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Calling all Volunteers: help Rocky Top win the South’s Best Tailgate distinction.

Vote online and via smartphone daily between now and October 1 to help Rocky Top clinch the top spot. Saturday votes will count twice. We’re in the running against nineteen other schools to win Southern Living magazine’s “The South’s Best Tailgate” title.

Visit Southen Living to vote, or use your smartphone with a data plan to scan your favorite school’s QR code featured in the September 2012 issue of Southern Living magazine. You will be sent to a mobile web page where you can complete the entry form and vote for your favorite school.

From the Vol Navy to the elaborate cookouts and Big Orange fare, Tennessee is certainly a favorite stop for football fans across the nation.

Southern Living will crown the winner at a home game by November 10.

The magazine has named UT among the top twenty schools with the best tailgating celebrations. The university was lauded for its “sailgate,” the collection of 150 houseboats and yachts that dock on the nearby Tennessee River prior to home football games.

Universities vying for “The South’s Best Tailgate” title were selected based on four criteria—most spirited: schools that turn “fan” into “fanatic;” traditionalists: schools renowned for game-day rituals; powerhouses: Southern schools with a history of winning on and off the field (chosen by the most bowl victories); style setters: from sundresses to cake stands, these schools showcase true splendor in the grass.

Southern Living for the first time ever also has partnered with the Southeastern Conference (SEC) to publish The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook. It was released today, just in time for the first games of the 2012 football season.

The 256-page cookbook features more than 150 game day recipes and special sections highlighting each of the fourteen SEC schools’ game day traditions, character, and hometown flavor.

Game day menus in the book include Rocky Top Popcorn and Smoky Chicken Panini with Basil Mayo from UT.