1. Meet Our Finalists - Bill O’Brien, Penn State

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    Image from ESPN

    Bill O’Brien came into sanction-ridden Penn State this year, understanding that it would truly be a coaching challenge of the greatest magnitude. Scholarship limits, recruiting limits and more. And the results so far under Bill O’Brien’s first full year as head coach seem to be doing quite well.

    O’Brien led the Nittany Lions to victories in eight of their final 10 games, earning an 8-4 overall record and a 6-2 mark in the Big Ten, with the only losses coming to division winners Ohio State and Nebraska. In its final game, Penn State beat eventual Big Ten Champion Wisconsin, 24-21, in overtime. O’Brien’s eight wins are the most by a first-year Penn State coach in the 126 years of the program.

    Information from thetimes-tribune.com

    Vote for Bill O’Brien for Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year at: www.coachoftheyear.com today!

  2. The Coach of the Year finalist results are here in!Each of the our 25 finalists are living proof that the complete package of on-field excellence and off-field charity inspires not just only their players and communities, but also the fans nationwide who admire and respect them. See who made it through as finalists, and help us determine which of these coaches in each division deserves to win the award in each division from - now through December 20th by voting at here: http://coachoftheyear.com
I-Football Bowl Subdivision:
Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
Urban Meyer, Ohio State
Jim Mora, UCLA
Bill O’Brien, Penn State
Mark Richt, Georgia
Nick Saban, Alabama
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
Dabo Swinney, Clemson
Charlie Strong, Louisville
I-Football Championship Subdivision
Rob Ash, Montana State
Willie Ritz, Sam Houston State
Joe Moglia, Coastal Carolina
Jess Monken, Georgia Southern
Danny Rocco, Richmond
Division II
Mark Maciejewski, Shippensburg (Pa.)
Scott Maxfield, Henderson State (Ark.)
Bob Nielson, Minnesota Duluth
Peter Rossomando, New Haven (Conn.)
Jed Stugart, Sioux Falls (S.D.)
Division III:
Jim Catanzaro, Lake Forest (III.)
Glenn Caruso, St. Thomas (Minn.)
Pat Cerroni, Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Lonnie Pries, Concordia Chicago
Steve Staker, Coe (Iowa)

    The Coach of the Year finalist results are here in!

    Each of the our 25 finalists are living proof that the complete package of on-field excellence and off-field charity inspires not just only their players and communities, but also the fans nationwide who admire and respect them.

    See who made it through as finalists, and help us determine which of these coaches in each division deserves to win the award in each division from - now through December 20th by voting at here: http://coachoftheyear.com

    I-Football Bowl Subdivision:

    • Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
    • Urban Meyer, Ohio State
    • Jim Mora, UCLA
    • Bill O’Brien, Penn State
    • Mark Richt, Georgia
    • Nick Saban, Alabama
    • Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
    • Dabo Swinney, Clemson
    • Charlie Strong, Louisville

    I-Football Championship Subdivision

    • Rob Ash, Montana State
    • Willie Ritz, Sam Houston State
    • Joe Moglia, Coastal Carolina
    • Jess Monken, Georgia Southern
    • Danny Rocco, Richmond

    Division II

    • Mark Maciejewski, Shippensburg (Pa.)
    • Scott Maxfield, Henderson State (Ark.)
    • Bob Nielson, Minnesota Duluth
    • Peter Rossomando, New Haven (Conn.)
    • Jed Stugart, Sioux Falls (S.D.)

    Division III:

    • Jim Catanzaro, Lake Forest (III.)
    • Glenn Caruso, St. Thomas (Minn.)
    • Pat Cerroni, Wisconsin-Oshkosh
    • Lonnie Pries, Concordia Chicago
    • Steve Staker, Coe (Iowa)
  3. Did you know: There are four college football stadiums which hold more than 100,000 fans: Penn State’s Beaver Stadium, The University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium, The University of Michigan’s Michigan Stadium, and Ohio State’s Ohio Stadium.

    Did you know: There are four college football stadiums which hold more than 100,000 fans: Penn State’s Beaver Stadium, The University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium, The University of Michigan’s Michigan Stadium, and Ohio State’s Ohio Stadium.

  4. Top 10 College Football Marching Bands

    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

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_lVpZfvf5Q

    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

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWKaGJEy_u8&feature=related

    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”.

    8. Auburn

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu6gegqjglU

    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 JacketsGeorgia Tech

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hed6xfhHXwo

    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

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8klwvhmFBHY&feature=related

    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

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePQSv6aDFh8

    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

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdyPwrRbal0

    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

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pyer2kBzLhc

    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.


    2. Michigan

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2FHJq_QCKc

    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?

  5. Top 10 College Football Traditions

    It’s so much more than those four quarters of the game in college football. It’s the experience you have watching your favorite teams with your friends and the traditions that going along with college football that is unmatched by any other sport.

    With that said, here are some of the best game day college football traditions that we’ve seen:

    10. The Gator Chomp

    Made by University of Florida Gators fans, the Gator Chomp is an arm motion intended to get teammates pumped up while replicating an alligator snapping its mouth.

    9. Uga

    Uga is University of Georgia’s bulldog, their four-legged mascot since 1956.
     

    8. The Pink Locker Room

    The visitor’s locker room at Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium is painted the team’s color pink to get an edge on their opponent.
     

    7. White Out

    Showing their support for the Penn State Nittany Lions, everyone at the stadium dresses in white on game day.
     

    6. The Grove

    The grove is a huge tailgating field outside of Ole Miss’s Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium where players walk through right before they enter the field.
     

    5. The Midnight Yell/The 12th Man

    What’s The Midnight Yell, you ask? It’s a Texas A&M University tradition! The night before each home game, both the team and the crowd yells at Kyle Field to get hyped.


    4. Jump Around

    After the third quarter of every game at University of Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium, all 80,000 people in the stadium shake the stadium by jumping up and down to House of Pain’s “Jump Around.”
     

    3. War Eagle


    Although Auburn University’s mascot is the Tiger, tradition has it that before each game, a War Eagle flies around Jordan-Hare Stadium to get the crowd pumped up.


    2. Army-Navy March
     

    Before the rivalry game at the end of each season, Cadets from Army and Midshipmen from Navy file into the stadium to take their seats.


    1. Dotting the “I”

    The Ohio State University marching band spells out the word “Ohio” in cursive, but the biggest honor goes to the tuba (technically sousaphone) player who gets to be the one to dot the “i.”

    Images courtesy of:
    http://tebowgatorworld.tumblr.com/
    http://aimly.tumblr.com/
    http://fuckyeahhawkeyes.tumblr.com/
    http://www.offtackleempire.com/ 
    http://racheldillard.blogspot.com/2011_08_01_archive.html 
    http://yell.tamu.edu/about 
    http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/post/_/id/27361/badgers-welcome-huskers-to-big-ten 
    http://www.army.mil/article/31068/The_First_Army_Navy_Game/ 
    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/gallery/enlargePhoto?id=3597656&story=3596271 
    http://zing.olemiss.edu/ole-miss-outlines-new-grove-electricity-regulations/ 

    Don’t forget that you can vote once a day, every day, for your favorite coach to be Coach of the Year!

    Vote now: 
    http://coachoftheyear.com 

The Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award recognizes college football coaches who demonstrate Sportsmanship, Integrity, Responsibility and Excellence both on and off the field. Endorsed by the College Football Hall of Fame, the program awards one winning coach from each NCAA division (I-FBS, I-FCS, II, and III) with $50,000 to donate to a charity of their choice, a $20,000 grant to each school’s alumni association, and the Coach of the Year trophy.