Unlike the NFL, marching bands play an integral part in college football. After all, is there a better way to celebrate than the band performing one of the best college football fight songs ever? Let’s detail the ones that will get stuck in your head for the rest of the day.
“Rocky Top” – Tennessee
The Tennessee Volunteers’ return to relevance affirms that “Rocky Top” is one of college football’s best songs. The entire song has wild lyrics, such as someone meeting a girl that was half cat and half bear, but most know the 45-second snippet about Rocky Top being “home sweet home to me.” The Volunteer band adopted “Rocky Top” from the banjo-wielding Osborne Brothers in 1972, debuting it in a loss to Alabama.
“Fight On” – USC
The good news is that if you’ve never heard USC’s “Fight On” fight song, you’ll have approximately 50 opportunities to listen to it during the next Trojan game, considering the band plays it relentlessly. However, that feeling could be from watching the 2005 Trojans team that had one of the best offenses ever. Nevertheless, “Fight On” punctuates a successful Trojan play with the raucous horn section and drum beat.
“Buckeye Battle Cry” – Ohio State
Ohio State isn’t known as “the best damn band in the land” for nothing. The Ohio State University’s “Buckeye Battle Cry” will surely get under the skin of any Big 10 foes they come across. The Buckeyes made this their fight song in 1919 after a contest, which explains why it’s one of the most traditional fight songs you’ll hear.
“Anchors Aweigh”– Navy
The Navy takes the cake for having the best fight song out of all the military academies. Immediately, you can sense the patriotism behind the battle cry that dates back to 1906 during the annual Army-Navy game. The Midshipmen held off the Knights 10-0 on that fateful day, signifying that “Anchors Aweigh” was here to stay.
“Notre Dame Victory March” – Notre Dame
Love them or hate them, you cannot deny that the “Notre Dame Victory March” is one of the most well-known fight songs from coast to coast. Like all Notre Dame, the Domer fans act like it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, while its most adamant haters will cover their ears and scream. But when you think of college football, it’s one of the first songs that come to mind, along with their longstanding rival.
“The Victors” – Michigan
The Michigan Wolverines football program is historically one of the oldest and winningest in the sport. Maybe they have the epic “The Victors” fight song to thank for their incredible run throughout the decades. In 1898, a Michigan student, Louis Elbel, got inspiration from Michigan’s 12-11 win over Chicago, capping a perfect season for “The Blue” and their first Big 10 Championship. The good news is that if you don’t know the words to the song, you can scream “Hail!” nonstop and get about 25 percent of it.
Some of the best college football fight songs ever are nearly 130 years old, while others detail a mythical creature. Yet, each selection means a great deal to the fans of each school and will continue to do so for generations to come.