2017 Top College Tailgates #5 Ole Miss

Photo by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics

2017 Top College Tailgates #5 Ole Miss

The University of Mississippi is a perennial favorite in any tailgating conversation. Fans pride themselves on The Grove, the expansive lawn where Ole Miss fans gather before and after each game. And while they’re staring down a tough few years, thanks to NCAA sanctions, the old saying rings true: “We may not win every game, but we never lose a party.” It’s not hard to get Ole Miss fans talking when The Grove is the subject.

“It’s bigger than football,” says longtime fan Evan Gardner.

“It’s free for all,” his friend and tailgating buddy Brad Gilbert adds.

“I’ve ate and drank with so many random people that I don’t know that I’ve invited in,” Gardner says.

“Ole Miss is special because it’s the biggest gathering of a tent party you can have,” Gilbert says.

And that’s true of their group’s setup. Although both Gilbert and Gardner have relocated to Colorado, they look forward to as many Saturdays as they’re able to spend in The Grove. Gardner’s extended family sets up five tents to house an impressive – but in Oxford, a typical – spread with several tables to hold food and alcohol, plus a couple of satellites to feed the day’s other games to a 70-inch television.

After the game, fans spill back into The Grove (some never leave, though Gardner and his uncle Phil Magnum are always eager to see the action on the field). They take in the food, the renowned décor (chandeliers are common) and the one-of-a-kind fragrance: Chanel laced with bourbon.

No matter the NCAA’s ruling, the overall attitude in The Grove is the show must go on.