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Bucket List: Five More College Football Traditions You Need To See

ByScotty Jenkins

Published on Sat Nov 05 2022


4 min read

Bucket List: Five More College Football Traditions You Need To See

Part two of some of the best division 1 college football game day traditions throughout the United States. These traditions have been started as early as the 1930s and as recent as 2017.

Athletes will attend universities around the nation, basing a large part of their decision on the atmosphere of game day, and the amazing tradition they will experience during some of the best four years of their entire lives.

Army - Navy Game

Known to be one of the most watched college football games each year, the Army-Navy game dates all of the way back to 1890, but was not nationally televised until 1945. Presidents of the United States have been known to put duties on hold to attend this game throughout the years. A unique and incredibly special part of this yearly game tradition, is after each game the Black Knights of the Army and the Midshipmen of the Navy gather together and sing one anothers alma mater to showcase how this is simply just a game, and nothing more.

However, the most special part of the Army-Navy game happens before the game even begins. Hours before kickoff, both teams take the field marching in unison. This is known as the “March On”. This unison march is something that cannot be replicated, and only performed by the athletes themselves who have come to know it like the back of their hands.

Ohio State → Dotting the “i”

Known to have one of, if not the best, marching band across all of collegiate football, Ohio State’s game day tradition began in 1936. The OSU marching band is known as "Pride of the Buckeyes”, but also more importantly, as "The Best Damn Band in the Land”. Before each game, the OSU marching band takes the field and spells out ‘Ohio’, with the highest of honors being the marching band sousaphone individual who gets to dot the “i”.

This tradition ranks as one of the most important because at one time throughout football history, spelling out ‘Ohio’ on the field was something never done before. However, now having the opportunity to dot the “i” is the equivalent to retiring a football jersey.

Dotting the “i” is not something that just happens, there is a process that must be followed. According to the OSU website, "The sousaphone player has to strut—with his knees held high—about 12 yards to reach the 'i,'" according to the site. "He bows to the away side of the stadium first, then does a military about-face to the home side and takes a big bow to the cheering crowd."

The Buckeye game day tradition of dotting the “i” has come to be known around the nation as the signature of college football.

Wisconsin → “Jump Around”

Similar to Hokie tradition, the Wisconsin Badgers have their own musical game day tradition. Voted the best college football game day tradition numerous times, including 2005 and 2012 by Sports Illustrated. This tradition dates all of the way back to October of 1998, and is now one of the most well known traditions all over college football.

The song “Jump Around” by House of Pain is played in between the third and fourth quarter at Camp Randall Stadium. The entire stadium participates, including the players of the Badger football team. Over the years it has been said that the administration fears the strength and power of jumping that many people will cause structural issues to the stadium, but that never stops the fans from jumping around after the third quarter.

Clemson → Howard’s Rock

Howard Rock was first placed at the top of the hill in September of 1966. The Clemson University players run down the hill into the stadium, each of them touching the rock on their way into the east end zone. Howard’s Rock is a large piece of quartz, and was originally used as a door step at the house of former coach Frank Howard until it was placed at the top of the hill in 1966.

Clemson Memorial Stadium, also commonly known as “Death Valley” is known each game day for being a roaring sea of orange and purple, getting absolutely delirious as the Clemson Tigers run into the stadium touching Howard’s Rock along the way. An interesting fact, for two and half seasons from 1970 to 1972, Clemson University changed up the tradition and ended up having losing seasons until they brought back the original tradition of touching Howard’s Rock at the top of the hill while sprinting down onto the field. As the saying goes, never mess with tradition!

Iowa → Kinnick Wave

This may be one of the newest traditions on the block for college football, but it has quickly become one of the most heartfelt traditions throughout college football. The Kinnick Wave started in 2017, right after the University of Iowa’s Children’s Hospital opened. What is known as the ‘Press Box’ on the top floor of the hospital directly overlooks the field at Kinnick stadium. The ‘Press Box’ was created as a place for patients and their families to come together on Saturdays to enjoy the game. From the ‘Press Box’, they have a nearly perfect view of Kinnick stadium where they are able to cheer for their beloved Hawkeye football team!

Now you may be asking, what is the tradition? After the first quarter at every Hawkeye home game, the entire stadium and Hawkeye football team turn toward the ‘Press Box’ and wave to the patients and their families watching the game. Also known as the Kinnick Wave. The football team also appoints a kid captain from the hospital for every home game who participates in game day activities. An added part to the tradition as of this past year, the chosen kid captain for each game will choose the song to be played during the Kinnick Wave.

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