It’s hard to believe that August is almost upon us; time flies when you’re having fun. The best part about this time of year is that college football season is ready to return. It’s only a few short weeks until two-a-day practices begin in earnest, and fans nationwide are already poring over the rankings and obsessing about their favorite teams.
But this time of year isn’t just for football rankings; it’s also the time that the PRINCETON REVIEW releases their annual list of the nation’s top party schools. Back in the days before Wikipedia and the internet, every school’s students were convinced they had made “The List” of top party schools. But the thing is - a good party school is defined by more than just booze. Anyone can (and at an American university, does) booze, but to be a true top party school according to this year’s rankings, you’d better have a top football team as well.
Our grandmother had a saying that she brought over with her on the boat from the old country: “Booze and football goes together like sports and blogging.” Or something like that - it made more sense in Hungarian. But check out the top 10 of 2009-10’s list (via the HUFFINGTON POST):
1. Penn State University, State College, Pa.
2. University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
3. University of Mississippi, Oxford, Miss.
4. University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.
5. Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
6. West Virginia University, Morgantown, W.Va.
7. University of Texas, Austin, Texas
8. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.
9. Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla.
10. University of California-Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Calif.
With only two exceptions, those are schools with solid-to-great football programs. You might wonder how Penn State could beat out a warm-weather school like Florida…but only if you’ve never been to State College. There’s nowhere else to go and nothing else to do other than get drunk and cheer on the Nittany Lions. Besides, they have Beaver Stadium. That had to count for a couple points in itself.
When a friend emailed over this link last night, he claimed that the rankings were biased against small schools. He was serious, but then again he went to a small liberal arts college in Michigan. Unless you’ve been to a major conference football tailgate, you have no idea what the difference is between drinking and partying. A parking lot or neighborhood full of passionate, well-fed, drunk football fans belting out their Top 25 school’s fight songs? That is indeed the definition of a top party - anything else is just plain old drinking.