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8/29/2007 12:44:00 PM
Top college football traditions
You can't fully appreciate Script Ohio until you see it in person.
Photo by AP
By Arash Markazi, SI.com
Mike Stoops has been involved in college football for over 25 years. He played in the Rose Bowl as an Iowa Hawkeye and coached in nearly every major bowl (Orange, Cotton, Rose and Sugar) as Oklahoma's defensive coordinator. Stoops is now in his fourth year as the head coach at Arizona and while he admits there are no traditions that stick out to him in Tucson just yet, here's his top five college football traditions.
1. The dotting of the "i" at Ohio State: Yeah, I'm from Ohio, but I didn't think it was that big of a deal until you see it and understand what it's about, so it's kind of unique.
2. The Texas-OU game at the Cotton Bowl: Now that's always unique. There was almost a fight before the game one year, so that was that. And then Roy Williams jumping up and hitting Chris Simms, and knocking the ball out and Teddy [Lehman] scoring.
3. The Florida-Georgia game: The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is always a great game. Jacksonville always gets crazy for that game.
4. Iowa vs. Minnesota for the Floyd of Rosedale: I played at Iowa, and this game is a big deal. Playing for that bronze pig was always a highlight.
5. The Death Valley at Clemson and rubbings the rock: I thought that's really unique, what they do down there, watching that. Those guys get really into that.
You are so right about script OHIO you just do not get a buckeyes game until you have been there and done it. I was 35 when I went to my first one and before I went I was a yeah I like the Buckeyes, I mean I am from ohio. But afterwards I am a fan!! O-H
The Army-Navy Game. Opponents on the football field, teammates on the battlefield. If you are not moved after watching the singing of their respective alma mater's and seeing all of that emotion, than you don't have a pulse.
The eagle flying down from the upper deck, circling the stadium, then landing at midfield at Auburn football games is absolutely one of the best traditions around. It brings chills to everyone (home and guest). Amazing beauty and grace that transcends a single event.
The most exciting 20 seconds in college football history-Rubbing the rock and running down the hill at Clemson! With the tiger roaring and the balloons released-the stadium in solid orange. It makes anyone a football fan.
The script UCLA done in the stands by the students with cards. (Don't know if they do it anymore, but it was pretty impressive when it was a tradition and they added animation to their signs.) Stanford added a trick to the card stunts because their stadium is oriented N-S. The Card raised reflectorized cards in the east stands and baked the visitors in the west stands with sunbeams.
The fact that any of the traditions from A&M are left off this list is a joke. A&M is the most tradition rich school in college football. The 12th man, the student body standing the entire game, kissing your date after an Aggie score, the bonfire, the yell leaders, the band with their block T, carrying the yell leaders and throwing them into a pond after a game, the cheers themselves, the Aggie War Hymn that litteraly makes the stadium sway (they'll warn you when you get into the press box for the first time), the Corps of Cadets, the Friday night yell practice, everything. Obviously the author of this article hasn't been to Kyle Field before. It's like creating a list of the best homefield advantages in the NFL and leaving off the Chiefs.
They still do it at UCLA. I'm a current student and besides the script UCLA there were a few others. One was the Bruin mascot, one was beat 'SC, when we beat 'SC. Then there was one with movement, but I forget what that was.
The fifth quarter in Madison. . .Jump Around is cool, but it's only been happening for 15 years. Fifth quarter goes way back. By the way, the rivalry for Paul Bunyan's axe which used to be the "slab of bacon" (Wisc vs. Minn.) matches the two div I college teams who have played each other more than any other. . . 116 games. First game 1890
A&M's 12th Man Kickoff team is not a tradition as it has changed. It used to be an all walk-on kick off team. That ended when Rodney Blackshear of Texas Tech became the first to ever runback a touchdown on the 12th Man. End of the season it changed to one person on the kick off team being a walk-on. Hard to be a tradition when it changes.
I have three: Army-Navy when the Brigade of Midshipmen and Corps of Cadets march onto the field and also when they sing each other's alma mater; the flaming spear and Chief Osceola at FSU. Nothing beats that!
I have three: Army-Navy when the Brigade of Midshipmen and Corps of Cadets march onto the field and also when they sing each other's alma mater; and the flaming spear and Chief Osceola at FSU. Nothing beats that!
I have three: Army-Navy when the Brigade of Midshipmen and Corps of Cadets march onto the field and when they sing each other's alma mater; and also the Flaming Spear and Chief Osceola at FSU. Nothing beats that!
It has to be Notre Dame players slapping the "Play Like a Champion Today," sign. What about the march into Notre Dame stadium with the country's oldest Marching Band? Or the singing of Notre Dame our Mother after each game? So much tradition and to not have one of these not in the top 5 is a tragedy!
I hate to burst your guys bubbles, but Miami University vs. Cincinnati for the Victory Bell takes the cake for the longest rivalry game, and the 5th most played of all time, dating back to 1888. Before Wisc/Minn, before OSU/Mich. Don't forget about the little guys, who play for the 120th year and 111th time this year.
"kind of unique" doesn't warrant being called the #1 College Football Tradition. Try harder next time. While it is used in other sports, a fly over from a set of F-16 United States fighter jets has to be up there. Gives me chills EVERY time.
Let's talk about the most OVERRATED football tradition, and that's Saturday Night in Death Valley. If LSU is truly as great as they say they are, they can win at any hour. LSU night games are 92,000 obese drunks (minus the visiting fans) who don't know how to act in public and worship a caged tiger.
The moment before the U of Florida Gators come out onto the field. The Jumbotrons show a video of alligators in a swamp with the JAWS theme in the background. And then, "Welcome to the Swamp, where only GATORS get out alive! HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE COME THE GATORS!!!!!!" I get chill bumps now just thinking about it. If you don't believe me go to YouTube and search "the swamp".
Va-Tech's "Hokie Pokey". 60,000 people putting their right hand in, taking their right hand out... So simple, yet so entertaining. Week in, week out, that little tune gets the crowd louder than it is at any other point in the day.
It's been said Madison knows how to party... take a look for yourself. Opposing players STARE at the student section in amazement while the Badger players get jacked up. Nothing like it. (please watch entire video to appreciate the student section)
Script OHIO was first performed by UM's marching band, but they did it in formation, instead of marching it out. The block M, on the other hand, was first performed by the "Pride of the Buckeyes". And those of you that don't like Stoops' opinion, too bad: He's "from O-HI-O ... O-H!"
You have to include the march of the brigade at any home Naval Academy game, not to mention the annual Navy vs Army game. The march on and the plebes doing pushups after every Navy score are a tradition that must be included.
Concur on Army-Navy as #1. But I would also put the most spine-tingling cheer in college fottball on the list: "Woooooo! Pig! Sooiieee!" Calling the Hogs at Razorback Stadium or War Memorial must be heard to be believed.
"It's been said Madison knows how to party... take a look for yourself. Opposing players STARE at the student section in amazement while the Badger players get jacked up. Nothing like it. (please watch entire video to appreciate the student section)"
Opposing players do state at the student section in amazement. They're amazed that (1)so many people can have so little rhythm, (2) a group of northwoods bumpkins is hopping about to a rap song and (3) so many people can have a family tree with so few branches
Lots of talk from the big schools, but they don't have a monopoly on tradition.
Wabash vs. Deepaw playing for the Monon Bell in the last game of the regular season. After 110+ years, Wabash is up in the all time series by a game or maybe two. You CANNOT find two schools that hate each other more, bar none. You just don't hear about it because the combined total student population is about 3,000.
Ruben got it right. There are many a great tradition in the other schools, but none of them come close to the richness of ones from Texas A&M. A football weekend at A&M is an experience for all the senses. Only the Army-Navy game, where the players have no expectations of professional football, but instead are preparing for the distinction of serving our great country, compares.
the greatest traditions in college football are not limited to big time Division I teams. Everyone in New York knows that the "Biggest Little Football game in the Country" belongs to the Cortaca Jug - the annual Ithaca - Cortland season finale, played every november since 1948. Then the seniors go on to graduate with a real education and get jobs without the help of powerful alumni.
with all due respect to better modern-day football teams, how can the Harvard-Yale game be forgotten? The Original "The Game" has been played 123 times starting in 1875. With all its tradition, pranks, and place in the history of football (the first game was played to a 4-0 Harvard win because scoring was merely based on the field goal made after the touchdown) it is truly a top college football tradition.
I have a few: 1) my heart swells with patriotic pride at the thought of the Army/Navy game. 2)Chief Osceola is not only incredibly impressive to watch, it ie REAL tradition: approved by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. 3)The Battle Hymn of The Republic at Sanford Stadium before all UGA football games. A trumpeter begins the song with a solo from the bottom row of the upper deck in the south stands and the rest of the band joins in as Larry Munson's gravelly voice fills the air.."Heroes have graced the field before you..." No better place to watch football than "Between the Hedges!" 4) The UT Navy is pretty neat, too.
The University of Florida used to have a tradition of the band coming out to (somberly) play Westminster Chimes and tolling the hour, followed immediately by the very upbeat playing of the school's fight song as the team ran out onto the field. Cried like a baby the first time I heard and saw that. It was like I had waited my entire life to hear those notes and the screaming of the crowd, and to see team run through the band's UF formation.
The West Virginia band forming the outline of their state of the field. Then once a whistle is blown they run like mad into new positions and recreate the outline of West Virginia facing the other set of bleachers. Get out a map this ain't Colorado.
"We are the Boys" and Mr. 2-Bits are amazing traditions. Even though I'm a Gator, I'll concede that the split "T" at Neyland is pertty cool. With all honesty, though, LSU's fan base needs to prove themselves. I've never seen a crowd so easily taken out of a game. And FSU just sucks in general.
There are far better traditions at Wisconsin than Jump Around. Before each game, the singing of Varsity. The REAL school song. Everyone in the stadium, one hand raised, waving back and forth in unison. 80,000+ people united and singing together. THAT shows what UW football is about. That and the 5th quarter. Jump Around is a silly thing. Fun, yes. Crazy, yes. Great, yes. But a great tradition? Not compared to Varsity.
If Michigan began playing App St on a yearly basis in the Big House then in just a few years I'd have to say that one of the greatest traditions would be seeing App St players celebrate in the Big House after each yearly victory! ...but since that can't happen I have to vote for Carr losing to Tressel. O-H...