Ranking the Big 12's College Football Stadiums

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All things considered, which Big 12 stadium is the best? The worst?

<p> Ranking the Big 12's Football Stadiums</p>

Fall Saturdays are special.

Small towns, huge crowds, tailgating, bands, cheerleaders and student sections are just a few of the reasons college football is the best sport on the planet. When campuses jump to life across the nation each weekend in the fall, college stadiums become a staging ground for history.

There are a variety of ways to evaluate the greatness of a stadium. Huge attendance numbers, home-field advantage in the win-loss column, rich traditions, picturesque landscapes and amenities are just a few of the aspects that must be considered to rank so many great college football cathedrals.

With that in mind, here's how the stadiums in the Big 12 stack up.

1. Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium, Texas
Opened: 1924
Capacity: 100,119
2012 Attendance: 100,884 (4th)

Everything is actually bigger in Texas and the Longhorns' stadium tops the Big 12 based on sheer size alone. It isn’t the loudest 100,000 fans in the nation, but the building is arguably the most imposing facility as it dwarfs most every other stadium in the Big 12. After the most recent run of extensive exterior construction, the amenities are second to none in the league as well. Plans are also in the works to expand the south end zone that will push DKR’s capacity to upwards of 112,000 fans — which would make it the nation’s largest stadium. And finally, located in the heart of one of the world’s best cities, fans have a long list of attractions while pre- and post-gaming on Saturdays.

Related Content: 2013 Big 12 Predictions

2. Memorial Stadium, Oklahoma
Opened: 1925
Capacity: 82,112
2012 Attendance: 85,243 (13th)

Easily the No. 2 spot to catch a game in the Big 12, Norman’s college football palace provides the loudest and most passionate fan base in the league. The 103.8-percent capacity and single record against Notre Dame (86,031) a year ago prove that. A recent round of renovations have added 8,000 seats, a massive new brick-lined video board, new luxury suites, a new press box and beautiful brick exterior. Large gaps in the end zone seating keep the capacity well below that of a certain arch rival in Austin and likely limit the decibel levels as well.

3. Boone Pickens Stadium, Oklahoma State
Opened: 1920
Capacity: 60,218
2012 Attendance: 56,557 (32nd)

Named after billionaire benefactor T. Boone Pickens just a few years ago, the Cowboys' home stadium got a massive facelift, new additions, extra seats and a beautiful new façade. The single-tiered, true horseshoe building is now flanked on the west by a 146,000-square foot, state of the art facility that contains all of the Pokes' football operations. The West end zone is still flanked by historic Gallagher-Iba Arena. The brick and mortar exterior creates a massive set of exterior columns that majestically climb above the Stillwater skyline. There isn’t a bad seat in the house and when packed, BPS is as raucous as any place in the nation. Keeping the seats full during down times as well as the overall lack of size is what keeps this gorgeous facility from competing with Texas' or Oklahoma's.

4. Milan Puskar Stadium, West Virginia
Opened: 1980
Capacity: 60,000
2012 Attendance: 55,916 (33rd)

When it comes to rabid, passionate supporters, the Mountaineers are much closer to SEC levels rather than Big East. And the surrounding mountains of Morgantown are a fantastic setting for a college football Saturday. That said, the building isn’t one of the nation’s biggest and the stadium itself is a fairly straight-forward facility that likely could use another round of renovations.

5. Jones AT&T Stadium, Texas Tech
Opened: 1947
Capacity: 60,862
2012 Attendance: 57,209 (29th)

Mike Leach had his issues departing Lubbock but he is largely responsible for the consistent growth and development of Texas Tech’s home venue. The stadium has been improved and upgraded in 2005 (luxury suites, parking garage), '07 (master plan), '08 (Spanish façade), '09 (6,000 east side seats) and '13 (new jumbotron). The atmosphere is electric and the facilities have advanced dramatically from over the last decade. The trip to Lubbock makes getting to a game slightly more difficult than even some of the other Big 12 outposts.

Related Content: 2013 Big 12 Predictions

6. Jack Trice Stadium, Iowa State
Opened: 1975
Capacity: 55,000
2012 Attendance: 55,274 (36th)

Iowa State is home to one of the most underrated home atmospheres in the nation in a building named after Iowa’s first black athlete. The passion of the fans cannot be questioned as the Cyclones outdrew their capacity in 2012 on a team that barely reached the postseason the last two seasons. In the works are future expansions of the south end zone and east concourse. The move will upgrade the facilities across the board and will add an upper deck to the end zone. This isn’t the most daunting home field experience, but it has consistently over-delivered compared to its team success.

7. Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Kansas State
Opened: 1968
Capacity: 50,000
2012 Attendance: 50,278 (39th)

It’s small on three sides and has some quirky lines, but Bill Snyder Family Stadium will rock when the Wildcats are rolling. Like Iowa State, this building was over capacity on average a year ago as the team clinched its first Big 12 title since 2003. A 2006 renovation expanded seating in the north end zone and also upgraded the locker rooms. It isn’t the biggest or fanciest building in the conference, but this place will over-deliver much like Jack Trice will on game day.

8. Amon Carter Stadium, TCU
Opened: 1929
Capacity: 45,000
2012 Attendance: 46,047 (48th)

Named after prominent Ft. Worth businessman Amon Carter, TCU completely rebuilt its home venue following the 2010 season. The $164 million renovation changed the quaint worn down stadium into a state of the art football facility that provides more room to grow in the near future. The beautiful Southwestern art deco blends with the new football facilities as well as the popular design trend in the DFW area. The building is brand new and fans showed up in force last year (over capacity) but it is still small and will take time to build-up the long-term tradition and pageantry that exists throughout college football’s blueblood venues.

9. Floyd Casey Stadium, Baylor
Opened: 1950
Capacity: 50,000
2012 Attendance: 41,194 (60th)

Long named Baylor Stadium, the school changed the name in 1988 when longtime supporter and trustee Carl B. Casey and his father Floyd Casey were honored. The simple, straightforward, single-tiered bowl has long struggled to draw big crowds but that is something Art Briles has changed. The Baylor tarp is still needed for most games and last spring, the Board of Regents approved a new on-campus facility to be completed by 2014.

10. Memorial Stadium, Kansas
Opened: 1921
Capacity: 50,071
2012 Attendance: 41,329 (59th)

A poor home win-loss record (209-199-16), the old-school athletic track circling the field and simple styling make this the worst venue in the conference. The last major upgrade took place over a decade ago, the attendance is fairly small and the building itself lacks tradition and character.
 

2013 Big 12 Team Previews

Related Content: 2013 Big 12 Predictions

Baylor Oklahoma State
Iowa State TCU
Kansas Texas
Kansas State Texas Tech
Oklahoma West Virginia


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