Best Places to Watch The Cotton Bowl


Are you headed to Arlington to watch the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes take on the No. 8 USC Trojans? If so, we’re jealous, but don’t fret if you’re not in Texas for the Dec. 29 showdown. There are loads of amazing locales close to campus where you can catch the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic among friends (and strangers!) who love your team as much as you do.

USC Trojans


Traditions is an on-campus sports bar that caters to all Trojans fans (and don’t worry, it’s all-ages on game day). In addition to an easy-to-find location for students, it serves typical pub grub like wings and nachos, and unique items like corn dog lollipops (yes, really). You really can’t get much closer to campus, and it’s sure to be rockin’ on game day.

Can't wait for happy hour wednesday tomorrow! @catuong #instagood #instafood

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901 Bar and Grill

The 901, a hotspot not too far from campus, has been entertaining USC students and alumni since 1947. Of course, this makes it a great spot to catch the Cotton Bowl to cheer your Trojans on. Prior visitors say the vibe on game day is amazing, and if you love a hyped, rowdy crowd, this is the place to go.

Dog Haus Biergarten

If you love dogs and burgers, you’ll be happy to know there is an excellent choice near campus that features both. Dog Haus Biergarten has delicious food (much of it served on Hawaiian rolls), a rotating craft beer selection, and of course, TVs to check out the game.  

Ohio State University

Buckeye Crazy

If a name will give you an idea of what kind of establishment a place is, then Buckeye Crazy certainly gets the point across. If you’re in the mood for fab food, a feisty environment, and the Buckeyes, then head here ASAP if you’re in Columbus for game day.


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Gallo’s Tap Room

Gallo’s Tap Room has two locations, but if you’re in or near Columbus city proper, head to the Bethel Road location as it’s closer to campus (those north of the city can, of course, check out the Powell locale). Inside, you’ll find more than 20 TVs, some sweet craft beer, and a chef-driven menu.

Turtle Creek Tavern

Turtle Creek Tavern has tons of TVs to catch all the Ohio State games, including the upcoming Cotton Bowl. Their menu includes lots of typical bar fare, including something called a “Garbage Plate” (which sounds pretty amazing if you ask us). Clink some bottles with your new best buds here on game day.


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Buckeyes vs. Trojans

Whether you’re rooting for the Buckeyes or are hoping the Trojans seal a Cotton Bowl win, make sure you’ve checked out the selection of authentic NCAA gear at Fanatics before you head out on game day.


Ohio State Buckeyes in the NFL

Ohio State Players in the NFL_Header

Ohio State University was established in 1870 as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, and classes began just a few years later. In 1878, the name was changed to The Ohio State University, and in 1890, the first football game in the school’s history took place. Since then, the university’s football program has brought home eight national championships (most recently in 2014), seven Heisman winners (including Troy Smith, Eddie George, Archie Griffin, and Howard Cassady), and a slew of players who made their name in the NFL.


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Past NFL players include James Laurinaitis, A.J. Hawk, Orlando Pace, Mike Vrabel, and Cris Carter. Also, 11 former Buckeyes were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Dick LeBeau, Jim Parker, and Lou Groza.

There are currently 44 former Ohio State players in the National Football League. Some teams have several, while others just have one. Let’s take a look to see where everyone falls.

Dotting the “i”

Ohio State Players in the NFL_Asset

The Indianapolis Colts have the most former Buckeyes on their roster, including John Simon, Jack Mewhort, Malik Hooker, and Johnathan Hankins (plus Joshua Perry on the practice squad). The New Orleans Saints have four former Ohio State players, including Michael Thomas, Marshon Lattimore, Ted Ginn, and Vonn Bell.

Among former Buckeyes that currently play in the NFL, there are a few that definitely stand out. Last year’s leading rusher, for example, was an Ohio State player – Ezekiel Elliott. He rampaged for 1,631 yards for the Dallas Cowboys in 2016, averaging a league-best of 108.7 yards per game. During his time as a Buckeye he earned the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Award, and then was drafted fourth overall in the 2016 draft by the Dallas Cowboys.

FOCUSED. One thing on my mind.

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Ryan Shazier is another former Ohio State player. Shazier was drafted 15th overall in 2014 by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the linebacker is a part of a formidable linebacking corps, along with fellow former Buckeyes Cameron Heyward, who was selected 31st overall in 2011.

Defensive end Joey Bosa is another intriguing player to mention here. This former Buckeyes was drafted third overall in 2016 by the Chargers and has been quite the sack master since his NFL debut. He racked up 10.5 sacks his first season and is on pace to break this mark in 2017 (he has 8.5 as of week nine).

See ball, get ball.

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Go Bucks!

So you’ve been keeping tabs on Ezekiel Elliott since his first year at Ohio State, or you’ve been a fan of the Ohio State University’s football program for years? Good news. Fanatics has a huge assortment of quality Buckeyes garb, as well as the NFL jerseys of some of the best and brightest that have come out of the Columbus, Ohio, campus.



Sports Traditions: Ohio State Dotting the “i”


Timeless Traditions: Ohio State

Ohio State University’s “Pride of the Buckeyes,” a 225-piece all-brass-and-percussion band, has been a hallmark of the school since the late 1800s. The group has been the driving force behind several marching band innovations, such as animated formations and script-writing, throughout their storied existence.

But how does that explain their tradition of “dotting the ‘i’” as the band spells out the word “Ohio” before kickoff? We’ve uncovered the background of this famous college tradition (aptly called “Script Ohio”) so it makes more sense to the Buckeyes who go crazy for the ritual.

I Before E

In 1936, trumpet player John Brungart became the first member of the Pride of the Buckeyes to “dot the ‘i.’” However, at that time there was no additional showmanship required when playing this part. In wasn’t until 1938, when Glen Johnson arrived too early to his mark where he used up the additional measure by turning and bowing to the crowd. Thus, “dotting the ‘i’” (as Ohio State fans know it today) was born. This task is typically awarded to a fourth- or fifth-year sousaphone player, though a few former coaches and other famous individuals, such as comedian Bob Hope, have been extended the honor to be “‘i’-dotters.”

However, this exceptional band can’t be defined by just one tradition. They’ve proven an ability to put together an amazing half-time extravaganza enjoyed by college football fans and non-fans alike. The Pride of the Buckeyes’ performance from Oct. 26, 2013, entitled the “Hollywood Blockbuster Show,” has been viewed over 17 million times on YouTube. The band also had a tribute to Michael Jackson, also performed in 2013, which has been watched over 12 million times.

O-H-I … O!

Worth almost the price of admission by themselves, the Pride of the Buckeyes help add to the prestige that is the Ohio State University football program. Show your love for those “i”-dotting musicians, and those pretty good football players, by making sure you’re sporting the scarlet and gray on gameday. Head to for the latest officially licensed merchandise and apparel.


Top College Football Stadiums of 2011

College football is quickly approaching. No matter what team you root for on gameday, we recommend visiting these Top College Football Stadiums for the 2011 NCAA season! The following list takes into account scenic views, current stadium capacity, past lists of top stadiums, unique facts about each, and overall game-day atmosphere.

#20 Falcon Stadium, US Air Force Academy

Falcon Stadium

Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Capacity: 46,692

Unique Facts

  • Rampart Range of the Rocky Mountains is the gameday backdrop
  • The mascot is a peregrine falcon named “Mach 1,” which means the speed of sound – the peregrine can fly at a speed of 200 miles per hour and dives over the heads of Air Force fans
  • 2nd highest elevation in Division I-A football – over 6,620 feet above sea level

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#19 Folsom Field, University of Colorado

Folsom Field

Location: Boulder, Colorado

Capacity: 53,613

Unique Facts

  • Another high elevation – 3rd highest elevation in NCAA football – 5,360 feet above sea level
  • Flatiron mountain range is the background setting
  • A massive recycling effort in 2008 made it the first “zero-waste” stadium in the NCAA

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#18 LaVell Edwards Stadium, Brigham Young University

LaVell Edwards Stadium

Location: Provo, Utah

Capacity: 63,725

Unique Facts

  • Mt. Timpanogos and Wasatch Mountain Range are the background views
  • Part of the largest collection of North American fossils were stored under the bleachers until 2005 – now displayed in the university’s museum
  • Previously known as Cougar Stadium, head coach LaVell Edwards retired in 2000 when the stadium was renamed

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#17 Ohio Stadium, Ohio State University

Ohio Stadium

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Capacity: 102,329

Unique Facts

  • 4th largest football stadium in the US
  • No field lights are installed. Special lighting is used during night games
  • The stadium is a concert venue to some of the biggest names in music like U2 and The Rolling Stones

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#16 Husky Stadium, University of Washington

Husky Stadium

Location: Seattle, Washington

Capacity: 72,500

Unique Facts

  • Open side of the stadium looks out on Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains
  • 70% of the seats are covered by metal roofs between the end zones
  • Noise level has measured 135 decibels…loudest recorded ever

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#15 Frank Howard Field at Memorial Stadium “Death Valley”, Clemson University

Frank Howard Field at Memorial Stadium

Location: Clemson, South Carolina

Capacity: 80,301

Unique Facts

  • 2nd largest stadium in the ACC
  • Hosted concerts to popular music artists like Pink Floyd and Rage Against the Machine
  • “Howard’s Rock” is a rock given to Frank Howard by a friend claiming to originally be from Death Valley, California. The rock was eventually placed in an encasement and the Clemson Army ROTC protects the rock 24 hours prior to the Clemson/SC game every year

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#14 Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn University

Jordan-Hare Stadium

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Capacity: 87,451

Unique Facts

  • Stadium is named for the winningest coach in Auburn football, Ralph “Shug” Jordan, and Cliff Hare a member of the 1st football team and president of the Southern Conference
  • 1st SEC school to install an HD video display and 2nd in the NCAA
  • Known for great gameday atmospheres and one of the more intimidating places for any opponent

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#13 Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium, Florida State University

Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium

Location: Tallahassee, Florida

Capacity: 82,300

Unique Facts

  • Largest continuous structure made of brick in the US
  • Field named for head coach Bobby Bowden and stadium named for former president at time of construction
  • Bronze sculpture resembling Chief Osceola and Renegade, FSU’s mascots, stands 19′ tall outside stadium. At sunset before home games, the Marching Chiefs play as Osceola’s spear is lit on fire

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#12 Camp Randall Stadium, University of Wisconsin

Camp Randall Stadium

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Capacity: 80,321

Unique Facts

  • Oldest college football stadium – first formed in 1895 and completed in 1917
  • 5th largest stadium in the Big Ten Conference
  • Built on the Camp Randall grounds, former training camp of the Union Army during the Civil War

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#11 Tiger Stadium, Louisiana State University

Tiger Stadium, LSU

Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Capacity: 92,542

Unique Facts

  • Home of the most intimidating mascot in college football, Mike The Tiger (a real tiger)
  • One of the worst places for visiting teams because of the loudest atmosphere in stadium history
  • New 27×80 HD Video Board

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#10 Michigan Stadium “The Big House”, University of Michigan

The Big House

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Capacity: 109,901

Unique Facts

  • Largest stadium in the US and 3rd largest in the world
  • First night football game in Michigan Stadium history will occur Sept 10, 2011, against Notre Dame
  • Size of gameday crowds almost matches Ann Arbor’s population

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#9 Beaver Stadium, Penn State University

Beaver Stadium, Penn State

Location: University Park, Pennsylvania

Capacity: 107,282

Unique Facts

  • 2nd largest stadium in the US and 4th largest in the world
  • The WhiteOut occurs when students wear all white during night games and the same for the WhiteHouse during day games
  • First stadium to be included in Google Street View

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#8 Sanford Stadium, University of Georgia

Sanford Stadium

Location: Athens, Georgia

Capacity: 92,746

Unique Facts

  • Privet hedges surround the field for not only cosmetic reasons, but also crowd control – originally planted in 1929, removed and restored in 1996
  • One of the best mascots, Uga, descends from the original white bulldog and has an air-conditioned doghouse with bags of ice inside
  • Field has only been rushed one time in history in 2000 when the Bulldogs beat their rival, the Tennessee Vols, for the first time since 1988 – the goal posts were also torn down

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#7 Kyle Field, Texas A&M University

Kyle Field

Location: College Station, Texas

Capacity: 83,002

Unique Facts

  • Kyle Field press box has won many honors with accomodations for hundreds of press members
  • The entire press box sways during the Aggie War Hymn
  • The Zone contains a sports museum, multiple seating levels, and a graveyard right outside for the Aggie mascot

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#6 Autzen Stadium, University of Oregon

Autzen Stadium, Oregon

Location: Eugene, Oregon

Capacity: 54,000

Unique Facts

  • One of the loudest stadiums in college football with steep stands, seats close to the field, and a roof that overhangs
  • Located near Willamette River and next to Alton Baker Park
  • 74 consecutive sellouts dating back to 1999

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#5 Memorial Stadium, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Memorial Stadium

Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Capacity: 81,067

Unique Facts

  • Continuous NCAA record of consecutive sellouts…now at 311
  • ‘Huskers fans are some of the most loyal in college football and the stands are always filled with a “Sea of Red”
  • The stadium name honors Nebraska natives who served during the Civil and Spanish-American Wars, as well as 751 who died in World War I

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#4 Bryant-Denny Stadium, University of Alabama

Bryant-Denny Stadium

Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Capacity: 101,821

Unique Facts

  • Originally named Denny Stadium after George Denny, former president – changed in 1975 to honor famous past head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant
  • 2nd largest stadium in the SEC and 5th largest in the US
  • In 2010, South End Zone expanded and the new seats sold out quickly prior to the 2010 season

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#3 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium “The Swamp”, University of Florida

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

Location: Gainesville, Florida

Capacity: 88,548

Unique Facts

  • Can we say Home Field Advantage? The Swamp is below ground level with enclosed playing areas on every side, which makes humid climate temperatures exceed 100 degrees and screaming fans even louder
  • Large bronze statues of the three Heisman Trophy winners placed outside the stadium in April 2011: Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tebow
  • The Gator Chomp symbolizes an alligator’s mouth and fans use this as a gesture to support the team, occuring when the Pride of the Sunshine plays a two-note music sequence from the film Jaws

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#2 Notre Dame Stadium, University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame Stadium

Location: Notre Dame, Indiana

Capacity: 80,795

Unique Facts

  • Known as “The House That Rockne Built”, Knute Rockne was a coach who popularized the forward pass and helped the stadium’s construction project get off the ground
  • The playing surface has always consisted of natural grass
  • “Rudy”, a biographical film about Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger who dreamed of playing Notre Dame football, was the first movie shot on campus since “Knute Rockne, All American”
  • First night game since 1991 will be held on October 22, 2011, against USC

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#1 Neyland Stadium, University of Tennessee

Neyland Stadium

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Capacity: 102,455

Unique Facts

  • General Robert Neyland made the Vols a football powerhouse from 1926-1952
  • One of 70 stadiums in the US bid for the 2018 or 2022 World Cup
  • The largest SEC stadium, 3rd largest in the US and 6th largest in the world
  • Unique endzone paint with an orange and white checkerboard
  • Located on the Tennessee River, The Volunteer Navy tailgates (or sailgates) outside of Neyland each gameday
  • “Rocky Top” is one of the most well-known, repetitively played songs during any college football game

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