For some fans, college football forever has their heart because of the entire experience: the fans, the camaraderie, the chants, the mascots, the stadiums, the fight songs, the traditions, the winning history, and more.
We have done a good job so far in showing these things off, and today we bring to you the Top 10 College Football Band Performances.
What makes a good marching band? They need to be skilled, with visually stunning formations, a harmonious sound that rises over the wild cheers of the fans and, most importantly, they need to pump up the crowd.
Here are our top 10:
10. Pride of the Sunshine, Florida
The band enters the field and starts out playing “Gator Chomp” to get the crowd riled up and singing along. They then play “Orange and Blue” as they transition into their ceremonial set (which has been in the shape of Florida since 2007). After completing the Star-Spangled Banner, they move into the Gator Spellout formation while playing “Gimme a G” while spellings out “Gators”.
In the 3rd quarter, the band plays “We are the Boys” and the entire crowd gets into motion.
Notable: In 2012, they made history by playing outside of Buckingham Palace for the queen, playing their rendition of “Hey Jude”.
9. Cal Band, California
There are two ways to go with a marching band performance. You can do a performance dedicate to Game Time, or you can put on a show. Cal Band does both.
Their pre-game show harkens back to their history, full of fight songs and traditional formations. However, they really show what they’re musically made of in halftime shows. They’ve paid homage to everything from 90s pop, to funk music, to modern party songs, and even Disney. View the Youtube link above to see them perform such gems as “Circle of Life”, “A Whole New World”, and “Under the Sea”.
Auburn released it’s current pregame show in 2004. ESPN showed it a number of times on the show, referring to it as “The most entertaining band performance yet”. Sounds like a nice endorsement to us!
They often play “Eye of the Tiger” before the defense takes the field and “Crazy Train” when the defense gets a 3rd down stop.
During the fourth quarter, a special team called the “Tiger Bandits” breaks off from the main band and goes around to other sections of the stadium to ignite some excitement.
7. Marching Yellow Jackets, Georgia Tech
Everything about the GT pre-game show is about pumping up the crowd. They even get started before the pre-game show starts. Thousands of fans join the band before every game as they march through campus and assemble outside of the northern entrance of the stadium, playing some of their best songs like “Budweiser”, “Ramblin’ Wreck” and “White and Gold”. In the video above, you’ll see them waiting outside their main entrance, just at the end of this parade.
Notable: The University of Georgia and Georgia Tech rivalry even extends to the comment section of marching band Youtube videos—that’s passion!
6. The Golden Band from Tigerland, LSU
First off, how great of a nickname is that? Definitely one of the most creative around.
The Golden Band from Tigerland and the LSU crowd act in unison during their pre-game show. Chants and cheers erupt from the crowd at specific points in the band’s performance.
5. Pride of the Southland Band, Tennessee
The Pride of the Southland Band is one of the oldest around, having been started in 1869. One of their most memorable formations is called the “Circle Drill”. Using complex visual maneuvers and carefully chosen songs, the Circle Drill is intended to take viewers on a trip across Tennessee, stopping in four cities: Memphis, Chattanooga, Nashville, and Knoxville.
However, just because the band was created in 1869 doesn’t mean they only play old music! You can find them playing all genres of modern music at their halftime shows.
4. Blue Band, Penn State
They are an integral part to Penn State’s famous TailGreat pre-game pep rallies—a three-hour tailgate party with all kinds of food, free games, activities, and other events that attracts families from all over.
The Blue Band marches using high-stepping which provides a great visual effect over other marching bands, and gives them more freedom to do formations that cannot be done with low-step marching.
Notable:In 2005, the Blue Band was awarded the Sudler Trophy, regarded as the highest accolade for collegiate bands.
3. The Pride, Oklahoma
The Pride has a near-legendary tale shared amongst its ranks. In 1983, OU was playing a game against its Oklahoma State rivals. They were down 20-3 early in the fourth quarter and it was not looking like OU was going to win the game. The band director instructed The Pride to “play and don’t stop until we’re ahead!” The band then played “Boomer Sooner” over 300 times. The sooners took the lead, winning 21-20.
Don’t think the band actually helped out in that win? The sooners football team would disagree—they awarded the game ball to the band and wrote “The Day the Pride Won” on it as proof.
The Michigan Marching Band is a band with tradition. They are a huge source of excitement for the crowd when they belt out classic songs such as “The Victors”, “Varsity”. and “Yellow and Blue”.
Beyond their setlist, the MMB has a number of other traditions. One of these is the Goal Post Toss. During one of the performances of “The Victors”, the drum major marches to the goal post and tosses his/her baton over the goal post cross bad.
The superstition is that if the drum major fails to catch the baton, Michigan will lose the game
1. “The Best Damn Band in the Land,” Ohio State
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAzzbrFgcUw
Ohio State has a rich history to earn the nickname ”The Best Damn Band in the Land.” They’ve won numerous awards and have marched in the inaugural parades of six different presidents: Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, George H. W. Bush, George Bush, and Barack Obama.
You may have seen them in the news recently. A fan-video of them performing a video-game themed performance has received almost 12 million views since it was uploaded.They played Tetris as a band on the field, how do you beat that? If you would like to see it for yourself, click the link above.
What do you think about this top 10 list? What are some of your favorite marching band performances?