5 great college football traditions

Florida State mascot Chief Osceola and his horse Renegade stand on the field before an NCAA...
Florida State mascot Chief Osceola and his horse Renegade stand on the field before an NCAA college football game against Mississippi in Orlando, Fla., Monday, Sept. 5, 2016. Florida State won 45-34. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) (AP)
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 4:00 PM EDT
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Whether it’s rubbing rocks or ringing cowbells, these are just some of the great traditions in college football.

Cowbells

New Mississippi State coach Mike Leach rings the symbolic cowbell at a news conference Friday,...
New Mississippi State coach Mike Leach rings the symbolic cowbell at a news conference Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, at the Starkville, Miss.-based university.(Rogelio V. Solis | AP)

The ringing of the cowbells has become such a nuisance for visitors to Davis Wade Stadium that the Southeastern Conference banned artificial noisemakers until 2010, but it didn’t deter Mississippi State fans from helping the Bulldogs with their greatest home-field advantage. Head coach Mike Leach encouraged fans to drown out Texas Tech’s bell during last year’s Liberty Bowl. The Bulldogs lost 34-7, but there was never any doubt for whom the bell tolls.

Howard's Rock

Clemson players touch Howard's Rock as they run onto the field for a game against Georgia Tech,...
Clemson players touch Howard's Rock as they run onto the field for a game against Georgia Tech, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Clemson, S.C.(John Bazemore | AP)

Arguably one of the most iconic scenes in all of college football, Clemson players rub Howard’s Rock for good luck before they race down the hill and onto the field at Memorial Stadium before every home game.

Jump Around

In this Oct. 25, 2008, file photo, Wisconsin fans dance to "Jump Around" during a game against...
In this Oct. 25, 2008, file photo, Wisconsin fans dance to "Jump Around" during a game against Illinois in Madison, Wis.(Andy Manis | ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Wisconsin players and fans have been bouncing up and down at Camp Randall Stadium since 1998, when the tradition of playing House of Pain’s anthem “Jump Around” between the third and fourth quarter of every home game was born.

Osceola and Renegade

Florida State's Osceola and his horse, Renegade, perform a pregame ritual before a rivalry game...
Florida State's Osceola and his horse, Renegade, perform a pregame ritual before a rivalry game against Florida in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014.(Phelan M. Ebenhack | AP)

The tradition of Osceola planting a burning spear at midfield while riding his Appaloosa horse, Renegade, before every Florida State home game began in 1978. Conceived by Florida State alumnus Bill Durham, the pregame ritual of Osceola and Renegade is a reason for fans to get to their seats before kickoff. The tradition is so revered that the school fought the NCAA in 2005 after it added Florida State to a list of colleges whose sports teams used “hostile or abusive” Native American names and mascots.

Sooner Schooner

Oklahoma's Sooner Schooner rides on the field after a touchdown against Iowa State, Saturday,...
Oklahoma's Sooner Schooner rides on the field after a touchdown against Iowa State, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Norman, Okla.(Alonzo Adams | AP)

Pulled by two white ponies named Boomer and Sooner, the Sooner Schooner became the official mascot at Oklahoma in 1980. The Sooners received a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct after the wagon wheels of the Sooner Schooner became stuck on the field in front of the opposing team’s bench during a re-kick attempt in the 1985 Orange Bowl.

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