Great minds do think a lot. Yesterday, Dave Sez ran a piece on a topic that we also had started and were holding in our drafts box and waiting for the “slow days” of late July and August to use. We even had the link to Fansblog in our entry. Now that we are last to go with it…we might as well chime in a little bit on the topic –
If you’ve read StateFansNation for a while then you know that we hold Sporting News’ columnist Matt Hayes in high regard. Unfortunately, Hayes severely hurt his reputation with Wolfpackers in his recent assessment of Ranking the ACC Football Stadiums.
As with everything in ‘rankings’, one needs to be particularly careful in defining the criteria used to create the rankings. What exactly is Hayes using to create his rankings trying to rank? His following comment gives us some insight into his methodology:
The ACC can’t touch the SEC when it comes to stadium inhospitality. Some nice places, yes. Less than half are intimidating.
In addition to ^that, it looks as though Hayes is trying to blend the niceness of stadiums with the inhospitabitality of the fans. We’ll go with that.
To be fair, Hayes does a fine job of getting the names both at the top and at the bottom of the ACC relatively right. However, I feel as though he completely butchers the order of names in the middle – particluarly the placement of NC State. ( I truly wonder when was the last time he attended a game in Raleigh, Atlanta and Chapel Hill. )
I couldn’t agree more with Dave’s comments below:
I think you could debate Lane vs. Doak vs. Death Valley forever and never settle on on order. Doak is the toughest simply because the Noles are the best program. Lane is probably the nastiest and possibly most intimidating. Memorial is the biggest and has the most history.
I’d say he overrates the Orange Bowl. The program? Great. The stadium? Poor. Attendance sucks for any non-FSU game and that’s just embarassing for a program of Miami’s stature.
I’d also say that he rates Kenan stadium too high. Yes, it’s a pretty setting but even in the Mack Brown days, it just wasn’t a really nasty crowd. Nowadays, the stadium is never full and has a ton of opposing fans.
Hayes rankings are as follows:
(3) Va Tech
(5) GA Tech
(8) NC State
(10) Boston College
(11) Wake Forest
Again…great minds think a like…as my rankings that follow are almost identical to Dave Sez’s rankings.
(1) FSU – Great facilities; 80,000+ and always filled; fans are alwasy nasty.
(2) Clemson – incredible atmosphere; very loud; loses a point for ‘niceness’ since the amenities are so dated, but generally has it all (indcluding tradition of rubbing the rock).
(3) Va Tech – it is hard to separate the top three, new guy on the block gets #3
(4) NC State – Renovations make huge difference and propel the facility amongst the top of the list of ‘niceness’; consistently packed with engaged fans; State fans are known for their inhospitality and how much they care. How the Pack could be much further than #4 or #5 is beyond the realm of reason.
(5) UVa – See comments about NC State and tone down the inhospitality.
(6) Miami – Orange Bowl is one of the worst stadiums in America. I struggle with their inhospitality quotient because of their horrible support for any game other than the biggest ones (like FSU). But, when they are ‘bad’…nobody is worse. Canes are lucky to be placed this high on my list.
(7) UNC-CH – it is hard to place them this high, but I have such a low opinion of Georgia Tech (based on their overall weak attendance) that I will give the nod to Carolina. Does “pretty” equate to “nice” when anyone over six feet can’t squeeze into a seat in the stadium?
(8) Georgia Tech – Nice facility; Small; good fan support for big/good games; but historical lack of attendance for mid-tier ACC games can only make the place so inhospitable. The other reason that I give the nod to the Heels over the Yellow Jackets is because I need to have some difference in my list from Dave’s list.
(9) Maryland – a dump with a facelift; support is spotty (at best), so it can’t be that inhospitable.
(10) Boston College – most New Englanders don’t know that Alumni Stadium exists. It can’t be that intimidating
(11) Wake Forest – a great and convenient place for visitors to take in a road game without much hassle
(12) Duke – just sad
Relatedly, how can Hayes ignore the relative passion of NC State fans (and therefore inhospitality) when taking into account State’s impressive attendance figures of the last few years where the Wolfpack program has ranked amongst the Top Five in the country in attendance as percentage of capacity. The schools Hayes chose to rank significantly above State were nowhere close…but, they are somehow more “inhospitable” in their more empty stadiums that are all older than Carter-Finley’s new $100MM+ makeover?
Makes no sense.