As part of the pageantry of college football, many teams have developed a wide variety of traditions over the years related to taking the field. For these schools, it's much more than running out of a tunnel to start a game, with many traditions steeped in school history.
Scanning the country, here's a take at ranking the top team entrances in college football:
23. (tie) Air Force, Army, Navy: It's always a special scene at the academies.
22. N.C. State's "Fury": A relatively new addition dating to 2008, the Wolfpack now emerge from the tunnel and run past a fierce-looking 400-pound wolf statue.
21. West Virginia's "Country Roads": It's known to be a pretty rowdy scene in Morgantown, from the pregame singing of John Denver's "Country Roads" to the coonskin-capped Mountaineer firing his musket as the team enters.
20. Notre Dame's "Play Like a Champion Today": The Fighting Irish slap a sign with this slogan on their way into the tunnel. Its origins are unknown, and fans don't get to see it happen, but Notre Dame's history earns it a place on this list.
19. Hawaii's "Haka": The pregame war dance by the Warriors is unforgettable but has also caused some controversy. Regardless, visiting teams are likely too happy to be in Hawaii to be overly intimidated.
18. Iowa's "Swarm": Rather than run onto the field, the Hawkeyes grasp hands and emerge slowly from the tunnel in an impressive display of team unity.
17. Virginia Tech's "Enter Sandman": There's nothing historic or particularly interesting about it, but Hokies fans deserve credit for being loud and jumping high to the Metallica song.
16. Oregon's "Duck": It can be a quirky state, and somehow this tradition captures it -- Donald Duck riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle to lead the team on to the field.
15. Texas Tech's "Masked Rider": A longtime Red Raiders tradition that has its roots in the 1930s, a caped rider bursts onto the field on a black horse.
14. South Carolina's "2001": Credit the choice of music for this stirring entrance. For decades, the Gamecocks have run on to the field as the music from "2001: A Space Odyssey" works the crowd into a lather.
13. Virginia's "Cavalier": While plenty of schools now have entrance videos, U.Va. stands out with "The Adventures of Cavman" -- an animated video featuring the Cavalier taking on the opposing team's mascot. As the video ends, the "real-life" Cavalier charges out of the tunnel on his horse, Sabre.
12. USC's "Trojan": It's not necessarily aligned with the team's entrance, but the pregame scene is spectacular -- a sword-wielding Trojan on his horse sprinting around the field, as the Spirit of Troy marching band belts out "Conquest."
11. Ohio State's "'i'-Dot": In 1937, the band director asked a sousaphone player to be the "dot" on the "i" of a formation that spelled out "Ohio" in script. That was the genesis of one of the oldest pregame traditions in college football, and today it's considered a privilege to dot the "i" and take a bow with the sousaphone.
10. Oklahoma's "Sooner Schooner": The speeding covered wagon pulled by a pair of ponies is a nice nod to the state's history and its early pioneers.
9. Georgia Tech's "Ramblin' Wreck": A restored 1930 Ford Sport Coupe has led the Yellow Jackets onto the field at every home game for more than 50 years. The tradition harkens back to the 1920s, inspired by a dean's aging car.
8. Nebraska's "Tunnel Walk": It's only a tradition since 1994, but it works -- cameras follow the Huskers on their way out of the locker room and on a long, winding path through the tunnel, building anticipation until they burst through doors guarded by the Nebraska National Guard.
7. Michigan's "Go Blue": Nothing fancy here, but in a tradition dating back to 1962, the Wolverines emerge from their tunnel and run under a 30-foot long banner reading "Go Blue". Tthe players jumping to touch the banner has become an iconic scene in college football.
6. Miami's "Smoke": The Hurricanes deserve a high spot on this list for their historic contribution. It's now commonplace for teams to enter through clouds of smoke, but Miami is credited with introducing the idea back in the 1950s using rigged fire extinguishers.
5. Tennessee's "T": Since the 1960s, the Volunteers charge onto the field through a giant "T" formed by the marching band. Throw in "Rocky Top" and Smokey the coon hound, and this is a classic.
4. Auburn's "War Eagle": The Tigers rally to the battle cry, "War Eagle" -- and nobody knows exactly why. But it's led to one of the more inspiring pregame traditions in sports, as an eagle majestically circles inside the stadium, soaring just above the frenzied fans before landing at midfield.
3. Florida State's "Chief Osceola": It's a stunning scene, and it has the approval of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Since 1978, a student portraying Chief Osceola rides in on his horse, Renegade, and plants a flaming spear in the middle of the field.
2. Colorado's "Ralphie": This is tough to beat. A massive, charging, half-ton buffalo -- barely controlled by five student handlers -- barrels out of the tunnel and leads the team onto the field. Enough said.
1. Clemson's "25 Seconds": There's nothing elaborate here, but it has all the elements of a great entrance. Anticipation builds as the Tigers mass in a tunnel at the top of a hill above one of the endzones. When finally given the go-ahead, the players each touch Howard's Rock -- symbolic of giving maximum effort -- then sprint down the hill to the field flanked by crazed fans, while the marching band blasts "Tiger Rag." It's referred to as "The Most Exciting 25 Seconds in College Football," and it might just deserve that description.
KW Rosenfeld is a graduate of the University of Virginia and a lifelong college football fan. As a student he covered U.Va. sports for a Charlottesville radio station, highlighted by the football team's run in 1990 as the #1-ranked team in the nation.
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