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Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Your favorite B1G road stadiums, Part I

By Adam Rittenberg

Earlier this week, we asked you to select your favorite Big Ten road stadium and tell us why. The response was tremendous, but we're not surprised. Your continued involvement is the No. 1 reason why this is ESPN.com's No. 1 college football blog (shhh, don't tell those hyper-sensitive SEC folks).

Here's the first installment of responses. We'll have a few more later today.

Fan: Jason
Hometown:
Madison, Wis. Big Ten affiliation: Wisconsin
Favorite road stadium: Beaver Stadium
Rationale: As an ex-Badger marching band member, it had everything you could want. It dominated the terrain, the inside impressed me with size and volume (SO MUCH more than the Big House!), and the fans and band were very welcoming and nice. It was by far my favorite road stadium to visit. I would go back in a heartbeat.

Fan: Todd
Hometown: Mason, Mich.
Big Ten affiliation: Michigan State
Favorite road stadium: Nebraska's Memorial Stadium
Rationale: Great hospitality from the fans and restaurants. Great downtown for entertainment the night before and day of the game. The fans are knowledgeable and very respectful. There is a piano bar downtown that's a can't-miss on the Friday before the game.

Fan: Nate
Hometown: Omaha
Big Ten affiliation: Nebraska
Favorite road stadium: Ohio Stadium
Rationale: I've been to Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio State. Of the three, Michigan has the best tailgate and nicest fans, but Ohio State is the best stadium experience, and we lost the game. The season ticket holders around us said that my opinion might change in cheaper seats, but of the three schools, nothing beats the atmosphere. The crowd was was good and into it, plus they gave applause for Coach Osborne on the screen for his retirement (classy). The team's interaction with the fans before and after the game was also great. And if you've never seen the band, get on YouTube. It's the best I've ever seen. Wisconsin is a close second for stadium experience, but they lose points because the student section wouldn't allow me to bring my kids there.

Fan: Ryan
Hometown: Golden Valley, Minn.
Big Ten affiliation: Minnesota
Favorite road stadium: Camp Randall Stadium
Rationale:  I've been there two times for the Battle of the Axe. One a close contest, the other, um, not. But hated rival aside, Mad-Town is a great atmosphere. Everything is close, the stadium is big and packed, the students raise the ruckus. It's an ideal setting for a B1G fan, one I know Gopher fans hope to emulate with TCF Bank Stadium.

Fan: Bryan
Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa
Big Ten affiliation: Iowa
Favorite road stadium: TCF Bank Stadium
Rationale:  My experience comes from 2011 when the Gophs beat the Hawks 22-21 in quite possibly the coldest game ever. Well prepared with hot chocolate and a decent tailgate in Dinky Town, the stadium crew and Goph fans were appreciative of our commitment to the Hawks in minus-1.5 million degrees. DJK ran a kick back for a TD and we thought there was a chance. It's a smaller stadium but is very nice and the crowd reminded me of a 'barn' in hockey.

Fan: Logan
Hometown: Just north of Piscataway, N.J.
Big Ten affiliation: Rutgers
Favorite road stadium: Camp Randall Stadium
Rationale: I have been to the SEC (Georgia and Alabama), the East Coast (BC, UConn and Rutgers) and the Pac-12 (UCLA and USC). No one does it like the Midwest and no set of fan bases are more fun for, or more courteous to, visiting fans than the B1G schools. And of those great settings, UW edges out OSU for two reasons: better tailgating and UW fans don't take trumpets along with them to bars and play that freaking fight song every time the Bucks score.