College football is as much a part of fall as raking leaves and picking out the perfect pumpkin. Chicago area fans are fortunate to have three teams-Northwestern, Illinois and Northern Illinois-within a (long) Hail Mary pass of the city limits. However, football is not just for the men of the house; these three schools have made spending a Saturday on the gridiron a true family experienceYou might also like:
Illinois Fighting Illini
With new head coach Tim Beckman looking to help the Illini build on back-to-back bowl victories, there is plenty of optimism downstate. Senior Michael Buchanan, a resident of Homewood, is considered to be one of the top defensive linemen in the nation.
Located just west of the stadium, the free Illini Street Fest is one of the school's most popular game day traditions. The event includes family-oriented interactive inflatable games and sports activities, plus live entertainment and more. Sept. 15 is Salute to Ag Day, where fans of all ages can enjoy interactive activities and displays relating to Illinois agriculture. There will be postgame fireworks Sept. 22. On Nov. 10, the Illini will honor the nation's military with the first 10,000 fans receiving an American flag.
Tickets for the three non-conference games start at $25.