What is America's worst college football fight song?

Forty names, games, teams and minutiae making news in college football (Land of Enchantment voter registration rights sold separately to Liberty, which played at New Mexico last Saturday and at New Mexico State this Saturday — a short double-commute to and from Lynchburg, Virginia):

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Texas plays Oklahoma on Saturday, which means three things: Friday night in Dallas will be buck wild; Saturday at the Texas State Fair will be one of the best scenes in college football; and everyone will want to strangle the Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band (31) by the end of the day.

As the endless purveyors of “Boomer Sooner,” the band will drive everyone in the Cotton Bowl crazy. The tune itself isn’t too bad, just highly repetitive — and when you couple that repetition with the lyrics and the backstory, this is America’s worst fight song. Which is saying something.

The first two verses consist of a grand total of three words and some initials. The first verse:

Boomer Sooner, Boomer Sooner,
Boomer Sooner, Boomer Sooner,
Boomer Sooner, Boomer Sooner,
Boomer Sooner, O-K-U.

The second verse:

Oklahoma, Oklahoma,
Oklahoma, Oklahoma,
Oklahoma, Oklahoma,
Oklahoma, O-K-U.

Not exactly the lyrical work of Bob Dylan, Bruce, Bono or Biggie. To make matters worse, the 1905 tune is actually a ripoff of Yale’s “Boola Boola,” which became popular in 1900. And the third verse is a ripoff of North Carolina’s fight song:

I’m a Sooner born and a Sooner bred,
And when I die I’ll be a Sooner dead!
Rah Oklahoma, Rah Oklahoma,
Rah Oklahoma, O-K-U!

The Oklahoma marching band performs before the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game against Auburn in New Orleans, Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
The Oklahoma marching band performs before the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game against Auburn in New Orleans, Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

But to be fair, Oklahoma has plenty of company in the Awful Fight Song Dept. As simple as “Boomer Sooner” is, at least the words are a recognizable part of the language. Many other schools have songs that are a treasure trove of linguistic nonsense.

There’s this, from California (32):

Oski Wow-Wow!
Whiskey Wee-Wee!
Olee! Muckie-eye!
Olee! Berkeley-eye!
California! Wow!

Wow, indeed.

It turns out Illinois (33) has an “Oskee-wow-wow” of its own. Minnesota (34) has “Ski-U-Mah,” which some rugby players in the 1880s tried to sell as a Sioux phrase for victory (apparently it is not).

Mississippi (35) loves its “Hotty Toddy” cheer, which includes the following eloquence: Flim Flam, Bim Bam, Ole Miss by damn!

Texas A&M (36) has this gibberish in its Aggie War Hymn:

Hullabaloo, Caneck! Caneck!
Hullabaloo, Caneck! Caneck!


Amid all the century-old silliness, there was one popular song that was co-opted back in the day by several different schools to insult their rivals. It was morbid and mean and pretty funny. It went like this:

“Don’t send my boy to Harvard, –
The dying mother said,
“Don’t send my boy to Michigan,
I’d rather see him dead.”

“But send my boy to old IU,
Far better than Cornell,
But if you send him to Purdue.

All of this makes clear that Stanford (37) is where the smart kids are. At the Rose Bowl in 1972, the band left the ancient stuff behind and made Free’s “All Right Now” the de facto school fight song. It has been ever since, and it rocks.


In a tireless quest to leave the readership soupy and loopy on Saturdays, The Dash is suggesting weekly drinking games. Given the above, this is a natural if you tune in the Red River Shootout: chug every time the Oklahoma band plays “Boomer Sooner.” The Dash is not responsible for your physical state by halftime.


Mark Stoops (38), Kentucky. It’s all coming together in Year 6 for Stoops. Recruiting successes coupled with increased physical toughness and more playmakers have the Wildcats 5-0 for the first time since 2007, and 3-0 in the SEC for the first time since 1977. And if they win at Texas A&M on Saturday, they’ll be 6-0 for the first time since 1950, when Bear Bryant was the coach.


Pat Fitzgerald (39), Northwestern. He’s America’s worst second-half coach in 2018. His Wildcats have been outscored 59-13 after halftime this season, and have been shut out in three of their four games in the second half. The only game they scored in was against Akron — and that was while the Northwestern defense was giving up 36 second-half points to the Zips. Fitzgerald’s 1-3 team has blown double-digit halftime leads twice, and nearly a third time against Purdue. Time to reconsider the halftime adjustments, Fitz.


When hungry and thirsty in the great college town of Columbia, Missouri, The Dash demands that you visit local institution Shakespeare’s Pizza. Get a Panda’s Pepper pizza and match it with an Incarnation IPA (40) from 4 Hands Brewing Co. Thank The Dash later.

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