Next in a series from Road to CFB of first-hand game day experiences at stadiums across the country:
The Road to CFB journey focuses on the culture, fan experience, and game environment rather than highlight plays. Sometimes, there's crossover.
Nothing beats a moment on a Saturday afternoon that takes you completely out of the game action and makes you truly appreciate how loud a crowd really is. Five stick out in my mind from my travels so far.
Do you have a moment where a crowd absolutely lost their minds that you'll never forget? Let us know in the comments or on social media!
Note: These are only from games I've been to.
Florida State: House Call Brings The House Down
Sept. 5, 2021: #8 Notre Dame 41, Florida State 38 (OT)
This game was a staple in my 2021 schedule and was extremely strategic. Florida State has one of the most passionate fanbases when the Noles are playing well. Over the past five years, Florida State football has been a major disappointment. I chose to go Week 1 before any disappointment ensues against a top-10 Notre Dame team and Doak Campbell Stadium did not disappoint.
The crowd was 80,000 strong and started off deafening. Then, running back Jashaun Corbin ripped off this 90-yard touchdown. My ears were trying to block out the noise and I'm not sure that minute or so has been topped. Absolute pandemonium.
Ohio State: You Got BBQ Back There?!
Oct. 7, 2017: #5 Ohio State 62, Maryland 14
"And you didn't invite me?!"
The now-iconic Gus Johnson call accompanied the biggest hit I've ever seen. You can hear it on the broadcast– it stopped all 102,000 in Ohio Stadium in their tracks.
Honestly, this one doesn't need a lot of explaining.
Texas A&M: The First Yells
Sept. 21, 2019: #14 Auburn 28, Texas A&M 20
Full disclaimer: This video isn't from that game (the only one on this list that isn't). However, I think it does a pretty good job grasping the scale of coordination A&M has during its games. When you're in a packed Kyle Field and the Aggies get that first A-G-G-I-E-S yell in, it's mesmerizing.
I understand the yells are polarizing. From a purely awesome standpoint, they're incredible. And extremely loud, especially directly across from the student section like in the video above.
I've been to a few Texas A&M games and the first one came against Prairie View A&M. To start the game, the Aggie crowd was so loud it forced three false starts to open the game. Three.
Virginia Tech: Enter Sandman
Sept. 3, 2021: Virginia Tech 17, #10 North Carolina 10
This specific Enter Sandman entrance was an all-timer. #10 North Carolina visited Blacksburg for the first game in Lane Stadium with a full house since 2019. It was the full return of college football on national TV and Hokie Fans knew it.
Wire-to-wire, this was one of the coolest game environments I've ever been at and it was exciting the entire time.
But this... Nothing beats this.
People 100 miles away had to have heard it.
Mississippi State: The Cowbells
Oct. 6, 2018: Mississippi State 23, #9 Auburn 9
Love them or hate them, the cowbells at Mississippi State are loud. Ringing the bells isn't permitted during the play itself, so the crowd makes the most of their time in between plays. The rattle sounds like 100 dB of cicadas in mid-summer. Disruptive is the most acute way of describing them.
And the toughest part of this one is the noise is sustained. It's not just a minute or two– it's four full hours of rattling.
You will leave with a headache.
Big 12 Championship: A Game Of Inches
Dec. 4, 2021: #9 Baylor 21, #5 Oklahoma State 16
Despite AT&T Stadium being split right down the middle between Oklahoma State and Baylor fans, this place was about to explode. Everyone in attendance had accepted the Oklahoma State victory: they were at the one yard line with seconds left. In a full-on sprint to the pylon– mano-y-mano– Baylor stopped the Pokes an inch shy of a Big 12 Championship Game.
Both sides screamed at the top of their lungs in anticipation going into this play. The indoor nature of Jerry's World (something I don't usually love) sent all of the sound right back at everyone and it made for an incredible finish.
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