By Marcy Franklin
The Daily Meal

Summer's wrapping up, and we're (begrudgingly) putting the bikinis in the back of our drawers and digging out our second most favorite attire: Football jerseys. Time to dust off the body paint, the team sweatshirts, party beads, face tattoos, baby cheerleader outfits, and doggy costumes, and fire up the grill: It's tailgating season.

While some of us prefer to watch the games in the cool shelter of a bar with a hi-def TV, there's nothing quite like a college tailgate. Because, let's be real, once the hot dogs and burgers are polished off, the keg is tapped, and you've long lost the ping-pong balls for beer pong, you may not even find it in you to drag your feet into the stadium. (We personally know we haven't made it to a few college football games or two after some heavy tailgating -- go Buffs.) When you find a tailgate as legendary as you do at these 13 schools, we think you're not missing too much if you decide to camp out for a while -- after all, you've more than likely got your big-screen TV right at the truck with you.

Obviously, with experience comes know-how, and these schools have been studying the art of tailgating for as long as teams have been lacing up their cleats. In many cases, these colleges have time-honored traditions that make Game Day up there with Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year's, and the Fourth of July all rolled into one. When picking our schools, we considered the following factors: crowd size (in one city, the population practically doubles during its biggest rivalry game), food and drink, dress, and traditions. These schools' tailgates range from rowdy to downright raucous, but that doesn't mean you won't be ready for some good fun no matter where you are.

We've got the full scoop on the schools that have tailgating down to a science -- and may just convince your high-school-age kids where they may want to look at schools come spring. Click here for the best tailgating schools in America, and let's get down to business.

For the complete slideshow of the Best Colleges For Football Tailgating, go to TheDailyMeal.com.

More Stories from The Daily Meal:
-- Best College Football Bars
-- 25 Best College Bars in America
-- 5 Great Tailgates Under $100
-- 5 Tailgate Cocktails

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