Photo by Gary Clark

Back on August 15 we launched our first annual The South's Best Tailgate competition to officially determine which Southern school has the ultimate pre-game celebration. A whopping 510,000+ votes later the results are in. Today we begin our countdown to the winning school by announcing that the University of Alabama can proudly claim the Number 3 Spot.

The Crimson Tide, whose tailgating fanfare is featured in our new GAC television special, initially made our preseason list of Top 20 Tailgate Schools thanks to the mammoth proportions of its tailgating scene (over 100,000 on any given game day) and its winning tradition on the field (Alabama has the most bowl wins of any Southern school. Period.) In recognition of their new off-the-field crowning achievement we're sharing our Top 5 Favorite Alabama Traditions:

Photo by Gary Clark

1. Tailgating is a sport unto itself. Thousands of fans trek to Tuscaloosa each game day—and never even step foot in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Who needs tickets when you have tailgating?

2. Alabama doesn't just have school colors. They have a school pattern. Unofficially at least. The houndstooth favored by beloved former coach Paul "Bear" Bryant has become ubiquitous. From ball caps and rain boots to manicured nails and coolers, houndstooth has become the true "check mate" of the Crimson Tide.

3. They're fans from birth. The Bear's influence goes far beyond houndstooth. Each fall before Alabama's first home game Pauls, Williams, Bears, and Bryants from dozens of states converge on the University of Alabama campus to attend the Paul William Bryant Museum reunion party honoring those named for the legendary football coach.

4. Their cheer has a drink. "Rammer Jammer, Yellowhammer, give 'em hell, Alabama!" You'll always find Bama fans screaming this boisterous cheer at the top of their lungs. They may very well also have the Crimson Tide's signature drink, a Yellow Hammer, in hand.

5. The team is good. Very good. Alabama is proving to be the true powerhouse of this decade. Love them or hate them, you can't deny that the reigning national champions are a force to be reckoned with on the gridiron. And a No. 1 AP ranking sure does give you a lot to celebrate at the tailgate.



Congrats to the Crimson Tide for taking third-place in The South's Best Tailgate. And now, without further ado, how about a little "Yea Alabama"?

Be sure to check in next Tuesday, October 9 for our announcement of the second place team. And then again on Monday, October 15 for the big reveal of The South's Best Tailgate.