10 great college football traditions

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor
Brett Deering/Getty Images

The Sooner Schooner takes to the field after Oklahoma scored a touchdown against the Baylor Bears, Sept. 29, 2018, at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma.

Whether it's rubbing rocks or ringing cowbells, these are just some of the great traditions in college football.

Chief Osceola and Renegade, Florida State Seminoles

Jeff Romance

The tradition of Chief Osceola planting a burning spear at midfield while riding his Appaloosa horse, Renegade, before every Florida State home game began in 1978. Conceived by Florida State alumnus Bill Durham, the pregame ritual of Osceola and Renegade is a reason for fans to get to their seats before kickoff. The tradition is so revered that the school fought the NCAA in 2005 after it added Florida State to a list of colleges whose sports teams used "hostile or abusive" Native American names and mascots.

Howard's Rock, Clemson Tigers

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Arguably one of the most iconic scenes in all of college football, Clemson players rub "Howard's Rock" for good luck before they race down the hill and onto the field at Memorial Stadium before every home game.

Cowbells, Mississippi State Bulldogs

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

The ringing of the cowbells has become such a nuisance for visitors to Davis Wade Stadium that the Southeastern Conference banned artificial noisemakers until 2010, but it didn't deter Mississippi State fans from helping the Bulldogs with their greatest home-field advantage.

"Jump Around," Wisconsin Badgers

AP Photo/Andy Manis

Wisconsin players and fans have been bouncing up and down at Camp Randall Stadium since 1998, when the tradition of playing House of Pain's anthem "Jump Around" between the third and fourth quarter of every home game was born.

"Enter Sandman," Virginia Tech Hokies

Courtesy of Virginia Tech Athletics

Perhaps one of the greatest college football entrances can be seen at every Virginia Tech home game. The Hokies have been running out of the tunnel to "Enter Sandman" by heavy metal band Metallica since 2000. As the music begins, the Marching Virginians lead the stadium in jumping in place, which has become known as the "Blacksburg Bounce." Then it's "off to Never-Neverland" for Virginia Tech's opponents.

Hog Call, Arkansas Razorbacks

Courtesy of Arkansas Athletics

"Wooo Pig Sooie" is unmistakably Arkansas. There is an art to calling the hogs, so much so that it requires an illustration and step-by-step guide on the University of Arkansas website. The tradition dates to the 1920s, when some farmers started squealing like hogs to offer encouragement to a struggling Razorbacks team. It worked, and the tradition was born. The hog call became a registered trademark in 2014.

"12th Man," Texas A&M Aggies

AP Photo/Sam Craft

The student body at Texas A&M represents the "12th Man," so the students stand during the entire game to show their support. Additionally, whenever the Aggies score, students kiss their dates. The NFL's Seattle Seahawks pay the school an $18,000 annual royalty for using the "12th Man" trademark.

"Take Me Home, Country Roads," West Virginia Mountaineers

Dale Sparks

"Take Me Home, Country Roads" has been performed before every West Virginia home football game since 1972. The late John Denver christened the opening of Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium in 1980 by performing his hit song there. West Virginia players and fans sing it together after every win.

"Play Like A Champion Today," Notre Dame Fighting Irish 

AP Photo/Joe Raymond

The slogan "Play Like a Champion Today" is hand-painted in blue letters on a sign located in a stairwell between the home team locker room and the tunnel to the field of Notre Dame Stadium. It is a tradition for Notre Dame players to touch it on their way out of the locker room.

Sooner Schooner, Oklahoma Sooners

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Pulled by two white ponies named Boomer and Sooner, the Sooner Schooner became the official mascot at Oklahoma in 1980. The Sooners received a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct after the wagon wheels of the Sooner Schooner became stuck on the field in front of the opposing team's bench during a re-kick attempt in the 1985 Orange Bowl.

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