I never thought I'd say this, but in the past few months I've been making an effort to avoid college crowds downtown. Why? Tons of people crammed into one place, sticky floors, beer spilled everywhere, I mine as well go back two years and end up at a frat party. The guys are fighting over girls and getting kicked out, there are always too many people there, and the music is ridiculous. I also don't enjoy getting pushed out of the way by an eighteen year old with a fake ID in order to get my grape Three Olives and seltzer. The prices are usually very reasonable, but be prepared for a weak drink with lots of ice, unless you plan on drinking beer all night.
These places are okay if you know everyone there, and are in that age range. Even then, I must admit it was a pretty gross bar/club experience. In general, if you're a college student there are better places to hangout Downtown. The college crowd is always huge at The PourHouse, which actually has a great layout. There are two floors, with two different atmospheres as well as two bars. Plus, there is never a cover to get in. It's too bad half the people that got in were underage, and ended up getting completely wasted before midnight. Up or on The Rocks is another one, same kind of thing and it happens to be right down the road. If you want to avoid the college crowd, I would advice you not to go to either of these places.