Not all football teams are created equal. Some just don’t have the recruiting talent (read: money) or stellar coaching and facilities (read: money) that others do. The same can be said for school fight songs. Some are a clarion cry that rings out to call upon victory for the home team. When you give up a big score, it’s there to steel the team’s nerves. When you’re the ones breaking into the end zone, it’s there to let the bad guys know whose dicks are in their mouths. Others are either blatant rip offs or downright stupid. Either way, your fight song is a crucial part of the gameday experience. This ranking determines which 20 songs shine (or suck) above the rest.
20. Penn State, “Fight on State”
Real fucking clever song name. Your mascot is a damn lion (or giant rat, can’t really tell) and the best you can do is “Fight on State?” Also, this song sounds like it belongs on an episode of The Flintstones. Weak show all around, no Chuck E. Cheese tokens for you.
19. Arizona State, “Sun Devils Fight”
Ok, at least you’re reminding people you have a mascot. Unfortunately, this song gets ruined by what has to be the least devilish assortment of woodwinds known to man. Swap the flutes for some Les Pauls and own your shit, ASU.
18. Florida State, “Florida State Fight Song”
And we’re back to the fucking woodwinds. Tell you what, ‘Noles — just swap this out for your War Chant and you’re a sure Top 5 contender. That thing makes me want to shit myself. This? It makes me want to go for a Sunday drive.
17. Baylor Bears, “Baylor Line Fight”
Shit, wrong video.
Eh, I preferred the first one honestly. RIP Jerry Orbach and RIP Baylor Football.
16. University of Texas, “Eyes of Texas/Texas Fight”
Oh, how cool. You took a kids song and made it even more unbearable. Those railroad workers have suffered enough; just let them die in peace.
15. Alabama, “Yea Alabama”
If this was just a minute and a half of some guy blasting a trumpet, it would be fine. After all, Alabamans spell “Elephant” T-I-D-E and “Yeah” without the “h.” Second, if you’re going to belt out a couple lyrics mid-fight song at least give them some oomph. Poor showing all around.
14. Wisconsin, “On, Wisconsin!”
More like “On a Diet of Cheese and Rose Bowl Losses” am I right, guys? Maybe UW-Madison was ranked Princeton Review’s number one party school because of the aural agony the fiftieth rendition of this song causes.
13. UCLA, “The Mighty Bruins”
If we’re being honest, this song bangs when it first gets going. Then, like so many kindergarten classrooms before it, people have to start clapping and spelling. Absolutely kills the tempo and the vibe. Maybe don’t have so many letters in an abbreviation and you won’t have to derail what has the potential to be an all-around riot maker.
12. Pittsburgh, “Pitt Victory Song”
Those cymbals are next level. It’s like a rock concert in the midst of a chaotic clash between Pittsburgh and the team they’re losing to. An accurate summation of the city of Pittsburgh with a final fanfare that goes for days. Sniffs the Top 10 but doesn’t quite make the cut.
11. Florida Gators, “The Orange and Blue”
While this is by no means a weak song, it simply doesn’t have as much oomph as an obvious choice for the Gators. While they sit in the stands, representing what they think is some variation of alligator, they more closely resemble iconic arcade hero Pac-Man. The “woop-woop-woop-woop” as ghosts end his gluttonous life would perfectly sum up Florida’s Muschamp era.
10. Virginia Tech, “Tech Triumph”
Does anyone else feel like running through a brick wall? Killer intro, but the addition of a few turkey calls would take this to the next level. Not sure what a Hokie is, but the music’s good.
9. Stanford, “All Right Now”
Stanford wised up and dropped their old fight song for the work of rock and roll geniuses Free. Throw in the train horn and you’re looking at some real big time musical magic. Tossing in that little snippet of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy is pretty sick too. If you’re working on starting a university, just take Stanford’s approach and mash up two wildly popular songs for your band. Game, set, match.
8. Louisiana State, “Hey Fightin’ Tigers”
At first, I thought I was listening to the intro to Monty Python’s Flying Circus, but it turns out this is the legitimate fight song for LSU. It turns into a seriously jazzy piece that pairs equally well with Baton Rouge football or chicks flashing titties. Smooth move, LSU.
7. Georgia, “Glory”
Making the Battle Hymn of the Republic into an upbeat piece that translates to football is pretty badass, and UGA does it perfectly. Swapping out the “Hallelujah” for “to Old Georgia” is a sneaky good way to stick it to the PC Police too. I bet there are students in Athens who bump this at parties, but nobody goes to their houses.
6. Michigan, “The Victors”
Oh look, a song that’s ripe with tradition and meaning to the deranged folks that still worship the Maize and Blue. In recent years, the Wolverines have been the ones hailing to the (last second) victors, so maybe it’s time to back off and reevaluate a little bit. Still, it’s damn catchy and a very important piece of football history.
5. Tennessee, “Rocky Top”
Finally, a fanbase that knows how to pull off a fucking song. You can’t just spell or say “Let’s go!” to get the motor running. You need to let out a good “Woo!” like Nature Boy Ric Flair or just pack your bags. This song has been remade by some of country’s finest with little problem, but UTK’s take on it still reigns supreme.
4. Southern California, “Tribute to Troy”
Possibly the most menacing song on this list. While most of the pieces here focus on feel-good things like “school pride” and “family fun,” the Trojans know that intimidation is a must for any real game. With the dude on the horse with a fucking sword thrown into play, I’m surprised that FCS opponents don’t just shit their pants and walk out of the stadium.
3. North Dakota State, “We Are the Pride”
Want to know how the Bison have won five straight titles? It’s not recruiting, or strength of competition, or even cheating — it’s this absolute banger. You could play this song for a Pop Warner outfit and they’d go out and hang four tuddies on the Patriots. It’s staccato as fuck, so don’t be surprised if you pee a little while it plays out. I know I did.
2. US Naval Academy, “Anchors Aweigh”
Soaked in professionalism, tradition, and a hint of “we’ll break you in half if you come across the middle,” Anchors Aweigh is one of the single most beautiful pieces of music ever composed. It reminds the men in pads what they’re really playing for, and it gives those associated with it a true sense of connection to the game. No jokes here, this song is just too damn good.
1. Notre Dame, “Notre Dame Victory March”
Oh, I’m sorry, does your fight song invoke God to call down actual weather anomalies to smite your opponents? Does it basically state that victory is a given? I didn’t think so, now sit down and shut up. In addition to being the fight song of 72% of high school teams (source not found), it also passes on iffy things like woodwinds for straight drums and horns. Jesus is watching the whole time too, and he looks pretty ok with it, so can your complaints.
Any glaring omissions? Are you displeased? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments and tell me what a hack I am..
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