In a perfect world, we’d all get to attend hundreds of tailgates a year. But, given that science has been dragging its heels on the whole teleportation thing, we’re outta luck. (Some might also argue that money is a finite resource, but those people have never tried selling blood or hair).
Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the best tailgates this year. So if you can only make it out to 10 parking lot shindigs – make it these:
10. Texas vs. Ole Miss
This spot WOULD have gone to Texas vs. A&M, since they’re only 100 miles apart and oh how they hate each other so. Instead, we’ll settle for this game, which is sure to showcase two tailgating powerhouses bringing their best.
9. Army vs. Navy
Black Knight fans already host an amazing tailgate. Throw in a game against their arch rivals and you’ve got the makings for a hell of a party. Plus, you can chant “U-S-A! U-S-A!” and cheer for everybody!
8. Tennessee vs. South Carolina
This game includes two of the most passionate fanbases in the world. But this year, the Vols get to see SC’s “Cockaboose Railroad” — 22 immovable train cabooses full of tailgating goodies — firsthand.
Notre Dame vs. Michigan (Photo Credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images)
7. Notre Dame vs. Michigan
Taking in a game at either Notre Dame Stadium or The Big House is good for your old school football education. Just remember that Michigan fans are barbaric roustabouts and — what? No. My alma mater has nothing to do with this. Go Irish.
6. Auburn vs. LSU
These schools like their tailgates like they like their Hasselhoffs (full of booze and meat). Throw in an argument over the name “Tigers” and you’ve got a great tailgate.
5. Michigan vs. Ohio State
These respectful tailgates typically involve exchanging pleasantries, lime rickeys and egg creams over games of pinochle. (Translation: this tailgate is like the Uruk-hai fighting over a pile of goat carcasses)
Florida vs. Georgia (Photo Credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
4. The Florida-Georgia Rivalry
While it is no longer “officially” recognized as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party,” we all know what’s up. Case in point: they play for goal posts, not trophies, because otherwise, the fans would just tear them down. No exaggeration.
3. The Red River Rivalry
This game actually takes place during the Texas State Fair. Not only that, but there’s usually a bet between the two state governors. The winner takes home a side of beef, so something something pork barrel politics.
2. UAB vs. Memphis
AKA the “Battle of the Bones,” in which the teams vie for a 100 pound rib trophy. If that’s not enough, there’s a rib cook-off before the game, complete with a $4,000 grand prize! They have a trophy! About tailgating!
1. The Iron Bowl
I asked a friend of mine, who’s an Alabama native, about the Iron Bowl once. He spoke about it like it was ‘Nam. The Alabama Auburn game brings out the best and the worst in fans. And the tailgating scene is no different. Enjoy yourself… but stay on your toes.
Of course, if you can make it to more than 10 tailgates, by all means. After all, no matter where you are, there’s no such thing as a bad tailgate. Cheers!
Check out more Tailgating Top 10s.
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Brian Cullen has actually had fun tailgating in East Hartford for UConn Huskies games. And if he can have fun there? You can have fun anywhere. Follow him on twitter @Bucketcullen.