Clemson's Death Valley named ACC's top venue, ranked No. 3 nationally

The Clemson Sports Blog

Clemson defensive tackle Corey Crawford points upward while rubbing the Howard's Rock, before running down the hill, at Memorial Stadium in Clemson.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson defensive tackle Corey Crawford points upward while rubbing the Howard's Rock, before running down the hill, at Memorial Stadium in Clemson.

It's not 'news' that Clemson's Death Valley is one of college football's premier venues.

But recognition is always nice.

Both Athlon and Bleacher Report have heaped praise upon Memorial Stadium in recent days, with Athlon naming Death Valley the top stadium environment in the ACC, and Bleacher Report tabbing Clemson No. 3 on its national list.

In naming Death Valley the ACC's best, Athlon's editors wrote:

'There are only two atmospheres in the ACC that compare to the SEC's on Saturdays and Clemson Memorial Stadium is the best. Dubbed “Death Valley” by the late Presbyterian coach Lonnie McMillan after watching his teams get thumped by the Tigers for years, CMS has been home to historic moments and raucous crowds for more than 70 years.

'The fifth oldest venue in the ACC, this college football cathedral witnessed the first meeting between father and son head coaches (Bowden Bowl I) and is filled with timeless traditions. One of the most well known, of course, is the rubbing of “Howard’s Rock.” A notable Clemson alumnus brought the rock from Death Valley, Calif., and it has been affixed atop a pedestal in the East end zone for nearly 50 years.

'One legend has it that Memorial Stadium set the record for the loudest college football stadium at 133 decibels in 2007. Current Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney certainly likes the comforts of home. He is 25-4 at Memorial Stadium during his four years as Clemson's head coach.'

In bestowing its No. 3 national ranking on Memorial Stadium, the Bleacher Report notes that "this venue is one of the best places in the country to enjoy a college football game...The stadium is filled with orange during games, as the crowd loves to support their Tigers. There are not many fans in the country that are more passionate about their team than this group. When Clemson is playing well and the game is going good, the noise in here is as loud as it gets in college football. Certainly one of the best stadiums in the country and very underrated at that."

Bleacher Report ranks Death Valley behind only Bryant-Denny Stadium at Alabama and Michigan Stadium on its national list.

The remainder of the top 10 includes Florida's Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Notre Dame Stadium, Arkansas' Donald Reynolds Stadium, Georgia's Sanford Stadium, Ohio State's Ohio Stadium, Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium, and Nebraska's Memorial Stadium.

Athlon's ACC stadium rankings list Virginia Tech's Lane Stadium second to Clemson, followed by Florida State's Doak Campbell Stadium, North Carolina's Kenan Memorial Stadium, N.C. State's Carter-Finley Stadium, Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium, Virginia's Scott Stadium, Pittsburgh's Heinz Field, Syracuse's Carrier Dome, Maryland's Byrd Stadium, Miami's Sun Life Stadium, Boston College's Alumni Stadium, Wake Forest's BB&T Field, and Duke's Wallace Wade Stadium.

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Comments » 4

rsb8931#286014 writes:

Anybody that disagrees with this has never been in Death Valley on a cool, crisp, sunny Saturday afternoon in October when there's a football game going on.

TRUETIGER1 writes:

A wonderful place, nothing comes close. The best Tailgating in the country.

TrevorT writes:

Let's start winning as much as Bama and get on top of that list!

rsb8931#286014 writes:

As far as the noise level, I saw something about a year ago from some publication that said the loudest crowd ever was at a Clemson and Florida State game. I guess it could have been in 2007. That was a home game with them that year.

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