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The Best Tailgate Schools

Sara Waxman
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If you love football (or you just love tailgating), check out these schools. They have the largest tailgates in the country and even more school spirit.

Ole Miss – The Ole Miss Rebels

School Population: 25,000

Mascot: Rebel Black Bear

“Perhaps there isn’t a word for the ritualized pregame revelry on the University of Mississippi campus,” James K. Gentry of the New York Times writes. “‘Tailgating’ certainly does not do it justice.” Every Friday, students and fans claim their spots on the grove with canopies and red cups.

Wisconsin – Wisconsin Badgers 

School Population: 43,000
Mascot: Bucky Badger

Their football stadium, Camp Randall Stadium, is located downtown, which makes for an atypical tailgate setup. Instead of tailgating on a huge field, fans can check out Capitol Square and Badger bash, or even check out the local bars on Regent Street.

LSU – Tigers 

School Population: 31,500

Mascot: Mike the Tiger

LSU students and fans take their food seriously. The most noteworthy aspect of LSU tailgates is the food. The food ranges from jambalaya, gumbo, and sauce piquante to whatever seafood is available (including alligator if they are playing their rivals in Florida).

Tennessee – Volunteers

Student Population: 28,000

Mascot: Smokey X

Leyland Stadium sits next to the Tennessee river, so it’s one of the only places where you can “sailgate.” People can listen from their boats on the river or walk to the stadium after the tailgate.


Penn State – Nittany Lions

Student Population: 99,000

Mascot: Nittany Lion

University Park, the name of Penn State’s campus, turns into a mini city during football season. The RV lots open on Thursday, and over 100,000 fans will end up at Beaver Stadium. Students will camp out days before the game because student tickets are first come first serve.

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