Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Three more top SEC game atmospheres
By Edward Aschoff
You've seen Chris' top three SEC game atmospheres, now it's time to get the guy's picks.
Some fan bases forced me to buy noise-canceling headphones after the season, while some traditions I wasn't used to made me jealous of current students enjoying their college years.
It was tough to narrow down my list to just three, but here are the top game atmospheres I witnessed in 2011:
1. Auburn 41, Mississippi State 34, Auburn, Ala., Sept. 10: This was my first time on the Plains and I don't think my skin ever got rid of those pesky goose bumps after the pregame welcome the Auburn faithful displayed. I was amazed at how the students filled their section about an hour before the morning kickoff and had those blue and orange shakers going the whole time. I also loved how the crowed erupted when Auburn's bald eagle "Spirit" touched down at midfield before kickoff, even after crashing into a luxury box window moments before. Some of the pregame traditions were very similar to the ones I saw during my days at Florida, but the crowd inside Jordan-Hare Stadium was excellent from start to finish. The game was back and forth all day and Auburn fans exploded like a live volcano when Mississippi State quarterback Chris Relf was stopped on the goal line on the final play of the day. My ears are still ringing.
2. Arkansas 44, South Carolina 28, Fayetteville, Ark., Nov. 5: This game had the task of going up against Alabama-LSU, and those who missed this one missed a great one. Things were tight between both teams before Arkansas took over in the fourth quarter. So much was on the line for both, as they were battling for their respective divisions. Outside of the game itself, Arkansas' crowd was great. The weather was a bit chilly, but that didn't stop the Razorbacks fans from coming out in full force. The students roared from start to finish and went bananas when Arkansas forced two big turnovers in the fourth. Oh, and there was aftershock from an earthquake following the game that may or may not have been triggered by Jake Bequette's hit on Connor Shaw in the fourth quarter.
3. Auburn 16, South Carolina 13, Columbia, S.C., Oct. 1: South Carolina fans have always been impressive. They might be one of the most underrated groups around. With the defending champs in town, South Carolina fans brought it and didn't stop cheering until the final seconds. It was a tough loss for the Gamecocks, but it definitely wasn't because of the fans' lack of enthusiasm. From house music prompting a club-like atmosphere inside South Carolina's student section, to all those rooster crows, Williams-Brice Stadium felt more like party central than a football game.