalry is a tailgating dream. On top of the festive environment, the game almost always has conference and national title implications, making it a game that every fan should see in person at least once.
The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party — Florida vs. Georgia
The SEC is the current undisputed (well, maybe not entirely undisputed) king of college football, and the rivalry between the Florida Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs is one of the SEC’s fiercest. Since 1915, these two teams have met, with the rivalry growing so fierce that in 1933 the game was moved to neutral ground in 1933. While it is no longer called the "Cocktail Party," tens of thousands of fans gather along the St. John’s River in late October to party and tailgate. The rivalry includes some streaks dominated by one team before the series' record swings slowly in the other direction.
The Army-Navy Game — Army vs. Navy
Played most often in Philadelphia, but alternating between other cities in the Northeast, the annual game between the Army Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen shows a little brotherly love between our nation's armed forces academies. While the game is played in rotating cities, it always provides a grudge match with an incredible patriotic atmosphere. This yearly matchup is the only college game played on the second Saturday of December, which means you may want to take in your last football before bowl season. The rivalry is always friendly, but there is plenty of pride on the line. One of the classic traditions of this game is a formal "prisoner exchange" of cadets and midshipmen currently studying at their sister academy.
The Game — Michigan vs. Ohio State
Even for a game with no formal title, there is always a lot on the line in this fierce rivalry game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes. Rotating back and forth between the two universities, the teams play in two of the biggest stadiums in the nation. While some of these rivalries border on friendly or respectful, there is no love lost between Michigan and Ohio State, making this one of the most intense rivalry atmospheres around.
The Iron Bowl — Alabama vs. Auburn
We've probably already established that people take football pretty seriously in the South, and in Alabama they take it more seriously than most. Traditionally played on Thanksgiving Day weekend, this is basically the Super Bowl of Alabama football. Fans on both sides prep for the entire season for this game, no matter how well their team might be doing. Luckily, football fans in the South also know how to tailgate, so even though this is one of the fiercest rivalries around, it’s also some of the most fun you'll ever have at a football game. Just make sure to wear neutral colors.
Rainier Fuclan is a freelance writer for Road Rat Motors; they produce electric vehicles for sale nationwide and are located in the heart of Gator Nation.