Best Fans- (Nebraska) The self-proclaimed nicest fans in the world do an amazing job on gameday of making opposing fans feel welcome and part of the family. I may not have had the same feelings from my interactions with them on the internet but none the less their fans will never boo opposing teams and in fact cheer them as they enter the stadium. You will never here horror stories from visitors about rude or illegal behavior.
Best Stadium- (Iowa) The easy answer for this is to pick one of the huge stadiums in the B1G. Penn State is an erector set of beams with no personality. Michigan is a true bowl but if you are in any of the rows past row 5 you might as well be sitting in Canada. Kinnick Stadium in Iowa may be small in comparison roughly 70k seats. They however have an intimate feeling that puts you right in the action always. Plus when they do sections by colors their fans actually make it happen.
Best Tradition- (Michigan) Touching the Banner is one of the most amazing things in CFB. Watching their players run on the field and jump up to touch the banner gets the otherwise docile crowd excited in Ann Arbor. Plus it has been a part of the the greatest rivalry in sports as witnessed here…
Best Food- (Rutgers) There is a food truck on Rutgers Campus that sells The Fat Darrell a sandwich that has grown into fame by appearing on Man Vs Food. The sandwich which has Chicken Fingers, Fried Mozzarella Sticks, Marinara, and other scrumptious toppings is a behemoth and for $6 it is a bargain as well. On top of that New Jersey is famous for their Disco Fries- Cheese Fries covered in gravy. #Winning
Best Mascot- (Purdue) A Blue Collared man who carries a giant sledge hammer and drives a locomotive while drinking beer…. if that doesn’t describe America in one character I don’t know what does.
Best Tailgate- (Wisconsin) Badgerville as it is affectionately known is just the beginning of the party in Wisconsin. The fans drink beer and eat cheese and chow down on BratBurgers. They get so riled up by the time they get to the actual game they are throwing batteries, rocks, grenades, puppies, babies, or whatever else they can find to hurl at the opposing teams players and fans.
Best Coaches- (Michigan State)- MSU has 2 of the best coaches in the nation in Mark Dantonio and Def Coor. Pat Narducci. These guys have got the Spartans on a roll with their ability to make low ranked recruits high ranked players. They however are not known for their bubbly personalities.
Best Special Teams- (Minnesota) I will let Tom Dienhart of BTN.com describe why they won this award.
Peter Mortell is back after steadying an inconsistent punting situation. He’s one of the Big Ten’s best. Kicker Ryan Santoso can boom it and arrives with a fat scrapbook. Marcus Jones has proven capable as a kickoff and punt return man. Other return game options include Berkley Edwards, Antonio Johnson and KJ Maye.
Best Uniforms- (Maryland) Most people hate the uniforms that Under Armor has created for the Terrapins. For me though they are truly trying to do something different and that should be celebrated. The uniforms are gaudy for sure. They remind me of Medieval Times or Scottish coat of arms. They have unique patterns and colors and for sure stand out and there are probably 50 different looks.
Best Atmosphere- (Penn State) From Paternoville (Franklinville?) to the team bus ride to the 110k fans to the ice cream to the sticky buns to Thon to Mt Nittany in the background. State College is a college town in its purest form. It is a town built around the school. The pride is everywhere and when there is a football game the population triples. The PSU fans sure do know how to put on a good atmosphere. Just dont wear opposing team gear if they are losing.
Best City- (Northwestern) Sure technically Northwestern is in Evanston but for purposes of this exercise we can pretend like it is basically Chicago because it is. The metropolis is known for its windy weather and midwestern feel for a large city. The food is tremendous and the sites are tourism worthy.
Best Nothing worthy of receiving a best award- (Tie Illinois and Indiana) I tried hard to find something for every team that is worth celebrating. The best I came up for Illinois was worst weather and Indiana most nothingness.