By Micah Henson
The college football season is in full swing. This past Labor Day weekend, we saw upsets, blowouts, and the return of the best thing in football, the traditions. While there is so many great traditions to talk about, I will be counting down my top five favorite college football traditions as well why they are ranked the way they are.
5. "Take Me Home, Country Roads” - University of West Virginia
A John Denver song turned pregame anthem at West Virginia Home games. “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver is a classic to begin with. Now, throw in a crowd of 50,000 sport-loving fans. The atmosphere is immaculate. It deserves to be top 5 of best college football traditions.
4. “The Wave” - University of Iowa
Although it has only been an Iowa Football for 4 years now, “The Wave” has quickly become the most wholesome tradition in College Football. In 2017, at the end of the first quarter in a game against Wyoming, fans turned towards the Children’s hospital and waved at the kids receiving treatment. I could give you so much more of a description, but nothing explains it more than seeing it yourself (or at least in this YouTube video).
3. Army-Navy March On
This one has a history to it. I would say it could be number one on my list, but it only happens once a year. If you haven’t seen it, it’s exactly what you think. However, here’s a video to better visualize what it is.
2. “Hook em’ Horns” - Texas University
This one is ranked at 2 basely off that it is such a big thing in the SEC and in college football. Also, It has been turned into an emoji in the IOS system (“🤘”) (also placed in because it means “rock on”, but it was said that horns up was a part of it). Not only is it a huge part at Texas, but it also has created drama in rivalries (mostly Oklahoma). It is so bad that the school that does “horns down” will receive a penalty for taunting, and in some cases, a fine.
1. “The Most Exciting 25 seconds in College Football” – Clemson University
Why do I like this one so much? Why is it ranked as my favorite? Well, it checks all the boxes. It has the atmosphere. It has the electricity. But most importantly, it has the history. You can see for yourself how crazy it is in this video, but this does not capture everything behind the story behind Howard’s rock.
So, Samuel C. Jones, a friend of then Clemson coach, Frank Howard, was driving through Death Valley, California when he stumbled upon this rock. He picked up the rock and decided to give it to Coach Howard. Howard, though I assume that he liked the gesture, used it as a simple doorstop for a little while. In 1966, while cleaning out his office, decided to move the rock out of his office. He told a Clemson Booster, Gene Willimon to "Take this rock and throw it over the fence or out in the ditch...Do something with it, but get it out of my office.” Willimon took the rock and placed it on a pedestal in the east end of the stadium, where it stays today. It is now there as the centerpiece of “The most exciting 25 seconds in College Football”.
As we go throughout the 2021 season, I look forward to all the great traditions as we continue to see competitive football. And Hey, maybe we’ll see a new awesome tradition!