“There’s so much tradition and history at these places.When the scenery’s particularly impressive, we certainly take a moment to appreciate it.” With college bowl season in full swing, he shares some travel-worthy venues for next season with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.“There’s so much greenery and foliage, and we had the perfect day to be there.The lushness of that campus comes through even from the stadium itself.” Albertsons Stadium Boise (Idaho) State University While best-known for its artificial blue turf, Amin says the Mountain West Conference field is just as memorable for its location in Idaho’s capital city.“It’s an intimidating place, but from the broadcast booth, there was a moment when the sun went down, and there was a rainbow, so I guess I’m biased.” The huge field, which holds more than 100,000 spectators, has been called the loudest in college football.California Memorial Stadium University of California, Berkeley This California coliseum on the National Register of Historic Places benefits from its location, tucked into the Berkeley hills overlooking San Francisco.But Amin remembers the arena glowing at sunset with desert light.
And with no running track as well, the atmosphere for big games when Napa High and Vintage High are playing is electric. Throw in the two Quonset huts on one end with trees on the other and Napa Memorial becomes very tough to beat.The field will be replaced soon when the Rebels begin playing in a new domed coliseum it will share with the NFL’s Raiders, who are relocating from Oakland.Faurot Field University of Missouri, Columbia Many football stadiums don’t really have a sense of place, Amin says, but Mizzou is an exception. There’s blue skies and trees, and it’s essentially in the middle of the campus.” Plus, there’s the story of the rock “M” in the northern end zone, built in 1927 by freshmen with materials leftover from the stadium’s construction.It’s a very underrated city.” Sun Bowl University of Texas at El Paso This arena is so close to the southern border that Amin recalls catching a game on Mexican Independence Day and seeing fireworks on the other side of the Rio Grande. From the booth, you can go out the back and see Mexico.The stadium has been home to a lot of great football.” Sam Boyd Stadium University of Nevada, Las Vegas A city best known for neon glitz isn’t the first that comes to mind for scenic beauty.Folsom Field University of Colorado, Boulder Amin says the slick, recently expanded arena contrasts with the rugged views of the Rockies. There’s a college football arms race to build all these facilities, but there’s still some beautiful, beautiful scenery.” Neyland Stadium University of Tennessee, Knoxville For Amin, the home of the Volunteers has a special place in his heart.“The first big game I called in my career was at Tennessee.” Although it’s located near the Tennessee River, he says the most notable arena view is of the fans themselves, who sometimes create an homage to the school colors by forming a white and orange checkerboard pattern in the stands.The Ohio state high school playoffs uses this site, along with nearby Paul Brown Stadium in Massillon, for its six championship games.2.Ratliff Stadium (Odessa, Texas) The 19,302-seat home since 1982 of Permian and Odessa high schools, it is the focal point of the book, movie and television series "Friday Night Lights." It cost .6 million to build "in the middle of nowhere" with a sunken field flanked by two enormous concrete seating areas and surrounded by a running track.The place has been rocking this year and last, as Permian seems to have regained its prominence as a Texas powerhouse.3.Bazemore-Hyder Stadium (Valdosta, Ga.) Built in 1922 and refurbished in 2004 with new synthetic turf and a state-of-the-art scoreboard, the home of the Valdosta Wildcats is one of the nation's best examples of honoring the past with an eye on the present.