LSU tops 12 tailgating spots in college football

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It’s not just a game in college football, it’s a daylong party.

And out-partying the Southeastern Conference, with its passionate fans and mild weather for most of the season, is difficult.

But the SEC hasn’t cornered the market on tailgating like it has national championships. If you’re looking to go on a tailgating tour this season, here are the top 12 spots to hit.

1) LSU. It’s all about the food. Hot dogs, burgers and brats? Please. Try spicy alligator, andouille sausage, gumbo, crawfish and maybe a little shrimp etouffee. Plenty of beverages to wash it all down, too.

2) Mississippi. Ten acres shaded by oak trees make The Grove one of the great gameday spots in America. The saying at Ole Miss goes something like this: “We may lose a game, but we never lose a party.”

3) Washington. Tailgating in boats along Lake Washington, and the university even runs a shuttle boat to Husky Stadium. The scene makes up for the sketchy weather.

4) Tennessee. More boats _ “Volunteer Navy” docks on the nearby Tennessee River _ and lots of orange make Rocky Top quite the scene.

5) Ohio State. Take a walk down Lane Avenue and it’s like a Buckeyes street fair. Then hit Buckeye Grove, where a buckeye tree has been planted for each Ohio State All-American.

6) Nebraska. Generally speaking, Cornhuskers fans have a reputation for being the nicest and most hospitable in college football. They also never run out of corn-fed beef.

7) Texas. Barbecue smokers big enough to fit a side of beef, the cheerleaders wear chaps and when it comes to college towns, Austin is about as good as it gets.

8) Penn State. Paternoville is the name of the tent city that sprouts up around Beaver Stadium the week before a game. For Temple, there might be a dozen or so tents. For Ohio State, the number might reach triple digits.

9) Auburn. Tailgating is not just for pregame at Auburn. Visit Toomer’s Corner after the Tigers wins. It’s where the campus and the city converge and students toilet paper the trees to celebrate victories.

10) Army. It’s a much smaller affair at West Point and the eats aren’t quite as elaborate, but the setting along the banks of the Hudson River is stunning.

11) Clemson. The fraternities band together on gameday for a massive party and a Tiger can’t swing its tail without hitting a plate of barbecued meat.

12) Purdue: Makes the list for this alone: One Boilermakers fan converted a coffin into a grill and ice chest, and brought it to the game in a hearse.

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