Ranking top five college football stadiums in Big Ten after conference expansion (2024)

In under two months, Saturdays will begin to look a little different—and better for college football fans. Students, alumni, and followers of college football teams will flock to their respective school's stadiums, including those in the Big Ten conference.

Ranking top five college football stadiums in Big Ten after conference expansion (1)

This season will be unlike any year the Big Ten has seen, as it undergoes a major facelift known as conference expansion. The Big Ten will extend beyond its naming rights, moving from 14 schools to 18, by adding USC, UCLA, Oregon, and Washington, who exited the Pac-12.

For some time now, the Big Ten has been dominated by a three-headed monster in the form of Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State, with the trio winning nine out of the last ten conference titles. However, the dynamic has changed with the addition of four teams that not only add competition but also bring a wealth of tradition and history with them, including their places of play.

The Big Ten already had some of the most prestigious stadiums in all of college football. But how might the new western schools and their venues affect the best of the conference now? Here, we break down the top five Big Ten stadiums after conference expansion.

Note that these rankings are based on recent events. Recent success or failure plays a major part in these rankings.

5. Ohio State Buckeyes – Ohio Stadium

The Ohio State football team has the second oldest stadium on this list, but it ranks as the fifth-best in the top five of these Big Ten stadium rankings. Known as “The Shoe,” the building opened in 1922 and has been a centerpiece for historic moments and the stomping ground of several national championship teams. The seating capacity is also one of the largest in the country, now up to 102,780 after renovations in 2019.

This is a stadium that doesn't see many losses, which means that while it is a surreal place to take in a game, what holds it back on the list is that it doesn't quite have an intimidation factor like some of the others. Fans just expect the team to overpower their opponents, if for nothing else their supreme talent level. But again, it's rich in tradition, with things like the fans chanting O-H-I-O and the “dotting of the i” taking place before the game.

4. Washington Huskies – Husky Stadium

This definitely falls into the more recent category, although the Huskies have typically always had one of the loudest crowds in college football. Most of that is due to the design of the stadium with its heavy sloping top bleachers. Go back to last year when they faced Oregon to see just the level of intensity that Washington football brings to their crowds.

For as much flack as western teams get for not being rowdy, Washington isn't one of those teams that has that reputation. They enter the Big Ten as having one of the best stadium atmospheres in the conference.

3. Oregon Ducks – Autzen Stadium

Just ahead of Washington is another former Pac-12 member, Oregon football and their venue Autzen Stadium. Most would probably argue about the Ducks being on this list because they have the smallest stadium capacity at 54,000. That comes in at almost the lowest on this list, and nearly 20,000 less than Washington. But the Ducks have one of the most intimidating places in all of college football that most say is one of the closest to resembling an SEC atmosphere.

This is another team that doesn't often lose at home, winning 31 out of their past 32 games in Autzen Stadium, according to The Athletic's Bruce Feldman.

2. Michigan Wolverines – Michigan Stadium

Some stadiums just have a certain mystique and aura about them that can't quite be explained other than the fact you feel like you're walking into a time machine. That's sort of what it's like with Michigan Stadium. The Big House is one of the absolute must-see college football stadiums in the entire country and really, almost the epitome of what Big Ten football is about.

And it's not called “The Big House” for no reason. Its 107,601 seating capacity is the largest in the entire country. Though it's enriched with tradition right down to its very beams, the atmosphere itself is not without a youth infusion. The singing of “Mr. Brightside” is one of the unique features that has taken over in the last half-decade.

1. Penn State Nittany Lions – Beaver Stadium

When factoring in must-see status in these Big Ten stadium rankings, consistency matters. And the Nittany Lions fans certainly bring it to every game day that's held at Beaver Stadium. But there's just something completely different when it's a White Out game.

The Penn State football crowds for those games are downright deafening. It helps that they save their White Out games for special occasions, which is typically against top-ranked teams in prime time, making for an intimidating atmosphere. And it seems to work for them. In six out of their last seven prime-time White Out games, they've lost only one.

Ranking top five college football stadiums in Big Ten after conference expansion (2024)
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