Best Traditions In College Football

    The best traditions in college football are a varied bunch. Here's a look at the top of the pops from the Campus Insiders staff.

    April 8, 2016


    The best traditions in college football are a varied bunch. Here’s a look at the top of the pops from the Campus Insiders staff.


    More than simply a game, college football is a way of life. The surrounding pageantry makes it special. Tailgates, in-game cheers, mascots, pep bands and midnight cheering sessions – all wrap up and loosely define the college lifestyle under the umbrella of one sport.

    Since absence makes the heart grow fonder, and there’s never a bad time to start daydreaming about college football, Campus Insiders decided to dive into some of the game’s great traditions. Following is a roundtable from member’s of CI’s editorial team on the best traditions across the span of college football.

    Best Entrance


    Robert Judin:
    There is no entrance more exhilarating, more bone chilling than Miami’s. When that smoke creeps out, and the Hurricanes burst through, you already know what time it is.


    Glenn McGraw:
    “Enter Sandman” at Virginia Tech. Nothing more intimidating than an entire stadium bouncing to Metallica under the lights.


    Jonathan Bass:
    Nebraska walking on the red carpet. When they’re good, it’s very regal; when they’re not, it’s dark comedy.

    Best Mascot Tradition


    RJ:
    With all of the push-ups the Oregon Duck has done over the years, it’s hard to imagine him not competing on the field with the rest of the team. Oregon scores a lot, and watching the Duck get a workout is way too entertaining.


    GM:
    Mike the Tiger. Take a trip to Baton Rouge on a game day, check out the Mike the Tiger habitat, watch as he’s wheeled around the field before a game in a giant cage, and then tell me there’s a better mascot tradition. Bevo and Ralphie are awesome, but we’re talking a bengal tiger.


    JB:
    Colorado and it’s not even close. When is the last time you tethered yourself to a buffalo and ran anywhere? Ralphie for the win.

    Best Tailgating


    RJ:
    Florida-Georgia. The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is something everyone — no matter of allegiance — needs to experience.


    GM:


    School: LSU
    Best plot of land: The Grove
    Best game to tailgate: The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party


    JB:
    LSU. They start partying on Thursday.

    Best Fan Tradition


    RJ:
    Wisconsin’s jump around. How can it not be? Whether the Badgers are winning or losing, they literally jump for joy.


    GM:
    Texas A&M’s Midnight Yell.


    JB:
    I really like tightwad hill at Cal. There’s something paradoxical about a bunch of people living in the nation’s most expensive area being too cheap/poor to attend a football game. They’re broke college kids at the time, but will soon be making bazillions of dollars.

    Best New Tradition


    RJ:
    I had never heard of it until this past season (thanks, Instagram), but LSU feeding Mike the Tiger dinner in the shape of whomever LSU is playing that week is nothing short of awesome. If it’s not a “new” tradition, then hooray for social media. If it is new, LSU should never stop.


    GM:
    Let’s go with Sailgating. Tennessee, Washington, now Baylor – when sitting in the bed of a truck becomes passé, hit the water.


    JB:
    Honorary Mr. Two Bits. After Mr. Two Bits (George Edmondson) retired, Florida started bringing in a celebrity alumnus to conduct the famous cheer before each game. Started in 2013, it’s a fantastic way to honor the legacy of Edmondson, who was a staple at games for the better part of seven decades.

    Best Old-School Tradition


    RJ:
    There is no competition for Army-Navy. It’s the only rivalry in which every tradition means something — even a little bit — to the people who didn’t attend either academy.


    GM:
    Rocky Top. It’ll be ingrained in your membrane for years.


    JB:
    Everything Army-Navy – the singing of alma maters, the cadet marches, the whole lot. It’s the best game in sports because it means nothing, yet means everything.

    Best Pregame Tradition


    RJ:
    USC’s Tommy Trojan and Traveler. You know it’s time for war.


    GM:
    Chief Osceola planting the spear at the 50-yard line of Doak Campbell. It’ll give you goosebumps.


    JB:
    Dotting the “I” in Script Ohio. The high stepping, the low fives, the bow, salute – it’s perfect.

    Best In-Game Tradition


    RJ:
    I have a fever, and the only prescription … is more cowbell. Mississippi State gets my vote for best in-game tradition — mostly because it reminds me how awesome Christopher Walken is.


    GM:
    Wisconsin’s Jump Around.


    JB:
    Jump Around at Wisconsin. It was already awesome, and then a few years back some kid wrote a piece about attending the game while out of his brain on acid and the whole procedure became even more heavenly.

    Best Postgame Tradition


    RJ:
    “Laking the Posts.” What’s more incredible than thousands of Northwestern fans so overcome with pride that they literally rip the goal posts down and throw ‘em into Lake Michigan. Even if they don’t do it anymore. Its memory will forever live on … like all of those goal posts collecting rust at the bottom of Lake Michigan.


    GM:
    The Florida State Football Sod Cemetery. After every FSU victory 1) in which the Seminoles were road underdogs, 2) at the University of Florida, and 3) in ACC championship and bowl games, the team captain scoops up a piece of the sod and returns it to Tallahassee to lay it to rest in the cemetery.


    JB:
    Country Roads. Contrary to what Lloyd Christmas may believe, that John Denver was not full of s–t.

    Best Homecoming Tradition


    RJ:
    It has to be Gator Growl. No other homecoming tradition has lured Jerry Seinfeld, Bob Hope, Jay Leno, Dave Chappelle and Billy Crystal to perform.


    GM:
    Gator Growl. The largest student run pep rally set the standard for homecoming events back in the day. It’s since moved from The Swamp to a nearby field on campus, taking more of a festival feel with food trucks and live music – even better than before, if you ask me.


    JB:
    Virginia Tech’s game ball celebration. During homecoming week the corps of cadets carries around a ball yelling “GAME BALL!” They then have every student they pass touch the ball. It’s like the Olympic torch relay, but for college football.

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