My name is Brett Gibbons and I’m on the road visiting all 131 Division-IA college football stadiums. I call the journey Road to CFB, and this season I’m incredibly excited to share my travels with you all here on KillerFrogs.
This season, you can follow along with Road to CFB’s 2022 campaign right here. Check back for weekly game day write ups, stadium reviews, and more first-hand experiences from the nation’s top colleges.
Up next: West Virginia at Pitt
Thursday, Sept. 1. Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pa.
To open up the 2022 football season, I’ll be in the Steel City for an old rivalry restored: The Backyard Brawl. This game was last played in 2011 when these teams played in the now-defunct Big East Conference. West Virginia and Pitt are scheduled to play through 2025.
I’m not a fan of college football that’s played in professional stadiums, but the allure of the restored rivalry and the recent success of Pitt I’m hoping changes my mind this night.
This game was first played in 1895, making it one of the oldest rivalries in the nation. West Virginia won five of the first six matchups against the Western University of Pennsylvania (W.U.P.). Pitt would go on to dominate the series through the 1940s, winning 29/33 games (including 18 shutout victories). WVU is on a three-game win streak and has won 15/22 games since 1990.
This year, a pair of USC transfer quarterbacks and former teammates match up– Kedon Slovis and J.T. Daniels. Slovis took over for Daniels in L.A. and never gave the starting job back after Daniels suffered an injury.
This is night one of a three-day trip to open up the season:
- Thursday, Sept. 1: West Virginia at Pitt
- Friday, Sept. 2: Virginia Tech at Old Dominion
- Saturday, Sept. 3: Middle Tennessee at James Madison
Road to CFB Article index
What is Road to CFB?
Five years ago, I set off on a journey to experience a game day at every Division-IA (FBS) stadium in the country. As of the 2022 season, there’s 131 schools at the FBS level with two more entering the ranks in the coming season.
So far, I’ve checked off 32 games and visited 104 stadiums. This year, I plan to add nearly 15 more.
From big cities like Seattle, Austin, and Miami to small college towns like Starkville, Laramie, and Bowling Green; my goal is to share what America looks like from the road. Each stop has its own unique tradition and culture.
On this journey, the product on the field is secondary. I focus on the fan experience–the sights, sounds, and smells from a Saturday in the stands. I hope you’ll be able to use Road to CFB as a guide and an inspiration to get out and see this country mile by mile.
Where can you find me this season?
The 2022 schedule is still a work in progress, but I’ll be visiting schools near the Great Lakes. From Wisconsin to West Virginia, I’ll be at plenty of Big Ten and MAC venues this coming season.
You’ll be able to find my next coming stop here every week. Check back this summer for the 2022 schedule below.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the best stadium you’ve been to?
This is the million dollar question and usually the first one asked (that or how many I’ve been to). The honest answer is, I can’t pin down just one. I also can’t rank my “top 3” or “top 5.” I see stadiums in tiers. My top tier in terms of all around game experience would consist of:
- Ohio State
- Texas A&M
- Mississippi State
However, this could change if you asked me just about the stadium & structure. That tier would consist of:
- Ohio State
- Texas A&M
The same applies to just atmosphere, just tailgating, etc. A lot goes into game experiences.
Q: What’s your favorite part about game days?
The beautiful thing about college football is that everything is subjective. Things I love about certain places might be the chagrin of another fan. A great example of this is at Mississippi State and their cowbells– ask any Ole Miss (or SEC) fan, and they’ll tell you it drives them up a wall. I, for one, love the cowbells.
I love when a stadium gets really noisy. If I have a headache leaving, chances are, it was a great stadium experience. Fans are also an integral part of the experience. Kindness and openness to conversation goes a long way. I’m not a big fan of hecklers and people who scream at coaches or referees– or anyone on the field, really– from the stands. I also love freedom and accessibility so stringent schedules, complicated stadiums, or strict section ushers might ding a place a couple of points.
Mostly, I love experiencing a new place and being infected with the boundless excitement that a fan shares with their team. Outside of very rare cases, I become a fan of that school for the day.
Q: What’s the worst place you’ve been to?
Almost every single game day experience I’ve had has been completely positive; it’s hard to have a bad time when you’re watching the game you love with tens of thousands of your closest friends. Certain aspects have been subpar (Eastern Michigan isn’t the crème de la crème of the college football stadium world), but almost nothing has straight up ruined a game day for me.
Outside of games, I was extremely disappointed while visiting ULM. The city was run down and dirty and, frankly, didn’t feel very safe. The home stands are a big square that covers very little of the sideline and the away stands are bleachers with gaps; there was a bent and rusty temporary fence surrounding the stadium that was very much intended to be permanent. High schools outdo ULM.
Q: Of all the great matchups in Week X, you chose Team A vs Team B?
One factor that doesn’t weigh heavily in my game selection is this week’s slate of marquee matchups. Usually, those games are incredibly expensive for not great seats and anything outside of a walk-off winner or an OT thriller is a disappointment. If I spend $250 to see Georgia play Alabama and the Crimson Tide walk away with a 41-14 victory (or, hell, even a close 13-10 game), that wouldn’t be a satisfactory experience for the price paid.
I look for value. Sure, if I can score reasonable tickets for a big game, I will. For example, I scored lower-bowl seats to #7 Oklahoma at Texas Tech for under $50 each and it was an incredible experience. But I can have just as awesome an experience at a closer matchup between two evenly-matched Sun Belt schools. It’s all about balancing price with outcome– which is the value I look for.
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