College Football Rankings: Toomer's Corner and the 20 Best Postgame Traditions

Tom Kinslow@@TomKinslowFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2011

College Football Rankings: Toomer's Corner and the 20 Best Postgame Traditions

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    College football rankings are usually about who the best team is. However, we're putting a spin on it and talking about postgame traditions.

    With Toomer's Corner in the news because of the poisoning of the trees, we decided to go through and name the 20 best postgame traditions in all of college football. If you have any thoughts or comments, make sure to leave them below.

    Which is your favorite postgame tradition?

No. 20: Singing the Alma Mater (Mulitple Schools)

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    Singing the alma mater after a game is a tradition that plenty of schools have picked up.

    The team will walk over to the student section and everyone will join in singing the song together before departing the stadium. The moment is one of unity between the team and the school and something that has picked up across the country.

    There's nothing quite like those moments in a great college football setting.

No. 19: The Victory Bell (Mulitple Schools)

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    The Victory Bell is another tradition that has found its way to multiple schools.

    Penn State and Ohio State are just a couple of the schools that have the tradition of ringing the bell after victories. As the fans file out of the stadium and that bell rings throughout the area, nothing beats that sense of satisfaction.

    The fact that it's so common is what kept this tradition from being higher on the list.

No. 18: Postgame March with Fans (Arizona)

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    TUCSON, AZ - DECEMBER 02:  Wide receiver David Douglas #85 of the Arizona Wildcats scores a touchdown reception against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the college football game at Arizona Stadium on December 2, 2010 in Tucson, Arizona.   The Sun Devi
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    After every game at the University of Arizona, the marching band and the fans will march to the administration building.

    Once there, the band will put on a concert for the fans there and at the end, the bell in the student clock tower, one of the bells from the U.S.S. Arizona, will ring, and the band will respond with "bear down," the university's motto.

    The West Coast isn't especially tradition-heavy, but there are some fun ones out there if you look hard enough.

No. 17: Fountain Hopping (Stanford)

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    Fountain hopping isn't a strictly football-related activity, but it's fun enough to make this list.

    At Stanford, there are over a dozen fountains on campus and after big wins, the students can run from fountain to fountain, splashing in the water and taking in the moment after beating another team in their home stadium.

    If it were based solely around the football team, it would be higher, but since it's not, it stays lower on this list.

No. 16: Lighting of the Cathedral of Learning (Pittsburgh)

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    After victories at the University of Pittsburgh, things change around the Cathedral of Learning.

    The building is normally lit up in white lights, but after the Panthers get a victory, the lights turn to gold and the whole building shines to represent the big win. It's a nice tradition, even if Dave Wannestedt didn't light it up gold as much as people thought he would.

    Hopefully things can change soon for the Panthers and that tower can glow the way it used to.

No. 15: Laking the Posts (Northwestern)

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    EVANSTON, IL - OCTOBER 23: Dan Persa #7 of the Northwestern Wildcats looks for a receiver against the Michigan State Spartans at Ryan Field on October 23, 2010 in Evanston, Illinois. Michigan State defeated Northwestern 35-27. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Ge
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Northwestern's fans used to do some heavy lifting after victories.

    Sure, those victories were few and far between, but when they did, the fans snapped the goal posts down, carried them out of the stadium and down the street, and then tossed them into Lake Michigan. It wasn't easy work, but it sure beat watching the football team.

    The tradition no longer exists, but it was a rather humorous one.

No. 14: The Victory Lap (Louisville)

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    No one really associates Louisville with tradition, but the Cardinals are part of the college football fabric with the Victory Lap.

    After each win, the football team will march around the stadium, giving fans high fives and celebrating a hard-fought victory. It only started in 1990, but it is something that has caught on and been a part of the culture for the Cardinals.

    It's good to see teams that aren't traditional powers have their own traditions that stick and form a bond with the fans.

No. 13: The Purple Clock (Northwestern)

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    Northwestern is back with a tradition that has stuck to this day.

    Depending on the result of the game, the clock tower on campus will either be lit up purple for a victory or white if the Wildcats lost that weekend. Northwestern might not be the biggest Big Ten power, but it manages to have a solid football base.

    You always want to see that from some of the forgotten schools in the power conferences.

No. 12: The Steam Whistle (Georgia Tech)

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    After every victory by Georgia Tech, one sound will resonate across campus.

    The Steam Whistle, which is a huge, industrial whistle that sits on campus, will sound after every win the Yellow Jackets secure in the football season. It is the same whistle that used to signify the change of classes during the early days at Georgia Tech.

    The whistle is also blown after every touchdown, which takes away some points in terms of tradition.

No. 11: Lighting the Tower (Texas)

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    Texas is one of the most tradition-rich schools in all of college football, so you know the Longhorns had to have something for after a win.

    After a win, the Main Building, also known as the Tower, will be lit up in white with an orange cap. However, after national championship wins, the Tower will be lit up in all orange, with there being a distinct No. 1 lit up in the windows.

    Hopefully Mack Brown can put more orange caps on the Tower than he did last year.

No. 10: The Graveyard (Clemson)

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    This is just like the next tradition on our list, except with a small twist on it.

    Clemson has the Graveyard, which is a collection of monuments from wins against ranked opponents. As you can see, the tombstones are different colors for home and road wins. These tombstones stand near Clemson's practice field.

    It's certainly something that's very imposing and a great rallying point for the fans.

No. 9: The Sod Cemetery (Florida State)

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    This doesn't happen after every game, but it's certainly an awesome tradition.

    Florida State has the Sod Cemetery. What this is is a collection of grass from wins over the University of Florida and other road games where the Seminoles were the underdog. Bowl games also count, along with other big road wins, regardless of the favorite.

    Even if you hate Florida State, you have to admit, that's a great tradition.

No. 8: Cheering for Your Opponents (Nebraska)

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    At the end of Nebraska home games, regardless if the Cornhuskers win or lose, the fans do something most don't.

    They cheer for the opposing team. Not many fans have the dignity and humility to cheer for their opponents, and it's refreshing to see that there is still some sportsmanship left in sports and that fans can truly show that they love the game.

    You have to love this tradition, even if you dislike Nebraska.

No. 7: Ringing the Chapel Bell (Georgia)

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    After Georgia's football victories, one sound will resonate across the campus for hours on end.

    That is the sound of the chapel bell ringing until midnight after the Bulldogs get a home football victory. Originally, freshmen had to do the deed, but since then fans, students and alumni have taken over the responsibility of making it happen.

    You have to love everyone chipping in to keep tradition alive.

No. 6: Harpo's and the Goal Posts (Missouri)

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    At Missouri, when the fans took the goal posts down, they had one destination in mind.

    Tigers fans would take the goal posts to Harpo's Bar and Grill. Eventually, the school decided to try and stop the practice. However, last year, the fans were able to get to the goal posts before they could be taken down.

    Naturally, they found themselves at Harpo's.

No. 5: Saluting the Crowd (Notre Dame)

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    EL PASO, TX - DECEMBER 30:  Wide receiver Michael Floyd #3 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish runs the ball past Jared Campbell #37 and Sean Spence #31 of the Miami Hurricanes at Sun Bowl on December 30, 2010 in El Paso, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Ge
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Notre Dame has some of the most dedicated fans in college football.

    To honor those fans, at the end of games, the team will turn to face the student section in the crowd and salute them by holding their helmets in the air. The Fighting Irish have a lot of traditions, but this is one of the best the team has.

    If you go to Notre Dame, getting that salute is one of the better moments you can have in the stadium.

No. 4: The Fifth Quarter (Wisconsin)

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    Once Wisconsin's home games are over, the show isn't.

    Fans will stay afterward for what they call the Fifth Quarter. What it consists of is the marching band's extended performance after the game. The Big Ten is full of tradition and this is one of the best in the entire conference.

    At a lot of schools, most of the stadium files out while the band performs. It's good to see a school appreciate the band.

No. 3: Rammer Jammer (Alabama)

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    If you're losing to the University of Alabama, you're going to hear about it.

    The fans will do the Rammer Jammer chant and will let you know what the Crimson Tide just did to you on the football field, telling the opposition that they have had the hell beaten out of them by Alabama over the last four quarters.

    There's something to be said for honesty.

No. 2: Take Me Home, Country Roads (West Virginia)

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    LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 20:  Geno Smith#12 of the West Virginia Mountaineers runs with the ball during the Big East Conference game against the Louisville Cardinals at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on November 20, 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    After West Virginia football games, there's one song that can send crowd home happy.

    When the crowd begins to sing Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver, it's one of the most moving experiences a college football fan can experience. It has become one of the top traditions in all of college football and something you need to see in person.

    The Mountaineers will always be tied to that song, and it's one of the things that makes college football great.

No. 1: Toomer's Corner (Auburn)

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    This had to be the top spot on the countdown after what has happened recently.

    We saw how Auburn and even members of the Alabama community reacted when the news broke that the historic trees at Toomer's Corner might be lost. Those trees, which serve as a rallying point for Auburn fans after wins, are iconic in the college football landscape.

    Hopefully the trees can make it, but it doesn't look good.