ESPN.com ranks Beaver Stadium among toughest venues for opposing teams

October 05, 2007

University Park, Pa. -- ESPN.com confirmed this week what opponents visiting Penn State already know -- Beaver Stadium is one of the nation's toughest places to play.

ESPN The Magazine's Bruce Feldman ranks Beaver Stadium No. 5 in the nation among his "scariest" places for opposing teams to play. Penn State's enthusiastic and loyal fans earned the highest rating among all Big Ten schools.

Feldman surveyed coaches around the country to come up with his Top 10 list. His thoughts after speaking with the coaches that have brought teams to Happy Valley:

"In talking to some coaches who have played at all four of the mega-stadiums (Tennessee, Penn State, Ohio State and Michigan), the House that JoePa built got the highest marks for noise and atmosphere. Penn State is 16-1 at home the past three seasons. In 2005, the Nittany Lions knocked off three ranked opponents (Ohio State, Minnesota and Wisconsin) at home.

Last month, a raucous sellout crowd of 110,078 turned Beaver Stadium into the "White House," as Penn State fans responded by wearing white for the Nittany Lions' 31-10 thumping of Notre Dame.

When ESPN's College Gameday visited Penn State in 2005 for the clash with Ohio State, analyst Kirk Herbstreit declared that the Nittany Lions had, "the best student section in the nation."

Also in 2005, Sports Illustrated on Campus named Penn State the nation's top college football game-day location and called Penn State home football games "The Greatest Show In College Sports."

Penn State has one of the nation's most energetic and dedicated fan bases, with fans starting to arrive in their recreational vehicles as early as Thursday morning for home games. Beaver Stadium's capacity of 107,282 is the nation's second-largest, and Penn State has been ranked in the top four in attendance in the nation for each of the past 16 years.

Four of Penn State's five largest crowds in Beaver Stadium have occurred during the past three seasons.

After playing their first two Big Ten games on the road, the Nittany Lions will play four of their next five games at home. Iowa visits on Saturday (Oct. 6) for the first meeting between the schools since 2004. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. and ABC will televise the sold-out game to a regional audience (ESPN2 in other markets). The contest also can be heard on the Penn State Sports Network and http://www.GoPSUsports.com online, the official home of Penn State Athletics.

ESPN.com's Top 10 Scariest Venues for Opposing Teams:

1. LSU

2. Virginia Tech

3. Florida

4. USC

5. PENN STATE

6. Clemson

7. Miami, Fla.

8. Oklahoma

9. Ohio State

10. California

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009