Top 10 Game Day Traditions in College Football

By Jaclyn Harris

July 10, 2014

Everyone knows how superstitious athletes are. From not washing your socks to wearing the same underwear every game day, we’ve all seen some wild superstitions pan out. However, we’re not here to share with you the secrets that go on inside the locker room to ensure a winning team. We’re here to take a look at the best traditions celebrated by both the players and fans alike!

To say that the sport of football holds many a tradition is an understatement, and looking at these traditions on the collegiate level didn’t make narrowing down our list any easier. But we did it. We managed to narrow down our list of favorite college football game day traditions to a top 10!

So without further ado, take a look at the top 10 game day traditions in college football, and be sure to share some of your favorites with us in the comments below!

10. Hawaii: The Haka

There’s not really too much to say about this college football tradition, but that’s exactly why it makes our list. The Haka was a traditional Hawaiian dance and the players of Hawaii perform it before each game. Just saying, if we had to go up against these boys, we’d be scared.

9. Oklahoma: The Sooner Schooner

The schooner, a replica of the Conestoga wagon used by the settlers of the Oklahoma Territory, is the official mascot of Oklahoma. The two ponies, Boomer and Sooner, pull the wagon across the field before the game and after each score.

8. Notre Dame: Play Like a Champion

Lou Holtz brought this tradition to Notre Dame in 1986, and each coach and player hits the sign in their unique way before leaving the locker room. It’s a way to remind themselves of the traditions of their school and the magnitude of the program they are a part of.

7. Florida State: Chief Osceola

FSU falls at number seven on our list with Chief Osceola and his horse Renegade! Before the game this historical Seminole leader rides out on his spotted horse jabbing a flaming torch into the center of the field. There’s not much that can pump up a crowd of students more than that!

6. Colorado: Ralphie’s Run

Colorado might just have the wildest tradition in college football. Before each game it is the task of five Colorado student-athletes to run Ralphie the buffalo across the football field. And while they make it look surprisingly simple, this tradition could just be harder than the game of football itself.

5. Auburn: War Eagle

With history rooted in the Civil War, the war eagle is said to have been rescued by a lone-surviving Confederate soldier from Alabama. His master brought him to each Alabama game and one day, the bird broke free circling the field exciting fans. Ever since, the beautiful eagle flies over the crowd before the game.

4. Clemson: Howard’s Rock

Clemsonites hold a deep tradition of honoring their lucky Howard’s Rock by loading the busses from the locker room and running down the hill into Death Valley to touch the rock before entering the stadium. This is one that definitely stays with the team.

3. Wisconsin: Jump Around

Sure, we’ve all heard the iconic song “Jump Around.” It’s played at countless sporting events across the country! But have you ever heard the song played with over 80,000 screaming Badgers fans jumping around? Now you have:

2. Texas A&M: The 12th Man

Although the 12th man is recognized lately by Super Bowl XLVIII Champions, the Seattle Seahawks, the tradition dates back to Texas A&M in 1922! These fans are notorious for backing their team no matter what, boasting a crazy amount of momentum and energy.

1. Ohio State: The Script

It’s a pretty cool sight watching a marching band align to create lettering as it is, but put the letters into script and it’s a whole new ball game. Ohio State has mastered the script beautifully and writes ‘Ohio’ on the field before each game, with the dotting of the ‘i’ being a time-honored tradition. Well-known alumni, celebrities or the senior-most band members are only allowed to dot the ‘i.’

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