What EA Sports got right, wrong in college football stadium rankings

EA Sports' rankings for college football's 25 toughest stadiums to play in aroused some reaction from fans around the country.
College football's most intimidating stadiums to play in, according to EA Sports' rankings.
College football's most intimidating stadiums to play in, according to EA Sports' rankings. / Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

As part of Rankings Week leading into the debut of the College Football 25 video game this summer, EA Sports revealed its top 25 ranking of what it considers to be the toughest stadiums to play in.

Stadium play figures to be an important feature of the forthcoming game, as Electronic Arts revealed more details on the new "Stadium Pulse" features, including new game play footage from several iconic stadiums, camera shakiness resulting from the home crowd for road teams, and a pulse meter that measures crowd noise and impacts opposing teams.

More: EA Sports College Football 25 team rankings by tier

More on CFB 25: Trailer | Release Date | Player Rating Predictions | Team Rankings Projections | Deep Dive Video

What did EA Sports get right and wrong in their college football stadium rankings?

Georgia in the top-five

Sanford Stadium has played a remarkably effective host to college football's budding dynasty. Georgia boasts the nation's longest active home win streak at 25 games and hasn't taken an L between the hedges since Nov. 12, 2019, when Rodrigo Blankenship's field goal sailed wide left against unranked South Carolina.

Penn State not in top-five

Beaver Stadium came in at No. 6 in the EA stadium rankings, and while it's respectable in the top 10, it really should be in the top-five. Happy Valley is anything but for visiting opponents, especially if it's a night game and you're playing into the student section during a White Out.

Just ask Ohio State, which will likely be doing just that on Nov. 2, a potential blockbuster upset in the expanded Big Ten.

Rocky Top not high enough

EA Sports slotted Neyland Stadium at No. 13 in its rankings, which might come as a surprise to any team that has to play the Vols on the banks of the Tennessee River.

It doesn't get much louder or more rowdy in the SEC, or anywhere in college football. Case in point, when Big Orange fans rushed the field and dismantled the goal posts after UT took down rival Alabama in 2022.

Big House too low

College football's defending national champions have won 22 straight games at home in Michigan Stadium, one of the sport's grandest venues, put up in 1927 and expanded to include 107,601 fans, making it the largest in the nation and the third-largest on Earth.

This season finds Texas coming to the Big House, which could set another attendance record with two blue-blood programs going head to head.

Kyle Field at the top?

There's no denying the passion of Texas A&M fans or the sheer volume the 12th Man can deliver on any given Saturday, but EA Sports ranking Kyle Field at No. 1 was surprising.

Judging by opponents' record at the venue, it seems relatively easy to come out with a win in the last decade or so: A&M is just 28-18 against Power Five teams in the last 10 years, hasn't won a home game by double-digits since 2012, and in that time is only 53-19 overall.

Our pick for No. 1 would have been LSU, a cauldron of noise and insanity that remains the toughest road test for any team visiting Death Valley, especially at night.

Clemson was where?

It was a surprise to see Memorial Stadium come out behind Florida State in these rankings. Clemson placed No. 12, behind the No. 9 ranked Seminoles by EA Sports' estimate.

Those rankings should at least be reversed. Dabo Swinney and the Tigers were just about unbeatable during their College Football Playoff dynasty era, when the school won two national titles.

Clemson's intense pre-game ceremony that includes circling the stadium on a bus, touching Howard's Rock, and careening down a hill onto the field is always must-watch viewing.

The Tigers are 24-2 at Death Valley since the 2020 season, a tribute to not only their dominance as a team, but the frenzied passion of their home fans.

Underrated Autzen

Going to play at Oregon has always been a tall order for visiting schools, long before Dan Lanning's arrival as head coach. Now a yearly playoff contender, the Ducks can expect fans to get even more intense, especially with home games against Ohio State and Washington this year.

You can check out EA Sports' top 25 college football stadium rankings here


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James Parks


James Parks is the founder and publisher of College Football HQ. He previously covered football for 247Sports and CBS Interactive. College Football HQ joined the Sports Illustrated Fannation Network in 2022.