Top 25 Traditions in College Football: Standing the Test of Time

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Forget for a second that some of college football's leaders seem intent on sacrificing tradition in the name of profits.

No matter how many traditional matchups are forsaken in the name of conference realignment, the following top 25 traditions in college football have stood the test of time and are not going anywhere soon.

25. World's Largest Drum: Purdue

Standing more than 10 feet high, the drum was built in 1921 for the Purdue marching band. At games, members of the Purdue band ride the drum around the field striking a beat for the band.

24. "Jump Around": Wisconsin

Between the 3rd and 4th quarters at home games at Camp Randall Stadium, the Wisconsin student section goes nuts to '90s rap song "Jump Around" by House of Pain. It is an impressive sight but doesn't have the history to move higher on this list.

23. The Ramblin' Wreck: Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech's fight song has long been titled "Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech." In 1961, a 1930 Ford Model A was donated to the school to be the true Ramblin' Wreck, and has since been driven out on the field to lead the football team.

22. Pink Locker Room: Iowa

In the late 1970s, former Iowa coach Hayden Fry had the entire visitor's locker room painted pink at Iowa's Kinnick Stadium to weaken opponents before games. Considering that the Hawkeyes went 6-1 at home last season, it looks like Fry was on to something.

21. Ugly Uniforms: Oregon

One of the most-recent "traditions" in college football is for Nike to make special uniforms for the Oregon Ducks every time the team finds itself in a big game. While the uniforms are often panned, it goes without saying that Oregon's choice of dress almost always makes a splash in the media.

20. The #44: Syracuse

Likely no single number means more to a football program or university than the number 44 does to the Syracuse Orange. Finally retired in 2005, the jersey was donned by all-time great running backs Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, and Floyd Little. The number means so much to the school, the University's zip code was changed from 13210 to 13244 in its honor.

19. Hog Call: Arkansas

Although it is somewhat common to hear fan chants at football games in which the entire stadium breaks out into a back and forth yell, the Arkansas "woo pig sooie" is undoubtedly unlike any other.

18. Stanford Axe: Stanford and Cal

While the first thought that may come to mind with respect to Stanford and Cal may be of a band on the field, the story of the Stanford Axe contains far more tradition. Including numerous thefts and heists, and dating back to the late 1800s, the Axe is now played for on the field during the yearly Stanford-Cal game.

17. Uga: Georgia

Although occasionally the subject of controversy, the various incarnations of Uga have been appearing at Georgia home football games since 1956, perched in a dog house next to the field. While Uga may not have the same natural energy as some of the other live animal mascots on this list, he does provide support that no suggested robot replacement ever could.

16. Gator Chomp: Florida

The only tradition on the list to be endorsed by Tim Tebow, the Gator Chomp is the hand motion of choice for Gator fans attending games at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

15. The Blackshirts: Nebraska

In the mid-1960s, Nebraska coach Bob DeVaney decided that his team would begin using different offensive and defensive units of players, which had previously been illegal. Upon doing so, apparently-frugal assistant coach Mike Corgan was assigned to pick up practice jerseys for the new defensive unit. Because of their discounted price, Corgan chose black jerseys, and the Blackshirts were born. The black jerseys would then be earned by the first team defensive unit and motivated the legendary Nebraska defenses over the years.

14. "Take Me Home, Country Roads": West Virginia

Although the school was docked points for ending one of college football's traditions in the Backyard Brawl with Pitt by leaving the Big East for the Big 12, the West Virginia practice of singing "Country Roads" by John Denver after games remains a great tradition.

13. Traveler: USC

Before home games at the Coliseum, the Trojans are led out onto the field by Tommy Trojan and the Traveler, which have led the charge since 1961.

12. Sooner Schooner: Oklahoma

This horse-pulled covered wagon has been appearing at OU football games since 1964 and makes a lap after the Sooners score. The Schooner gains extra points for being directly responsible for a ridiculous 15-yard penalty in the 1985 Orange Bowl after getting stuck in the mud in front of the Washington bench, leading the referees to call a taunting penalty.

11. The Grove: Ole Miss

When it comes to tradition, nothing has gone hand-in-hand with college football more than tailgaiting. Therefore, it's only natural that one of the most famous tailgaiting areas in the country has a feautred spot on this list. Even when the team is not great, the tailgaiting is, with food, fans, and the football team marching through the area on their way to the stadium on Saturdays.

10. The Stanford Band: Stanford

The Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band is unlike any other band in the country. Nothing has been off limits for the band in its quest to mock and infuriate every team that crosses the Cardinal's path. For example, the band has infamously mocked polygamy at BYU and making fun of the Irish potato famine at Notre Dame. Its efforts and antics have led to intense hatred in student sections all over the country.

9. Ralphie's Run: Colorado

At first glance, Ralphie's Run, where a live buffalo storms across the field before Colorado football games, would seem like one of the most dangerous traditions in college football. However, the half-ton Ralphies have been leading the team onto the field since the late 1960s.

8. War Eagle: Auburn

Speaking of live-animal traditions, the top live animal tradition is the Auburn War Eagle. As impressive as a giant buffalo is, the fact that the War Eagle circles above the crowd and swoops over them onto the field puts it over the top. In addition, the story behind the eagle is as good as it gets, as it is said to originate from a game in 1892 when a Civil War veteran was accompanied in the stands by an eagle that started soaring around the field and was taken an omen of the team's success.

7. Script "Ohio": Ohio State

Since 1932 the Ohio State marching band has aligned to form a script "Ohio" on the field. Capping off the pre-game tradition is the dotting of the "i," generally by the tuba player, but occasionally by celebrities and other meaningful honorees.

6. Chief Osceola: Florida State

One of the coolest visuals on the list is Chief Osceola and Renegade planting the spear at midfield prior to Seminoles home games. The mascot scores more points because of the outpouring of support from the Seminole Nations of Florida and Oklahoma in response to an initiative by the NCAA to ban stereotypical mascots.

5. Howard's Rock: Clemson

In what serves as one of the most intimidating and impressive entrances in all of college football, the Clemson Tigers famously touch Howard's Rock and then storm down a hill onto the playing field in Death Valley. The rock is named after former Clemson coach Frank Howard, who received it as a gift from a friend that found it in Death Valley, Calif. After the rock was placed on a pedestal, Howard famously told his players, "Give me 110 percent or keep your filthy hands off of my rock." Clemson players have been touching the rock ever since.

4. Hook 'em Horns: Texas

The most recognizable hand signal in college football, the hook 'em horns sign was introduced in 1955 as the "official hand sign" for the University of Texas at Austin. The position on this list is not as much about the creativity or greatness of the hand signal itself, but more about the passion of the Longhorns' fan base when it comes to the football team.

3. Rammer Jammer: Alabama

As with Hook 'em Horns, the Rammer Jammer song by itself is not entirely impressive. It becomes much more so when you factor in the history of Alabama football and the fact that Alabama fans have been mocking their defeated opponents with the song since the 1920s.

2. The Midnight Yell/12th Man: Texas A&M

Since the 1920s the crowd at Texas A&M home games has consider itself the 12th man on the team. In the 1980s, this was taken literally, as regular students tried out and made up the 12th Man Team to take the field to cover kickoffs. The 12th Man goes hand-in-hand with the Midnight Yell, where students show up at Kyle Field at midnight the night before a game and are led through various cheers and the fight song.

1. The Army-Navy Game

The only game in college football where the records of the teams do not take anything away from the meaning of the game. Being played over 110 times, the annual Army-Navy game stands in a league of its own when it comes to tradition as much for the impending sacrifice of the players off of the field as for the game played on the field.

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Del Pearson attended Michigan State University College of Law and has been a season ticket holder for MSU football since 2008. Follow Del on Twitter @DelPearson2.

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