The home of LSU football, Tiger Stadium, has a reputation in college football. Death Valley—as it’s appropriately dubbed—is known as one of the most hostile environments in the entire country. The Tigers and their fans pride themselves on creating an atmosphere that, as the stadium’s Public Address Announcer, Dan Borne, puts it: “destroys the dreams of invading foes.”
It’s not called the Cathedral of College Football for nothing. Tiger Stadium has made the Earth shake, it’s played host to chaos and champions call it home. Every weekend, Baton Rouge gathers in this cultural epicenter to cheer the Bayou Bengals to victory.
Famous football figureheads have spoken about the grounds of worship in the middle of LSU’s campus before. Bear Bryant once likened playing in Death Valley to being inside a drum; it’s difficult to think and even more impossible to hear. While you may have heard members of the media describe Tiger Stadium, it’s rare players speak about their experiences.
LSU football: Death Valley voted one of toughest road games by FBS players
Luckily, Goodyear—an Official Partner of the College Football Playoff—and The Players’ Tribune got the inside scoop on the subject. They surveyed a plethora of former FBS players who played college football from 2001 to 2021. 68 individuals from both power five and non-power five schools were asked to give their opinions on the toughest road environments they visited.
91% of respondents claimed that the opposing fanbase influenced their answers. Additionally, 51% said the climate also played a part in their decision. Here are the results of the survey in chronological order:
- Happy Valley, Pennsylvania (Penn State)
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana (LSU)
- Eugene, Oregon (Oregon)
- Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State); Ann Arbor, Michigan (Michigan); Austin, Texas (Texas)
None of the names on this list are particularly surprising. LSU and Penn State are widely considered to have the best atmospheres in the sport. The latter found themselves ranked fourth on another piece of the survey, as well. This question discussed the toughest traditions to square off against, the Nittany Lions’ “White Out” is among the most intimidating.
The unfortunate reality is that aside from nighttime kickoffs, the Tigers don’t have many intimidating traditions. LSU used to park Mike the Tiger’s cage outside of the visitor’s locker rooms at Death Valley—something that would’ve undoubtedly found its way onto the list—but the school stopped doing this during the mid-2010s.
Fans can join in on this debate through the Goodyear Road Tested Sweepstakes. The sweepstakes are going on now through Nov. 30. Fans are encouraged to share their opinions on the toughest road environment in college football for a chance to win tickets to the National Championship and a tailgate experience in the Goodyear EarthRoamer.
All of this is a part of Goodyear’s bigger project, which is meant to show its appreciation to the most dedicated fans in the country—the road warriors. This survey didn’t necessarily teach fans down in Baton Rouge anything they didn’t already know. Rather, it reinforced the commitment shown by the people in Louisiana.