Texas A&M Football's Kyle Field Ranked as Top Stadium in SEC
Even since before it was renovated, seeing a Texas A&M football game at Kyle Field was up there with some of the greatest venues in all of sports. The tradition, however much web traffic can be gained from ridiculing several of them, and the gameday atmosphere really are second to none in the country.
That's why Kyle so often ranks near the top when one outlet or another puts together a list of the top venues in the sport. Of course, now being in the SEC, there are plenty of in-conference stadiums that more than hold their own when it comes to this metric. Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, even Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia are all electric environments.
Even with such stiff competition, Kyle Field still outstrips them all. According to a recent ranking (attributed to Yahoo Sports in the linked tweet), the home of the 12th Man takes the title for the top venue in the SEC.
I was honestly surprised to see LSU as low as they were. Even a ranking as high as 3rd seems low, but thanks to Josh Heupel, Neyland has regained much of its former glory over the past few years, perhaps explaining why the home of the Vols comes in second.
OU and Texas, who will be joining the SEC this summer, both have large stadiums, but not necessarily intimidating home environments or diehard, rain-or-shine fanbases that come no matter whether the team is 11-0 or 0-11. For that reason, both slot nicely in the five to six range, as I feel that Alabama and Georgia's venues could be described similarly. Both, though, have seen much more home field success recently than the Sooners and Horns).
Underrated on this list are Jordan-Hare Stadium (never discount Auburn Magic) and Williams-Brice Stadium. Though both have not had the best record recently when compared to a place like Georgia or Alabama, each has a fan base that will reliably show up no matter the team's record. The Tigers and Gamecocks boast extremely electric home fields.
If nothing else, Jimbo did a lot to return Kyle to its former glory, after the win percentage under Sumlin at home had plummeted. Hopefully Elko will keep up the reputation of the home of the 12th Man as one of the most difficult places for opponents to play in the whole nation.