By my most recent count, which I made before I began to type this, I have reported a story or covered a game at 93 FBS schools. Among the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conferences, I have worked a story at all but two schools: Washington State and Vanderbilt.
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Alabama
First Game I Saw: (1966) Alabama 24, South Carolina 0
Best Game I Saw: (2011) LSU 9, Alabama 6
Not everyone's cup of tea, but for great defenses and the sheer, unrelenting tension of every snap, this one tops the list.
The Thing About Bryant-Denny: The vendors lining Paul W. Bryant Drive, the open-air press box (not unusual in the SEC), the pregame video of the Bear. Breakfast at the Rama Jama diner tucked in next to the stadium is a treat.
Tiger Stadium, LSU
First Game I Saw: (1987) LSU 13, Ohio State 13
Best Game I Saw: (2007) Arkansas 50, LSU 48
The three-overtime upset that seemed to knock No. 1 LSU out of the national championship race and solidify Razorbacks coach Houston Nutt's job security. In fact, Nutt resigned three days later, and, in a year of upsets, the Tigers climbed back into the national championship game and beat Ohio State.
The Thing About Tiger Stadium: The tiger in the cage in the corner of the end zone definitely gets your attention. God forbid the visiting team wins, because Tiger Stadium has the world's smallest, least accommodating interview room for the visiting team. And in case, you wondered, the mystique of night games is real.
Kyle Field, Texas A&M
First Game I Saw: (1988) Alabama 30, Texas A&M 10
The hurricane game. Also Jackie Sherrill's last as head coach.
Best Game I Saw: (1999) Texas A&M 20, Texas 16
The game itself became secondary to the bonfire tragedy that left 12 people dead and 27 injured. In fact, the tragedy changed the tenor of the rivalry, as Texas followers expressed sorrow and support for Texas A&M.
The Thing About Kyle Field: The $450 million renovation begins this weekend. When it's done, I hope they find a way for the upper deck to sway again. That's the closest thing to a scary carnival ride that press box viewers have now that Husky Stadium has been modernized.
Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn
First Game I Saw: (1989) Auburn 30, Alabama 20
Dec. 2, 1989 is the July 4, 1776 of Auburn football: The Crimson Tide's first visit to Jordan-Hare in the long rivalry. That the Tigers defeated a No. 2, 10-0 Tide made it sweeter.
Best Game I Saw: Same
The Thing About Jordan-Hare: One of my favorite stadiums, because the seats rise straight up. The noise can't escape. And there's a lot of noise. Not to mention the pregame flight of the eagle, and the people, who are very nice, as long as you're not writing about Cam Newton's family.
The Thing About Vaught-Hemingway: Those people know how to tailgate. No food tastes better, no drinks are more satisfying, and no women are prettier than on the Grove on a fall Saturday.
Williams-Brice Stadium, South Carolina
First Game I Saw: It was in the 1990s. I remember that ...
Best Game I Saw: (2004) Georgia 20, South Carolina 16
The Gamecocks took a 16-0 lead against the No. 3 Dawgs in the second quarter and gained only 79 yards thereafter. One of the great comebacks on the road I've ever covered.
The Thing About Williams-Brice: It has everything but a campus. Great, distinctive-looking stadium (those light towers!) with the Cockaboose Railroad outside for tailgating. I just wish it weren't at the state fairgrounds.
Look, I like the grove, but the statement above is the bullshites. Cold chicken fingers < anything fresh off of the grill
Lane Stadium, Virginia Tech
Best Game I Saw: (2003) Virginia Tech 35, Texas A&M 19
The Hurricane Isabel game, played on ESPN on Thursday night. I had a sideline job that night, and Isabel brought wind, rain and not much warm air. I didn't pack right. I stopped in the Blacksburg Wal-Mart. Long underwear? Nope. Leggings? Nope. So I took a deep breath, went into women's lingerie and bought some plus-size -- O.K., maybe plus-plus size -- pantyhose. My legs stayed warm. And I have to tell you, I looked damned good.
quote:I mean, it was a pretty good game. Most 3 OT games that are high scoring and have lots of talent on both teams are going to be really good.
I guess I don't know which games he's been to but if he's been going since 1988 there had to be a better one to pick than this