Being a fan of a team in the best college football conference in the sport has its advantages. For SEC fans, whether attending a game at home or on the road, a unique, over-the-top tailgating experience is waiting every Saturday.
Each campus’ combination of food, drinks, vehicles, televisions, sound systems, colors, fanfare, music, bands, chants, cheers, songs and spirit creates a one-of-a-kind tailgate that needs to be experienced to be understood. After all, every school’s fans have their own unique, distinct way of preparing for game day.
It’s also no surprise that fans like to rank things. With everything in SEC country attached with some sort of bragging rights, there’s a natural instinct to rank the top tailgating scenes in the conference.
These rankings come from three different sources that will be charted below, where we can then create our very own cumulative rankings.
- USAToday’s FanIndex: Data-Based System Ranking Most Engaged Fans
- LSU Tigers | 2. Ole Miss Rebels | 3. Florida Gators/Georgia Bulldogs | 4. Tennessee Volunteers | 5. Auburn Tigers
- Bleacher Report: Featured Columnist Greg Wallace, “The list is entirely unscientific and based on my travels as a college football writer, as well as national reputation.”
- Ole Miss Rebels | 2. LSU Tigers | 3. Tennessee Volunteers | 4. Texas A&M Aggies | 5. South Carolina Gamecocks
- CollegeSpun: Part Of Fox Sports Digital Yard Barker
- Ole Miss Rebels | 2. Texas A&M Aggies | 3. LSU Tigers | 4. Auburn Tigers
With two out of three first-place finishes, the Ole Miss Rebels takes our aggregated No. 1 in the SEC tailgating rankings. “The Grove” is a 10-acre plot that fields mostly Ole Miss supporters with a few road fans sprinkled in. The sea of red-and-blue tents, chairs, and coolers—basically everything—never lets anyone forget where they are, and that will certainly be the case as soon as Ole Miss opens up their season. The opener should be a cakewalk, when they take on the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks on Sept. 5. According to TiqIQ, Ole Miss tickets are relatively still cheap for the game, averaging $69.87 at the moment with a get-in price of just $5. Make sure to enter through The Walk Of Champions to complete the distinct tailgate experience.
LSU earns No. 2, but its food ranks No. 1. Cajun and Creole culture reigns supreme, and to be frank, there aren’t many places where fans can grab jambalaya, gumbo, barbecue beef and brisket, crawfish, trout and catfish in the same area.
Third place is going to the Texas A&M Aggies, who have been making a large impact on the SEC conference since joining in 2012. The 12th man gives the Aggies an advantage on the field, but it all starts before the first kick. Some credit for the program’s national rise has to go to Johnny Manziel and the hysteria he brought along with him, but credit should go to the fans as well for keeping up the notable fanfare years after his departure.
Not everyone can attend and participate in these larger than life tailgating experiences. DISH TV packages starts from $13 a month for certain packages that include the SEC Network so not a moment of any team has to be missed. All the pregame scenery and information can be taken in from any fan’s home with DISH.