College football is unlike any other sport when it comes to the passion and emotion fans feel for their respective teams on game days.
I’ve been fortunate to call games for FOX Sports alongside Gus Johnson since 2015, and now in our ninth year in the booth, I’ve been able to experience some pretty remarkable college football game atmospheres.
Now let me be clear, I have never called an SEC game, so I can’t speak for Tiger Stadium at night, nor for Tuscaloosa, nor for Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. But I can talk about all the stadiums and game atmospheres I’ve experienced, including incredible venues in the Big Ten, Pac-12, and Big 12.
Joel Klatt talks about his favorite college football vibes and more!
Joel Klatt lists his favorite college football vibes.
That said, here’s a look at the five best gaming environments I’ve experienced.
5. Nebraska has ColoradoFolsom Field, 2023
I’ve been to Folsom Field hundreds of times in my life. I’ve never seen an environment like the one I saw last weekend at the Colorado-Nebraska game in Folsom. It was electric and it’s a game I will always remember. Being from Colorado, a fan of this program, and then an alumnus, it was pretty special to see what was happening. Shedeur Sanders did the old school Deion dance, and Colorado was rolling in this game. Seeing and feeling the energy there was pretty special.
4. State of Pennsylvania has state of ohioOhio Stadium, 2017
It was one of the best games and environments I have ever been a part of. When the game kicked off, I barely had my helmet on and Saquon Barkley was going the distance. I’ve never heard a stadium with so much energy collapse so quickly. It was an incredible comeback as Saquon took it down the left sideline and was like a rocket. He scored to give Penn State a 7-0 lead and Gus was going crazy. From that point on, Ohio State was just trying to climb back into this game. They never really got back into the match until the end. And then, at the end, the sun was setting, the World Series was happening later that night on FOX, and JT Barrett found Marcus Baugh in the back of the end zone with less than two minutes remaining. Fans rushed after the match. It was incredible.
3. State of Pennsylvania has WisconsinCamp Randall Stadium, 2021
It was the first game back from COVID. The “Jump Around” scene in this game… I still have no words to describe it. The outpouring of human emotion coming back from COVID in a stadium, it was electric. I will never forget that. It was like an earthquake in the cabin. Jenny (Taft) was jumping on the sidelines. We stayed live to cover it as normally happens during a commercial, but we stayed live, which was a great decision by our production team. It was an extraordinary day.
2. Oklahoma has TexasCotton bowl, 2018
This game was played at the old Cotton Bowl. The crowd was split 50/50, which was such a unique scenario. Oklahoma was down 21 in the fourth quarter and tied it up. Kyler Murray had a ridiculous 67-yard touchdown run late in the game. And then, this call that I will always remember. I think it was one of Gus’ best calls I’ve ever been a part of. When Cameron Dicker makes a 40-yard field goal and Gus yells “Dicker the kicker!” This game was wild. I remember walking out of the stadium and feeling the energy of the state fair. It was an incredible day.
1. state of ohio has MichiganMichigan Stadium, 2021
I will never forget this game. Even though in last year’s match they were both undefeated, this match was special. The snow was falling, the images were incredible, the streak of Ohio State over Michigan in that moment and the outpouring of emotion…I’ve never seen that fan base so loud. I have never seen them pour out onto the field like this. It was pretty special. I just remember watching “Mr. Brightside” playing while the snow was falling, and I took a video of it. There are only a few times I’ve taken video of the atmosphere, this was one of them. It was the best atmosphere I have ever been in and probably ever will be in. You can’t replicate that with the drought that Michigan experienced. At that time, they had only won once in 17 years. It was a pretty special day.
Joel Klatt is FOX Sports’ lead college football analyst and host of the podcast “The Joel Klatt Show.“Follow him on Twitter at @joelklatt And subscribe to the “Joel Klatt Show” on YouTube.
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