With college football season in full swing, we've compiled a list of our favorite traditions that make autumn Saturday afternoons our favorite time of the year.
1. Script Ohio
The signature formation of The Ohio State University Marching Band -- in which marchers spell out "Ohio" in looping cursive -- is performed before or at halftime of home games. It was first performed by the band on Oct. 24, 1936, during the game against Indiana University. Each time the formation is formed, a fourth- or fifth-year sousaphone player is chosen to stand as the dot in the "i" of "Ohio." Only a handful of non-band members have had the honor of "dotting the i." It is considered the greatest honor the band can bestow on any non-member.
2. The 12th man
This tradition stems from the story of E. King Gill, a Texas A&M student who emerged from the stands to take the place of an injured player in a game against Centre College in 1922. Current Texas A&M students call themselves the "12th Man" and stand throughout the game at Kyle Field to support the Aggies.
3. Howard's Rock
First given to then-coach Frank Howard by a friend in the early 1960s, the rock was mounted on a pedestal and placed at the top of the hill behind the east end zone at Clemson's Memorial Stadium in September 1966. The first time the team passed the rock on its way to the field, the Tigers beat Virginia 40-35. Howard, realizing the motivational potential of "The Rock," told his players, "Give me 110% or keep your filthy hands off my rock." The team began rubbing the rock as part of its entrance for the first game of the 1967 season.
4. Ralphie's Run
Ralphie the Buffalo, the live mascot of the University of Colorado, is often mistakenly labeled a male. Handled by a team of varsity student-athletes, she runs around Folsom Field in a horseshoe pattern before each half of each home game, sometimes reaching speeds of 25 miles per hour.
5. The Sooner Schooner
Pulled by two white ponies named Boomer and Sooner, the scaled-down replica of the Conestoga wagon used by settlers of the Oklahoma Territory is a fixture at University of Oklahoma home games. It's driven onto the field in an arc nearly reaching the 50-yard line after each Sooner score.
6. The Gator Chomp
The well-known gesture made by Florida fans originated in 1981. It's frequently accompanied at homes games by the university's marching band playing the two-note theme from the movie "Jaws."
7. Chief Osceola and his flaming spear
One of the most indelible pregame rituals involves Florida State's Chief Osceola riding to midfield on his Appaloosa horse, Renegade, and plunging a flaming spear into the grass. The mascot debuted in 1978, and his portrayal remains controversial in some quarters, although it's supported by leaders in the Seminole tribe of Florida.
Arguably the most famous live mascot in college football, UGA is beloved by the University of Georgia's fan base. Since the mascot's introduction in 1956, there have been nine UGAs.
9. Saturday Night in Death Valley
For more than a quarter century, Dan Borne' has contributed to one of the most colorful atmospheres in all of college football. As the public address announcer at Tiger Stadium, Borne' is perhaps best known for coining the famous forecast for LSU home games: "Chance of rain -- never!"
10. The Army-Navy game
The Army-Navy game is about much more than football. First played in 1890, it's one of the sport's most enduring rivalries. From the cadets marching solemnly into the stadium to the alma maters of both teams being played at the game's conclusion, the pageantry surrounding this game is part of what makes college football special.
Information compiled from Wikipedia and the universities' websites.
- Harden's success extends to studies Herald Staff Report CLINTON -- When Nate Harden qualified for the Iowa high school state swimming meet this winter, he became just the second Clinton High School athlete to compete at a state postseason event in four different sports. But, his succe
- Keitel, Panthers defeat Redbirds CEDAR FALLS - Jen Keitel got the past of former Central DeWitt High School teammate Lindsay Smith as she led Northern Iowa past Illinois State 89-70 on Thursday in women's basketball. Keitel scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds to l
- Solid pitching leads Saints to sweep TUCSON, Ariz. - Thanks to a pair of dominant pitching performances and a veteran continuing her hot streak at the plate, the Ashford University softball team picked up a pair of wins Thursday at the Tucson Invitational Games. Sophomore Nicole Schmidt
- 'We Still Can Coach' CLINTON -- Together they have 75 years of coaching experience at their respective high schools, each about 25 miles from Clinton, but in opposite directions. They've never met, but if their combined career records weren't evidence enough, Dan Beck an
5 memorable college hoops tourney buzzer beaters
It's March, which means the NCAA Tournament is just around the corner. But before March Madness takes hold, the conference tournaments, which get under way this week, often provide their own share of exciting finishes. Here are five memorable buzzer beaters from conference tournament play.
- Prophetstown pair honored in Class 2A CHICAGO -- A pair of juniors who led Prophetstown to a runner-up finish in the Illinois Class 2A girls basketball state tournament have been named honorable mention all-state players by the Associated Press. Clare Kramer and Corrie Reiley, the top tw
- Wenzel a 2nd-team all-MAC pick DAVENPORT -- Clinton High senior Erin Wenzel was named to the All-Mississippi Athletic Conference second team in girls basketball by a vote of the conference coaches. Two other River Queens, senior Jordan Nelson and sophomore Elle Tubbs, were named h
- AU men going dancing KANSAS CITY, Mo. - After suffering a heartbreaking defeat in the Association of Independent Institutions Championship on Saturday, the 2013-14 season was in jeopardy for the Ashford University men's basketball team. Wednesday afternoon, the Saints le
- Saints post win, tie JACKSON, Miss. -- Ashford returned to the baseball diamond Tuesday and earned a win and a tie against Tougaloo College. The Saints' offense struck early and often in the opener en route to a 9-6 win in Game 1. The second game went to extra innings be
Cougars out of tourney
Three days made a big difference in the score, but it couldn't quite change the outcome for the Clinton Community College men's basketball team.
- More Sports Headlines