Rating Every Top College Football Tradition as Classic or Outdated
It's rivalry weekend folks, so it's time to consider a sampling of the college football traditions.
Many have stood the test of time, while it may be time for others to be retired.
Maybe I cover your favorite tradition, but if I don't, it's not an oversight. Instead, I wanted to look at 25 traditions that covered a variety, but also made sure to hit both classics and outdated options.
Now it's time to see where these rivalries rank.
The Oregon Duck has to be in great shape to keep up with the push-ups after every score.
But the Donald Duck face and riding out on the Harley Davidson are not classic college football.
It wreaks of professional wrestling.
Before Clemson's players run down the hill, they make sure to rub Howard's Rock. Once you see that, you know it's game time at Death Valley.
While Howard's Rock has been there since 1966, the Clemson players didn't start touching it until the opener in 1967.
Today, Dabo Swinney likes to give the Rock a kiss as he enters the stadium.
The game is just part of what makes this special.
The Army-Navy game is loaded with pageantry and tradition.
It doesn't matter if both teams enter the game 0-11, college football fans around the nation are still intrigued.
It's kind of cool that the Stanford students recreate the Tree each year.
But it's also stupid, and really no one outside of the Pac-12 even realizes the Tree is a mascot.
Enter Sandman at Virginia Tech
There's a lot of things about Virginia Tech that I don't like, but I can't argue against the Hokies' entrance into Lane Stadium.
Playing Metallica's "Enter Sandman" gets the players and fans at a near riotous stage before kickoff.
That's a good thing.
With everything that has happened at Penn State lately, it might be time to rename this tradition.
Sorry, but celebrating Joe Paterno isn't cool anymore.
The Mountaineer first appeared at athletic events during the 1934-35 academic year.
While there have been two women to wear the coonskin hat and fire the musket, the mascot has been dominated by hirsute men.
The Mountaineer leads the team out onto the field, and he gets to fire that nifty musket every time WVU scores.
Washington State Flag at GameDay
Washington State fans have not had much to cheer about lately.
But the Cougars fans are a dedicated group.
A WSU flag has been present at like 100 or so ESPN "College GameDays."
Unfortunately, no one else really cares or puts much credence in it.
The Fifth Quarter
Wisconsin fans going totally nuts before the fourth quarter as "Jump Around" plays is a great tradition, but I'll go with the Fifth Quarter.
After every game at Camp Randall Stadium, Wisconsin's band marches onto the field from the nearest end zone, and faces the winning team's stands and plays that team's school song. Then the band turns to play the losing team's school song.
Definitely a good reason to stick around after the game is over.
Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer
Alabama has enough great traditions, but I just don't get this one.
Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer?
Calling the Hogs
Arkansas' cheer, "Woo Pig Sooie," has been around since at least the 1920s. However, how it came about is not clear.
The lyrics for Calling the Hogs is simple:
Woooooooooo, Pig ! Sooie!
Woooooooooo, Pig ! Sooie!
Woooooooooo, Pig ! Sooie!
Mike the Tiger
LSU's Mike the Tiger makes for the most intimidating entrance for any opposing team in America.
Plus it's an actual live tiger.
It doesn't get any better than that.
No matter what happens to the trees at Toomer's Corner, the tradition of rolling the trees in toilet paper will find a way to live on.
Even an Alabama fan has to appreciate this tradition.
White Outs, Green Outs...Any Type of Outs
Big-time college football programs don't have to create marketing hype like a Penn State "White Out."
Almost every team has tried something, but it's time it stopped.
Nebraska Tunnel Walk
It's a relatively new tradition, but Nebraska's Tunnel Walk has caught on for the Cornhuskers.
With the fans going nuts as a special video plays on the large video screen inside the stadium, the players enter through the Tunnel Walk Gates located in the northwest corner of the stadium.
Adding a nice touch to the scene is the Nebraska National Guard manning the gates, and they are opened by service men and women who are selected for each game.
Boise State's Blue Turf
Football fields are supposed to be green.
It doesn't matter if they are real or fake...the field is green.
Boise State started this atrocity, and now we have other programs doing fields in red and other colors.
Red River Rivalry
There may be bigger rivalry games (Ohio State versus Michigan and Alabama versus Auburn), but the Red River Rivalry enjoys the backdrop of the Texas State Fair every year.
The game is played in Dallas each fall, and it's a special scene to see the Cotton Bowl filled half in orange and half in crimson.
Let's hope this game doesn't sell out and go to Jerry Jones' monstrosity in Arlington.
The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party
The game pits two rivals each year, but it's time for this game to be played as a home-and-home.
Lets end the "neutral site" in Jacksonville for more intense games in Athens, Ga., and Gainesville, Fla.
Or at least consider alternating the game between Jacksonville and Atlanta.
Hail to the Victors!
Many consider it the greatest college fight song ever written, and it is easily one of the most recognizable.
Michigan has many outstanding traditions, but nothing tops "The Victors."
When you could still see the entire Touchdown Jesus mural, this was a cool tradition.
But a stadium expansion project made it much tougher to see the mural, so it loses points for that.
So the "Play Like a Champion" sign the players touch as they leave the locker room remains Notre Dame's best tradition.
The Script Ohio and the dotting of the "I" remain one of the iconic moments in college football.
Even as a child growing up in the South, I always found this to be one of the best traditions in the game.
The Ramblin' Wreck
Take a classic 1930s Ford Model A and have your cheerleaders hang onto the side as they enter the stadium.
Sounds like a winner, right?
Well, it just doesn't say college football to me, and I'm just not sure why it does to the folks at Georgia Tech.
The Sooner Schooner
A covered wagon...now that's a tradition I can get on board with.
Riding out onto the field after a touchdown and the fans singing "Boomer Sooner" is one of the most under-rated traditions going.
There was a time when Texas A&M was an all-male school, but the students would invite female students to the football games.
As legend would have it, the Aggies were losing a game in 1907 and the invited guests were threatening to leave. The freshmen were ordered to entertain the women and the Yell Leaders were born.
It may have been cute in 1907, but in 2011 the tradition is strange.
The 12th Man
When your entire crowd believes it can make an impact on what happens on the field, well you have something extraordinary.
Texas A&M's fans will fit right into the SEC, and I'm sure visiting teams will enjoy the Aggies as well.
Just watch the video as the 12th Man shakes Kyle Field.