Then, later in the day he posted another feature that I enjoy; his mailbag. This question and answer is how he kicked things off…
Steve from Kansas City writes: Tim, I saw something in your chat last week that I wish you would expound on. Somebody asked you what your favorite stadiums were as far as game-day experiences. Could you give me a full list and how you rank the Big 12 schools?
Tim Griffin: I'll try. To be honest, I don't think there's a bad stop along the Big 12. I can legitimately be excited about watching a game in any stadium in the league. But that's just how I am, I'm easily satisfied.
But if you asked me to come up with a critical list, here's my rankings.
1. Texas A&M: Unmatched atmosphere from fans. Kyle Field reeks of tradition and it's always been that way -- whether the Aggies were good or not.
2. Texas: The best of everything in press box accommodations and other creature comforts.
3. Oklahoma: What they are missing in plushness, the Sooners' stellar sports information office makes up for the rest with their dedication.
4. Nebraska: Memorial Stadium has the best "big-game feel" in the conference. The excitement is palpable in a walk around the stadium before the game. And I also loved the grilled sausages sold by the vendors outside the stadium. Kind of reminds me of walking into a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park.
5. Colorado: While I might struggle getting used to the altitude, Folsom Field has a picturesque quality that sets it apart from most stadiums.
6. Texas Tech: It's the only game in town and you can tell it with the excitement generated by Mike Leach's recent success. The Tech athletic people also make you feel like a long-lost friend when you arrive.
7. Oklahoma State: You never know what will happen in the interview room after the game here.
8. Kansas State: The best tailgating in the league and a nice comfortable press box. Who could ask for more?
9. Missouri: After a couple of early trips there a few years ago, I wondered if Faurot Field could ever be exciting. Chase Daniel and Jeremy Maclin are changing those perceptions pretty quickly. But I don't like driving there -- from either St. Louis or Kansas City.
10. Baylor: One of the most hospitable places to watch a game -- at least when the press box is closed rather than open for a hot summer afternoon. Sportswriters will always vote for cool air over football pageantry any day.
11. Kansas: Mark Mangino has pumped more life into Memorial Stadium than I ever could have imagined. But it still feels a little sterile at times.
12. Iowa State: The smell of brats and hamburgers wafting from the tailgaters makes Jack Trice Stadium's press box the most appetizing place. Now if Gene Chizik could only develop a competitive, contending program.
Now, I haven’t been to all 12 stadiums and I’ll be shocked if I ever see Waco in this lifetime or the next. Because of that, I won’t try to contend his rankings, as wholeheartedly as I might disagree. What I will do is blatantly call him out for his ranking/justification of Kansas’ Memorial Stadium at 11th. Per his description it would seem very reasonable to believe that he used to attend games in Lawrence on occasion, never once enjoyed them, but in the last couple years he has found himself liking it much more, just not quite on the level of the traditional powerhouses. Fair enough.
My question to him is; which games has he attended? Last year the home slate consisted of the four non-conference teams, Baylor, Nebraska, & ISU. I’m pretty damn sure he wasn’t at a non-conference tilt. Schlabach was at Baylor, so I doubt the WWL sent TG as well. He could have been at NU or ISU, in which case my point is moot. I just find it hard to believe that he was. And if that’s the case, just what games has he watched where “it still [felt] sterile at times,” since he hasn’t yet attended one this year either? (Note: I put an e-mail in; we’ll see if we get a response…)
Another couple quick notes on his rankings… is OSU at 7th solely because of Gundy’s rant? Only Baylor currently fills less of their stadium as a percentage…Speaking of Baylor, are they 10th because the people in the press box treat him nicely? You’re in Waco and only 60% of the stadium is full! Who cares if the staff is nice, you're there for football and entertainment.