College Football

Penn State, LSU Top List of College Football's Toughest Road Environments

Happy Valley and Death Valley are among the most daunting places in college football

Penn State, LSU top list of college football’s toughest road environments originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

College football rivalries are intense on the field, and that intensity can be even greater in the stands.

Massive stadiums, passionate fan bases and proud traditions all add to the sport’s biggest matchups each year. Those are great factors to have in your favor as a home team. As a road team, though? It’s a different story.

Which schools make it hardest on visiting teams? Goodyear and The Players’ Tribune surveyed 68 former FBS college football players who competed between 2001 and 2021 to determine the most intimidating venues across the country.

Here is what those players had to say:

Toughest road game environments in college football

Happy Valley is anything but cheery for opposing teams.

Penn State was voted as having the toughest road game environment in college football, earning 13 votes, followed by LSU and Oregon.

1. Penn State

2. LSU

3. Oregon

T-4. Michigan

T-4. Ohio State

T-4. Texas


Toughest road game traditions in college football

While many of the biggest traditions in college football feature the crowd and stadium music, players said the most intimidating one is actually the pink locker rooms for visitors at Iowa.

1. Pink locker rooms at Iowa

2. “Jump Around” at Wisconsin

3. “Enter Sandman” at Virginia Tech

4. White Out at Penn State

Toughest college football towns to travel to

Pullman, Wash., home to Washington State, was voted as the toughest college town to get to. “Distance to opposing city” was cited as the primary reason for the vote.

1. Pullman, Wash. (Washington State)

2. Auburn, Ala. (Auburn)

3. Columbia, Mo. (Missouri)

4. Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State)

5. Boulder, Colo. (Colorado)

Best traveling college football fan bases

The surveyed players named Ohio State as the best fans when it came to their presence on the road. That should come as no surprise since the Buckeyes have the biggest fan base in the sport.

1. Ohio State

2. Georgia

3. Clemson

4. Oregon

5. Alabama

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