Just two more conferences to go on our weekly tailgating top 10. It’s your turn Big 12! Let us know where you think your school should rank.
Tailgating at TCU has exploded in the last decade since the team has stepped it up a notch and you’ll hear the frog horn more than ever before. The frog horn weighs 3,000 pounds and emits a 120-decibel “roar” heard by tailgaters all over campus. The TCU campus is crammed into a residential neighborhood and most of the parking around campus is for members of the TCU Frog Club. As a visitor, your best bet to tailgate is the tennis center or around the baseball stadium, but get there early because spots go fast. There are also a handful of bars and restaurants within walking distance of the stadium. If you are a young fan, you can be a part of the Bleacher Creachers. During the pregame festivities, kids are invited to line up in the south end zone and when the players run out of the tunnel onto the field, the Creatures run alongside them to the other end. Makes the day of these young horned frog fans!
All we need to say is Chip and Joanna Gaines and people flock to the newly popular town of Waco. And these two are Baylor Alumni and fanatics about their team so you may see them at a home game or two. I bet their tailgating is top-notch! Speaking of, there are two ways to tailgate at Baylor, by land and by sea. However, the top spot is on the Brazos River which rolls right next to McLane Stadium where tailgating and boating become one, aka “sailgating.” For a family friendly option, check out Touchdown Alley the official pre-game area, which hosts the Baylor Football Tailgate Show, games, inflatables, large TV’s, food and drinks. The best watering hole in Waco is George’s – the Big O is legendary, and you gotta try the burgers at Dubl-R, best in town.
KU’s offense has struggled as of late so Jayhawk fans take it out on their tailgate. It’s a unique situation, instead of tailgating out of your car you can set up a tent on Campanile Hill surrounding Memorial Stadium. This area is full of fans soaking up the beautiful campus atmosphere every Saturday in the fall, drinking beer and playing corn hole. There’s a giant TV screen at the bottom of the hill so people can keep up with other games, as well. Fans can also purchase tickets to the Jayhawk Village, which is an exclusive pre-game tent area with buffet food, alcoholic drinks, and private restrooms (very key after the alcoholic drinks). Massachusetts Ave is the most popular pre and post-game environment for locals and out-of-towners alike. It has tons of bars and restaurants, as well as, some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.
7. Oklahoma State
If there’s anything fans in Stillwater love more than the Pokes… and winning… it’s tailgating and Oklahoma State does it big. The die-hard tailgaters show up Thursday night to stake their claim for the best spot. Tents are set up all around Boone Pickens Stadium, predominantly on the south and west sides where fans can see The Walk, which happens about two hours before kickoff. Fans line both sides of Hester Street as the players and coaches make their way toward the stadium. The OSU Marching Band accompanying them with the fight song. These cowboys and cowgirls prefer to drink at Murphy’s pre and post-game; jello shots and margaritas as their specialties but the beer and liquor is always flowing. Murph’s has the longest lines to get in, but it’s absolutely worth it.
6. Texas Tech
Tailgating is king at Texas Tech and Red Raider fans have a passion for cooking – actually grilling and smoking to be exact. Chicken, ribs and brisket are on the menu along with lots and lots of beer. The top tailgate spot is the west side of Jones Stadium. It’s reserved donor parking, but fans are friendly enough to invite visitors who amble by. On home game days, you can see the campus adorned with scarlet and black and the well-known Will Rogers statue wrapped in red crepe paper. A short walk to the south of the stadium, the corner of Broadway and University Ave, you will find a few bars and restaurants where you can catch the game if you don’t happen to have a ticket. If you brought the fam, take them to Raider Alley to eat, drink and see a pre-game pep rally featuring the cheerleaders and spirit squads.
5. Kansas State
K-State’s pre-game tailgating parties are legendary. You’ll see purple-painted faces, cars swathed in banners, and people teetering on stilts. Fans pack in so tight around Bill Snyder stadium you can smell the sweet combination of ribs, brats, steaks, burgers, hot dogs and brisket and there are rows and rows of cars and RV’s with friendly fans waving their purple flags. Others find food and fun in Cat Town, where vendors set up before kickoff. This year, ESPN voted K State’s rendition of Wabash Cannonball the Big 12’s best pregame tradition. It’s hard to not get in the football mood when watching the Wildcats band get the student section hyped. After the game, locals head to Aggieville, with plenty of bars and restaurants to keep the party going.
4. Iowa State
Iowa State promotes big time tailgating and game day atmosphere with lots opening 6 hours prior to the game. These lots are first-come-first-serve, and pretty close to Jack Trice Stadium. Your best bet is to arrive early, grab one of these spots and tailgate at your car. Before you head into the game, be sure to check out the statue and story of legendary Jack Trice. Fans can also join the Cyclone Marching Band and spirit squad as they welcome the football team for the Spirit Walk, one of ISU’s most enduring traditions. After the game, Cyclone fans have been known to frequent Hickory Park restaurant and for a late-late night craving you need to get a Superdog from the stand on the corner of Welch Avenue and Chamberlain Street.
3. West Virginia
Tucked away in the Monongahela River valley, Morgantown is home to West Virginia University, a beautiful and hilly downtown campus that has 8 academic buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. A top tailgating spot on this scenic campus is Tent City, a safe, spirited environment for students to celebrate game day outside Milan Puskar Stadium. All proceeds from Tent City go to a local charity that raises money for those who need food in the county. Tailgaters who want to take it up a notch do so in the Blue Lot, located in the north end of the stadium. This locale is a sea of blue and gold and the best place to take in the Mountaineer game day experience. No tailgate options? Try out downtown Main Street which has many bars and restaurants including Black Bear Burritos, the Apothecary Ale House and Mario’s fishbowl, one of the most iconic bars in Morgantown and probably where you’ll hear fans singing John Denver’s “Country Roads” after the game, win or lose.
It was hard to decide whether Oklahoma or Texas should be number one on this list and ultimately I did give it to the other guy, BUT make no mistake the Boomer Sooner nation comes to tailgate. On game day, Norman has major tailgates set up everywhere around the stadium with big time smokers, intricate keg systems, plenty of bourbon, and a game or two of corn hole. All of this among the rows and rows of RV’s that are covered in so much crimson and white, it’ll make your head spin. After a win, fans are known to head to Campus Corner which has numerous bars and restaurants to continue the party. OU fans are among the friendliest that I’ve ever met, unless of course you are a Texas fan. Which brings me to one of the biggest traditions at OU, the Red River Rivalry. Few rivalries have a history that spans decades, with generations affected by the final score. So whether it’s the first time, or the hundredth time you’ve seen the Sooner Schooner take off and ride around the field at the OU/Texas game and you feel like you may explode from the excitement? You just might be a true Sooner fan.
Having a popular college town such as Austin puts Texas at the number one tailgating spot on our list. Austin, the live music capital of the world and the home of UT football, brings Longhorn fans from all over the country to the capital city. These fans live for tailgating at the home games and want to show just how proud they are to be a Texan, from the crazy long horns on their cars, to the enormous meat smokers that cook up Texas treats. These guys just do it right. In Texas, BBQ, beer, “hook ‘em” horns and football just go together. If you dare to bring the fam, you can try the Texas football fan fest which has live music (duh) food, interactive games and big screen TVs. The best watering hole is Scholz Garten, for wings, beer and brats. What more do you need to get revved up for game day? Fans love to catch a glimpse of their beloved Bevo, and one of the top sights is the lighting of the UT Tower, a symbol of a Texas victory, which can be seen after a win in Texas Memorial Stadium. One game in Austin and you are sure to be hooked.