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Cougar Tails & Crazy Ladies: The Best College Football Traditions

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - SEPTEMBER 16: The Utah Utes MUSS section cheers during the second half of an college football game against the San Jose State Spartans on September 16, 2017 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. Utah defeated San Jose 54-16. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Tradition is what makes college football one of the most popular sports in America. From “Roll Tide”, to the “Sooner Schooner” there are plenty to choose from.

We often hear about the deep football tradition in the SEC, but what about our local traditions?


As a former member of the Mighty Utah Student Section, shortened to MUSS, I can say that it is one of the best student sections in the nation.

One of the best parts of the MUSS comes during crucial moments of the game – third downs. It is called the third-down jump. The stadium rocks as the entire student section jumps and screams willing the Utes defense to get those crucial defensive stops.

If you’ve never been to Rice Eccles for a football game you may not know about the dancing “Crazy Lady”, but you should.

At the end of the third quarter of every Utah home game, superfan Terri Jackson has her shining moment. She does a wild, choreographed dance as the band plays her song.

Utah students are so fond of the crazy lady they have memorized the dance and do it with her. Jackson made ESPN’s list of top 20 superfans across the country in 2010.

Cougar Tails and Popcorn

On Rivals Podcast, Jason Buck, former BYU defensive end, remembered the Cougar student section singing a well-known song in Latter-day Saint song that goes, “I looked out the window and what did I see? Popcorn popping on the apricot tree.”

Listen to the episode above to hear Buck’s rendition of the song.

Host of KSL’s UnRivaled and more recent BYU alumni, Alex Kirry, said that tradition no longer stands, but was “interesting while it lasted.”

Arguably the most delicious tradition in college football is a giant-sized, maple donut known as a Cougar Tail.

Sticking with the delicious food trends, my favorite part of a BYU game at Lavelle Edwards Stadium was the free ice cream passed out from the BYU Creamery. You won’t find ice cream that delicious anywhere but Utah County.

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The Iowa Wave

Scott Mitchell, former NFL quarterback, loves his alma mater, The University of Utah and their wild fans, but on Rivals Podcast he explained why his favorite college football tradition hails from the University of Iowa.

The Iowa Wave is a newer trend, but a touching one that is sure to be around for the long haul.

At the end of the first quarter Hawkeyes fans turn away from the field towards Iowa’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital to wave at the children overlooking Kinnick Stadium.

‘Most Exciting 25 Minutes In College Football’

The Clemson Tigers have the most dramatic entrance in college football, according to producer, Austin Facer.

The team takes a bus from their locker room on a separate side of the stadium, to arrive in front of a crowd of 80,000-plus orange and purple, Clemson-crazy fans.

When the team arrives at the west side of the field, they meet at the top of a hill where their legendary good luck charm, Howard’s Rock, is located. The Tigers touch the rock before they run down the hill and onto the gridiron while the band plays the school’s fight song and the crowd erupts into thunderous cheers.

Legendary broadcaster Brent Musburger called the entrance “the most exciting 25 seconds in college football.”

Enter Sandman

The ways teams enter their stadium quickly become traditions. According to Tom Hacket, host of Special Forces Gang Podcast, the Virginia Tech Hokies have the best entrance.

Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” plays as the Hokies march through a small, dark tunnel touching a lucky limestone rock on their way onto the field. Fans go nuts.

Jump Around

Alex Kirry, host of KSL’s UnRivaled, has been in a lot of press boxes as his career as a sports broadcaster. Only one has made him feel uneasy that the stadium might collapse – Camp Randall Stadium at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

“Jump Around” by House of Pain is commonly played at sporting events across the nation but it has a special place between the third and fourth quarters of every Badger home game.

The entire stadium shakes as the students literally jump around.

“We sit up in the press box and it is shaking enough that I have to brace myself,” said Kirry.

What is your favorite college football tradition? Share them with the KSL Sports team on Facebook or Twitter.

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