Sure, back to school means fall, pumpkin spice lattes, seeing your friends, and the much needed break after your summer internship. Everyone knows, however, that the most important part of back-to-school is football games and tailgating. Lots of schools pride themselves on their ability to day drink in their school colors, but only some schools can really claim that they have the best tailgates in the country.

Whether you're deciding which of your friends you'll grace with a visit this year or you're a high school senior trying to decide where to apply, these schools (in no specific order) should be at the top of your list. Here are the top 25 college tailgates in the US.

#SpoonTip: No matter where you're drinking, remember to drink responsibly. Keep it classy, friends. Spoon University does not support binge drinking or underage drinking.

1. Northwestern University

As a Big 10 school, game days draw thousands of students, alumni, and fans. Evanston proudly supports game day and you can find fans tailgating in the parking lot, getting rowdy at bars, or getting pumped up at early morning frat darties.  

#SpoonTip: Shoutout to Northwestern for also being home of the OG Spoon chapter.  

2. University of Michigan

Welcome to the Big House, the largest stadium in the country. Michigan fans love each other like Kanye loves Kanye. With more fraternities than you can count, students have their choice of game day parties. However, the big highlight of the day will always be watching the game. There's no feeling quite like being surrounded by thousands of people who rival your love for your school.

#SpoonTip: If you want to feel like an insider, remember to always say "go blue" to anyone you ever see in Michigan apparel. 

3. University of Southern California

USC tailgates might be as legendary as their football team. The Coliseum, their football stadium, is a huge draw for fans thanks to it serving as a host for a couple Olympic games and the Super Bowl. However, the best part of game day would be all the Greek parties early in the morning. If you didn't go to the atrium on game day, do you even FTFO?

4. Syracuse University

There's no doubt that Syracuse students love to party. Orange is (usually) the new black here, so make sure to put on your best all orange outfit. There are endless options for tailgate locations and everyone knows it's less about where you tailgate and more about being with the right people. Make sure to stop at Marshall Avenue for your choice of game day meals or snacks on your way to the Dome.

#SpoonTip: Syracuse is one of few college stadiums that sells beer, so if you miss the tailgate, you're still in luck. 

5. University of Arizona

Students and alumni alike come out for game day. With a tailgate RV wait list, you know there's lots of great grilled food, beer, and spirit to be found in the parking lot before the game. Whether you're a fan who never misses a game or you just get out of the bed for the early morning darties, there's something for everyone. 

6. Louisiana State University

LSU tailgates cater to food lovers. Fans up the traditional tailgate food from hot dogs and hamburgers to jambalaya, gumbo, or even alligator. Typical Louisiana food pairs perfectly with beer and college football. LSU fans are so dedicated to their team that they will even travel across the country to tailgate and support the Tigers. If you ever see LSU fans at your tailgate, befriend them for the food.

7. Penn State University

Fans start getting ready for game day several days in advance at Penn State. The line to get into the stadium tends to start around 6 pm the night before, but students will sometimes camp out a week in advance. Around 100,000 fans will come to Nittanyville, the tent city students set up to wait for the stadium to open.

#SpoonTip: Make sure to try one of the "stickies," which are sticky buns laced with caramelized sugar from the Ye Olde College Diner.

8. University of Iowa 

Iowa stands out thanks to its postgame tailgating. The school allows tailgating to continue for a couple of hours after the game, so fans can really embrace the saying "win or loose we still booze." If you're more into the tailgate food, check out the turkey legs you can grab before entering the stadium.

9. University of Mississippi

The Grove at Ole Miss is a must-stop for fans. It's a tailgate party where fans tent and even decorate the space with chandeliers, pop-up gourmet restaurants, and some of the best-dressed fans in the country. This builds up to the Walk of Champions when the players walk to the stadium through the Grove. Ole Miss fans never stop celebrating and you can find many endless post-game parties to continue your fun after the game.

10. University of Georgia- Athens

Early in the morning you'll already find Bulldogs fans up and ready for game day. You can find lots of fans grilling chicken and cheeseburgers, but most students will be found at one of the various frats for tailgate parties and live bands. If you're mainly trying to drink, you can go to any of the game-day-friendly bars around the town.

#SpoonTip: Do not miss the Georgia versus Florida game. This rivalry is so extreme that the game is now played in Jacksonville, which is considered a neutral-site for the two schools.

11. Ohio State University

While there's no giant tailgating space here, this top football team still draws tons of fans. If you aren't at a tailgate party before the game around the Shoe, head to one of the local bars or check out the OSU Marching Band Skull Session. 

12. University of Alabama

Game day can start early nearby the stadium at The Quads. You can find fans grilling hot dogs, hamburgers, and barbecue brisket. If you want to jump into the tailgate, start your day with a Yellowhammer Slammer cocktail at Gallette's which is a 20 oz. cup of vodka, rum, amaretto, orange juice, and pineapple juice. Check out the Elephant Stomp pep rally to watch the Million Dollar band who meets on the stairs of the Gorgas Library an hour before the game and then marches to the president's mansion for a pre-game performance.

13. University of Tennessee 

Tailgating is taken to a new level here with "sailgating." Fans can be found boat hopping on the river to get game day started. Some fans even create waterslides off the edges of their boats for people that are more dedicated to the tailgate than the game. Tennessee literally blows other tailgates out of the water.

14. University of Miami

In typical Miami fashion, students can start their game day by the pool. The school supplies buses to transport the students to the stadium. Once there, frats set up their own mini tailgates complete with lots of grilled food and booze. Students hop from frat to frat until the game starts.  

15. University of Wisconsin- Madison

There's not a ton of space for open-air tailgating since the university is located in downtown Madison. However, this is made up for by the student parties and number of pubs and bars that open up for Badgers fans. Residents blast music and grill tailgate favorites, while places, such as Jordan's Big Ten Pub, turn their parking lot into a beer garden for game days. I may be biased, but the best part of a tailgate here is that you can easily find an endless supply of the greatest beer, Spotted Cow. Legally, you can't get this beer anywhere else it seems. 

16. Southern Methodist University

Tailgate season is boulevard season at SMU. Fans head to Bishop Boulevard where they set up tents, barbecue, and enjoy their favorite drinks. The spirit teams and band join fans on The Boulevard, but the big draw is the school mascot, Peruna the black shetland pony, who walks on The Boulevard before every game.   

17. Clemson University 

Fans start showing up on Thursday in preparation for game days, with some fans even staying in RVs for the long weekend. There's not one standout feature for Clemson tailgates, but Clemson prides itself on its football and tradition making every game day full of great food, drinks, and fun. 

18. University of Texas - Austin

Tailgates aren't just for home games at Texas. Fans take their tailgate to the road for big games such as the Cotton Bowl. On home game days, the whole city becomes a fan zone. You can celebrate before the game at a country western bar, a local beer garden, or a campus tailgate. Whatever your mood or age, there's a pregame option for you.  

19. Michigan State University

East Lansing embraces game day like no other. Before games, you can catch the band giving a brief concert at Adams Field or the drum line performing on Grand River Avenue. Open container policies are even temporarily lifted in certain areas by the school for games. Pick your favorite frat, put on your green and white outfit, and go grab your drink of choice to cheer on the Spartans. 

20. University of Washington

Washington takes their tailgates a step further by bringing their parties to boats. The stadium is right next to the water, so you have the option of tailgating or again, "sailgating." They even up their tailgate food by having lots of fried seafood options to pair nicely with your pregame drink(s) of choice. If you don't get seasick easily, this should be a must-try for all west coasters.   

21. University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame prides itself on tradition. If you arrive a day early, you can walk the Stadium Tunnel Tower, which takes you on the path players will take on game day. Before the game, check out either the connecting lots of the stadium, Joyce Center, or even Burke Golf Course for brats, hot dogs, and beer. This might not be the craziest tailgate of all the schools, but Notre Dame fans show everyone up in school pride. 

22. University of Florida

As mentioned before, University of Florida is half of one of the biggest college football rivalries. This rivalry with the Georgia Bulldogs has supposedly earned them the title of the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Some fans like to say that the University of Florida puts the gator in "tailgator." Alumni can usually be found blasting music and setting up tents before students even wake up.

23. University of Oklahoma 

The best tailgate experience here is during their big rival game versus Texas. Every game day, however, involves great grilled food, early morning wake-ups, and students driving the Sooner Schooner and firing ceremonial shotguns. 

24. University of South Carolina

If you're looking for a unique place to tailgate, South Carolina's "cockabooses" are exactly what you need. A small group of fans have a "railgate" tailgate on one of the 22 train cars that sit on an inactive railroad. If you're not lucky enough to get to hangout there, you can still enjoy game day parties at Gamecock Park and the fairgrounds.

25. Oregon

Last, but definitely not least, is Oregon. The school may be known for their impressive football team and Nike endorsed uniforms, but their sold out games might not be as impressive as their tailgates. "The Mo," the football team's practice facility, is an indoor tailgate in the fall welcoming up to 5,000 people before and after the game.

If your school didn't make the list, there's always next year. You can't make your football team better, but you can change your tailgate traditions (maybe). No matter if it's your first year or last year on campus, I recommend making the most of tailgate season, because an NFL tailgate will never be the same as partying with thousands of your closest friends.

#SpoonTip: All the schools on this list have Spoon chapters or are in the process of starting their own chapter. Not going to say there's a correlation between Spoon and students that know how to have fun, but let that sink in.