Top 25 Best College Football Traditions | Ranking

While some college football traditions are decades old, others are only recently beginning. College football’s mystery and attraction are strongly ingrained in its traditions.

Whatever the case, it’s these bizarre and outrageous rituals and conventions that add to the spectacle of the game.

There is no better way to show the pride, passion, and pageantry that college football encompasses than bringing thousands of individuals from many backgrounds together in a time-honored act of harmony.

Most of these traditions pass from generation, each with a unique charm. This post will review everything you need to know about the best college football traditions. 

Also read: 20 Best Gift Ideas For Football Lovers

Football tradition improves college football and makes it more contemporary and effective. The game’s storied traditions are one highlight of the game. Below are some of the top college football traditions. 

#1. University of Iowa – Kinnick Wave

The Iowa Wave, also known as the Kinnick Wave by some, is one of the best college football traditions, despite being just four seasons old. Traditions like The Wave pull at your emotions as they put you at the forefront of how unifying football can be. Although it might not be one of college football’s oldest customs, it ranks among the best. 

 Every time the Iowa Hawkeyes play at home, the crowd turns to the Stead Family Children’s Hospital of the University of Iowa, which has a view of Kinnick Stadium, and waves at the sick kids there. This college football tradition has been on since 2025.

Also read: Iowa State University Scholarships 2025 | USA

#2. University of Auburn: Rolling Toomer’s Corner

The live oak trees near the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and College Street have been “rolled” by Auburn supporters for around 60 years to commemorate triumphs and significant football events. It is one of the best college football traditions.

According to legend, rolling Toomer’s Corner dates back to the days when Toomer’s Drugs operated the city’s sole telegraph. When the neighborhood pharmacy store’s staff learned that their home team had won a football game, they would toss the ticker tape from the telegraph onto the power wires. It’s unclear when the custom of tossing toilet paper and every stationary item on the corner—trees, electricity lines began.

Also read: Auburn University Scholarships 2025 | USA

#3. Texas A&M: The 12th Man

There is more to the 12th man phrase and Kyle Field crowd at Texas A&M. It all started with an incredible 22-14 victory by an injured A&M squad versus Centre College in 1922. E. King Gill was the lone player waiting on the sidelines, ready to step in if necessary. He became the first 12th man.

Over the years, it spread and is today symbolized by an “Aggie Yell Leader” leading the audience in shouts and chants. Although difficult to describe, it’s fun to experience. Imagine a crowd of around 103,000 people yelling and moving to the same rhythm simultaneously. It’s an electrifying experience, easily one of the top college football traditions. 

Also read: Texas A&M University Acceptance Rate | 2025

#4. Ohio State University: Dotting the “I”

John Brungart, a trumpet player, was the first Buckeye off the Ohio Pride to “dot the I “in 1936. But performing this role involved no more showmanship. It wasn’t until 1938, when Glen Johnson arrived over his scheduled time, that he made advantage of the extra precaution by turning and bowing to the audience. Dotting the I as Ohio State supporters now refers to it was thus born.

The role of “i-dotter” is for a fourth- or fifth-year sousaphone player, but certain previous instructors and notable figures have received the privilege. It is one of the best college football traditions.

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Also read: Study at Ohio State University: Admission, Courses, Tuition Fee, Ranking

#5. West Virginia University: West Virginia: “Country Roads”

Since 1972, every West Virginia home football pregame show has featured Take Me Home Country Roads, the school’s anthem, and a fan favorite. Every time the team wins at home, the song plays, and the crowd sings along.

John Denver played his popular song in front of a sold-out crowd of Mountaineer supporters in 1980 during pregame festivities.The West Virginia University Country Roads tradition is one of the top college football traditions. 

#6. Clemson University: Howard’s Rock

Some of the best college football traditions are deep in superstitions. For proof of such, go no further than Clemson’s tradition, notably the renowned “Howard’s Rock” in Memorial Stadium. The rock was first placed on the pedestal at the top of The Hill on September 24, 1966. 

 The team rubs it before each game, hoping to achieve the mystical powers it holds for success in their games. Despite being weird, it is one of the top college football traditions. 

Check out Clemson University Scholarships [Updated]

#7. Florida State University: Chief Osceola

 The Chief Osceola football tradition at Florida State University is one of the best college football traditions. Every time FSU plays at home, Chief Osceola mounts Renegade the horse and rides it across the field at Doak Campbell Stadium before hurling a flaming spear into the middle of the field.

 The ritual which was initially an homage to the Florida Osceola Tribe is being practiced today with their consent. Since its debut, Six different horses have had the honor of portraying Renegade. Since then, 16 other riders have ridden the dependable Appaloosa horse. Bobby Bowden, the head coach, started the custom in the 1960s, but it wasn’t a thing until the 1978 game against Oklahoma State.

Also read: 21 Cheapest Universities In Florida for International Students

#8. University Of Colorado: Ralphie’s Run

 Since the 1930s, Bison has made appearances at Colorado’s home football games, but Ralphie I was the university’s first permanent live bison mascot in 1966. Currently, Ralphie V leads the squad out of the tunnel for the Buffaloes, and she is a sight to behold. With her specially created banner that says “Go CU” on one side and “Beat [opponent]” on the other.

 Most Fans of Colorado college football games get to the games early to watch Ralphie’s Performance. It is one of the highlights of the game. Ralphie’s run is one of the top college football traditions.

Also read: Automatic Merit Scholarships at University of Colorado Denver in USA 2025

#9. Mississippi State: Cowbell

 Cowbell or Clanga Clanga is the wildly popular Mississippi college football tradition. With almost every supporter carrying a personalized bell, the cowbell is synonymous with Bulldogs games at Davis Wade Stadium. Since the 1930s, Mississippi State supporters have been ringing cowbells, and on game days, almost everyone in the stadium is carrying one. Since supporters cannot use noisemakers while the ball is in play, SEC had to lift the 1974 ban in 2010. The Mississippi Cowbell is one of the top college football traditions. 

#10. University of Oklahoma: Sooner Schooner

 The “Sooner Schooner” has been a fixture at Oklahoma football games since 1964, and in 1980 it became the school’s official mascot. Before games, the Sooners come out of the tunnel by Boomer and Sooner, two white horses who draw a facsimile of the Conestoga wagon used by pioneers in the Oklahoma Territory.

The college football tradition doesn’t have a limitation to the pre-game period like some other traditions. When Oklahoma University scores, the Schooner makes an appearance from the northeast end zone. This tradition has been practiced for a long time and is one of the best college football traditions. 

Also read: Study at University of Oklahoma: Admission, Courses, Tuition Fee, Ranking

#11. Georgia Tech: Ramblin’ Wreck

Georgia Tech’s Ramblin’ Wreck tradition aims to deviate from conventional football collegiate traditions. Most schools will use humans or animals, but the school tradition includes an automobile.

A 1930 Ford Model A Sport Coupe is a fixture at many Tech sports events and cruises onto the field in front of the Yellow Jackets football team before every Georgia Tech home game. It represents the whole student population of a renowned engineering school and has led the team onto the field since 1961.

Also read: Best Georgia Tech Graduate Programs In 2025 | Online & Offline

#12. University Of Tennessee: Vol Navy

Neyland Stadium is one of two college football stadiums that you can reach by boat. George Mooney, a former University of Tennessee announcer, has the credit for founding the flotilla of about 200 boats that float up or down the river and dock immediately outside the stadium on game days in Knoxville.

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The Vol Navy is one of the top college football traditions. It should be on everyone’s college football bucket list since it is such an interesting way to get to games and has a terrific party atmosphere.

Also read: The University of Tennessee-Knoxville | UTK Scholarships

#13. Virginia Tech: Enter Sandman

College football week brings back some of the best college football traditions in the sport. Nothing compares to the sights and sounds of the Virginia Tech squad entering Lane Stadium when Enter Sandman by Metallica is playing. 

It’s quite new compared to some of the college football traditions on here. The Hokies wanted to display their new scoreboard in 2000, so they composed fresh entrance music. Enter Sandman was the Hokies’ choice, and a tradition naturally began. But it’s much more than just a song.

Before waiting at the tunnel entrance, the Hokies squad walks from the building, through the practice field, and into a small, claustrophobic tunnel, touching the Hokie Stone.

Also read: Study At Virginia Tech: Admission Requirements, Ranking, Tuition Fee, Courses Offered

#14. Army-Navy: The March

We revive some of the best college football traditions throughout college football week. Nothing compares to the sights and sounds of the army-navy march. You can usually feel the excitement of the crowd when the soldier marches to the field with flags flying.

#15. University of Nebraska – Tunnel Walk

Since its inception in 1994, the Tunnel Walk has grown to be an essential component of game day at Memorial Stadium. It was a method for supporters to experience the thrill of their team leaving the locker room.

The Tunnel Walk Gates are in the stadium’s northwest corner for the players to exit the field. For each game, a group of carefully chosen service members opens the gates as members of the Nebraska National Defend service units guard them. It is one of the best college football traditions.

16. University Of Wisconsin: Jump Around

The 1990s hip-hop song ‘Jump Around’ plays over the Wisconsin stadium PA. The beginning of the third quarter of Wisconsin’s game against a Drew Brees-led Purdue squad in 1998 marked the beginning of the Wisconsin Jump Around tradition. When Wisconsin won 11-1 that year, the fans went completely crazy.

The whole audience stands up and jumps around at the start of the third quarter at Camp Randall and whenever the Badgers play in the Rose Bowl. It’s a simple and fun tradition for both the players and the crowd. Wisconsin’s Jump Around is one of the top college football traditions. 

Also read: University Of Wisconsin Acceptance Rate

#17. Harvard: Little red flag

 A quiet and unassuming tradition in college football is the Little Red Flag. The story deserves to be on our list because of how lovely it is. “The Little Red Flag” acts as a compass for the long history of college football in a scene that is continuously changing. Since its start in 1884, this ritual has remained essentially constant.

 The crowd waves this little red flag whenever Harvard scores during the game.This college football tradition is one of the oldest and one of the top college football traditions.

Also read: Princeton vs Harvard: Which School is easier to get Into in 2025

#18. Notre Dame: Touchdown Jesus

 At the Catholic institution of Notre Dame, religion permeates every aspect of life, including athletics. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that, for the past 50 years, a massive mural that towers over Notre Dame Stadium has served as a bridge between football and religion.

The mural painting is on the south side of a tower, close to the football stadium, and because it is 134 feet tall you can see it from the field. It gives the impression that it is monitoring the Fighting Irish on game days.

Even though the mural has nothing to do with sports, the legend of “Touchdown Jesus” began in the 1964 season, when Notre Dame opened the year 9-0. The upraised arms of Jesus made it look like the team was going to score a touchdown.

Also read: University of Notre Dame: Admission Requirements, Courses, Tuition Fee, Ranking

#19. University Of Alabama: Rammer Jammer.

The Rammer Jammer cheer is popular in Alabama. The lyrics are from The Rammer-Jammer, a 1920s student magazine, and The Yellowhammer. Until the early 2000s, the slogan “We’re going to beat the crap out of you!” was a pregame routine, but it was unsportsmanlike and outlawed.

 The cheer used to be before kickoff and after the game. The customary cheer, which is usually cheered twice, is currently for the final minutes when victory is inevitable. Despite being a little bit mean, this is one of the top college football traditions. 

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Also read: The University of Alabama – UA Competitive International Awards In USA, 2025

#20. Auburn University: War Eagle

The rallying cry of Auburn is War Eagle. Among Auburn students and alumni, the saying has a rich history and holds a significant place in their culture. The Civil War soldier who was a spectator is the subject of the most well-known folklore surrounding the college football tradition, which dates back to the first time Auburn and Georgia played football in 1892. The veteran soldier had an eagle with him that day in the stands.

Witnesses said that the eagle suddenly broke loose and started gracefully circling the playing area. As the eagle flew overhead, Auburn advanced steadily into Georgia’s goal zone for an exhilarating triumph. Thrilled by their team’s performance and perceiving the bird as a sign of good fortune, Auburn students and supporters started yelling “War Eagle” to encourage their squad. The eagle suddenly dove after the game, hit the ground, and passed away.

 However, the War Eagle rallying cry endured and came to represent the fierce Auburn spirit. Besides the original War Eagle, there have been seven more throughout Auburn’s history that have represented the Tiger spirit and preserved the storied war cry. Auburn’s war Eagle is one of the best college football traditions. 

#21. Boston College: Red Bandana

The Red Bandanna game has been a yearly ritual for the Boston College football team since 2014. It recognizes the courage and sacrifice of Welles Crowther, a former lacrosse player for Boston College, who generously devoted his life to saving the lives of many.

 Eyewitnesses at the scene only knew one thing about this enigmatic man who tirelessly and frequently help lead survivors to safety: he was wearing a red bandanna. When he got recognition, the bandanna rose to prominence as a mark of valor. The Eagles follow a tradition by incorporating its unique pattern into their clothing. 

Also read: Boston College Admission, Tuition, Ranking, And Scholarships

#22. University of Southern California – Traveller

The mascot of the University of Southern California is a horse named Traveler. Traveler is a regular at all of USC’s home football games played in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum besides countless other outdoor occasions. Traveler IX is the current horse. This is currently one of the top college football traditions. Traveler is a star at most college football events. 

Also read: University Of Southern California: Admission, Courses, Ranking, Tuition Fees

#23. Army-Navy Game

 A particular aspect of the Black Knights and Midshipmen’s annual gathering doesn’t have to be a tradition. The game itself is adequate. Since 1945, the rivalry has been nationally broadcast, and since 1890, there have been 117 matchups.

 Every aspect of the game is unique, and everyone who is a sports lover can testify to this. What could be better than the Army-Navy game if you love your nation and football? You never watch a game like this because of the records; you watch it because it’s Army-Navy. Although it is a game with a long history, there is more to the surrounding spectacle than just football.

 #24. University of Hawaii–The Haka.

The University of Hawaii Warriors football team’s performance of the Haka has become a tradition since their wildly successful 2006 season. Tala Esera, a former player for the school football team Kahuku “Red Raiders,” who had done the haka, gave the squad the introduction.

The usage of the haka outside of New Zealand is debatable since it’s disrespectful or culturally inappropriate. However, most American college football teams have adopted this tradition for their games.

Also read: Hawaii Pacific University: Tuition, Scholarships, and Costs Of Living 2025

#25. The University of Tennessee–Running through the T

It’s common knowledge that running through the T is one of the best college football traditions. Two of the most creative thinkers the University of Tennessee has ever had on campus gave birth to this wonderful tradition. And the atmosphere of anticipation permeates the autumn air each moment the Tennessee Volunteers break through the “T” formed by the Pride of the Southland Marching Band’s 300+ members.

Also read: 10 Best Tennessee Boarding Schools In The USA | 2025

Frequently Asked Questions

Which college has the best football tradition?

The University of Central Florida has the best college traditions.

Which College has the best facilities for college football?

Oregon ranks as one of the best colleges for football training.

What is the most popular college football tradition?

Dotting of the ‘I’ in Ohio and the Kinnick Wave are some of the most popular college football traditions.

Which college football team has the best history in games?

Ohio State Buckeyes has been playing since 1890, they are currently one of the best.

What college has the highest no of players in the NFL hall of fame?

Notre Dame has over 44 alumni in the NFL hall of fame, one of the highest in the country.

Conclusion

Did your favorite college football tradition make the cut? Each college football team has its distinctive tradition. They come stemming from different histories and beliefs. Some are truly exciting, superstitious, or fun. Even while certain college football traditions date back to the 1800s, it doesn’t mean they are any less significant.

References

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