5 best traditions of college football



Dancing Devil dance team member Lara Bamberger, right, cheers Duke on in an NCAA college football game against Northwestern in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

By Noah Silver, Sports Reporter

Nothing says College football like tradition. For more than 150 years, students have gathered in stadiums to sing, dance, yell and cheer as the rituals they love most take place every Saturday. The lists are always up to interpretation, but here’s my list of the top five traditions in college football.

5. War Eagle – Auburn University.

According to legend, the first War Eagle took place near the end of the Civil war when an eagle was rescued from a battlefield and was brought to a game. The eagle cemented its legacy when it broke free from its handler and flew around the stadium before crashing to the ground and dying. Now every home game consists of the War Eagle taking flight above the heads of the crowd invigorating them before the game begins.

4. “Enter Sandman” – Virginia Tech University

Before every game in Blacksburg, the Virginia Tech football team takes the field to the tune of “Enter Sandman” by Metallica as 65,000 screaming fans jump and cheer for their team. There is nothing more exciting than the anticipation of the Hokies hidden in their claustrophobic tunnel when you hear the opening guitar fill the stadium, followed by the deafening chants of “Let’s go Hokies”. Absolute chills!

3. The Wave – University of Iowa

A newer tradition, but a wholesome tradition. Since the start of the 2017 season, the conclusion of the first quarter at Kinnick Stadium has been followed by 70,000 football fans waving at the kids and families of the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital. For a moment, football goes out the window and fans and players are brought together as they wave at the children on the top floor holding up hawkeye posters while fighting their own battles. A tradition that conjures hundreds of goosebumps.

2. “Jump Around” – University of Wisconsin-Madison

There is nothing more recognizable than the first four notes of the hit House of Pain song, “Jump Around,” followed by a small earthquake at Camp Randall Stadium. “Jump Around” has been a staple of college football traditions since its inception in 1998 and is one of the most energizing and tiring two-minutes in sports. It’s one of the best calf workouts you’ll ever get. Just don’t hold your beer while you’re jumping.

1. Script O-H-I-O

One of the most famous traditions in college football belongs to The Ohio State University. Dating back to 1936, the OSU marching band begins by spelling out the word “Ohio” in cursive while playing “Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse.” Near the end of the routine, a senior sousaphone player makes his way towards the middle of the field where they dot the “i” and bow sincerely to the fans. Not a rowdy tradition, but a historic and loveable one nonetheless.