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Ranking All 130 FBS Fight Songs: Part I

by CJ Olson

Photo courtesy of Boston College Marching Band

Welcome to the first of 13 installments.

What happens in these installments, you ask? We’re ranking all 130 FBS fight songs!


Fight songs are one of, if not, the best parts of college athletics. Everyone knows their favorite university’s fight song.

Each week, 10 teams will be covered, starting with No. 130, and ending with the No. 1 fight song. This is designed to carry fans past the midway point of the darkness that is the FBS offseason.

This is perhaps the most subjective ranking list you’ll read all offseason. Any and all feedback can be directed to @CJOlson2000 on Twitter — whether it be positive or negative. But also remember that this is one man’s opinions on fight songs.

Also, even the worst fight songs are still enjoyable; they just are worse than their contemporaries.

This took close to eight hours to complete, and that’s before turning it into 13 weekly articles. If someone is upset and feels so inclined, they’re welcome to listen and then grade all 130 FBS fight songs. It could be made into a weekly activity that’s updated as articles are published.

Lastly, there’s a possibility that the wrong song was used. Sorry, if the wrong song was considered for a team and it negatively impacted their ranking.

Criteria Considered

There were three factors considered for each team’s fight song.

1. Flow

Did the song flow from beginning to end in a smooth way? This was given a weight of 25%.

The average flow score was 6.7016.

2. Crowd Factor

Is the crowd getting into it? Fight songs are designed to engage the crowd and get the crowd going, because this is the purpose of a fight song; this was given a 50% weight.

The average crowd factor score was 6.7137.

3. Nostalgia/Feel-Good Factor

How much does this trigger the nostalgia of someone who put thousands of hours into NCAA football video games back when they had fight songs in the main menu?

Some teams newer to FBS do have a little bit of a disadvantage here. To make up for that, there is also a ‘feel-good factor’ incorporated. Fight songs should give listeners a great feeling, hence the reason for this category.

It’s fairly self-explanatory, but also the most subjective of the categories. This was given a 25% weight.

The average nostalgia/feel-good score was 6.8189.

The average overall score was 6.7370.

As a disclaimer, this final category was where biases shone through the most. For the first two categories, an attempt to be as unbiased as possible was made.

To avoid ties as best as possible, each factor’s score is given to four decimal places. Even with that, there was coincidentally two ties.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Lyrics and vocals were not considered unless it dominates the song and is what is predominantly coming across for a brief section. To remain uniform across the board, vocals and lyrics were only considered for these brief sections instead of for the full song.

Without further ado, let’s begin.

130. UTSA

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 3.8014 3.7358 3.2314 3.6261
Rank (Conf.) 127/130 (13/14) 129/130 (14/14) 129/130 (14/14) 130/130 (14/14)

Someone had to be last. Sorry to the Roadrunners, but this one feels like it was thrown together at the last minute.

It sounds like the wrong instrument group is playing throughout. That’s unfortunate since that means it will always sound like the wrong instrument group is playing on every touchdown or major moment that warrants the fight song.

129. Rice

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 3.7901 3.8754 3.3831 3.7310
Rank (Conf.) 128 (14/14) 128 (13/14) 128 (13/14) 129 (13/14)

The only thing that to like about Rice’s fight song is that it’s 30 seconds. But they didn’t really put much into those 30 seconds.

Later in the list, there will be short songs that are applauded for how they use that time, but this is not one of them. Like UTSA’s, it feels a little lifeless. Sorry, Owls fans.

128. Kent State

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 3.7715 3.8950 3.5113 3.7682
Rank (Conf.) 129 (12/12) 127 (12/12) 126 (12/12) 128 (12/12)

Not a big fan of the cowbells for this one. This also has a weird flow and vibe to it.

Remove the cowbells and this probably goes to around the 100-105 range, but even then it’s fairly forgettable.

127. Temple

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 5.0132 3.4464 3.1748 3.7702
Rank (Conf.) 113 (9/11) 130 (11/11) 130 (11/11) 127 (11/11)

Two of the bottom four are songs for the schools with Owl mascots. Flow isn’t all that bad, but the song is underwhelming. This one has the somberness of an alma mater, but the speed of a fight song, which is pretty confusing.

It’s hard to see how this gets a rowdy Philadelphia crowd going. It’s a confusing song that does not give that good feeling in the stomach that most fight songs do.

126. Appalachian State

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 4.7319 4.2237 3.4358 4.1538
Rank (Conf.) 121 (10/10) 125 (10/10) 127 (10/10) 126 (10/10)

This one is fairly repetitive for the first 25 seconds, and not in a good way. There will be some songs later on that are repetitive in a good way, but this is not one.

The end brings it up a little, but the rest is just bland. It’s just not very good.

125. Eastern Michigan

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 4.2255 3.9987 4.5514 4.1936
Rank (Conf.) 123 (10/12) 126 (11/12) 119 (11/12) 125 (11/12)

Eastern Michigan has the first fight song on the list that ranks somewhere other than last in its conference. This one really drags on towards the end. Getting bored definitely hurts the flow and feel-good scores.

The crowd factor isn’t there, either. It dragging makes it seem like the type of thing that fans would drown out over time rather than embracing.

124. UCF

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 4.3481 4.9438 3.9991 4.5587
Rank (Conf.) 120 (11/11) 121 (10/11) 124 (10/11) 124 (10/11)

UCF has a very passionate fan base, so I’m bracing for the worst. But for having a rowdy stadium known as the Bounce House, the song sounds like someone is trying to take the air out of the Bounce House.

It lacks an ear-worm nature that makes it feel good. Overall, it’s fine, but it’s pretty forgettable.

From around 10 to 22 seconds is a really strong portion, though. If it brought that energy the whole time, that’s a much better song.

123. Boston College

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 5.1100 4.5387 4.4770 4.6661
Rank (Conf.) 112 (13/14) 124 (14/14) 120 (12/14) 123 (14/14)

This was actually the first college fight song ever written. So, Boston College gets some credit for being the first. No matter what, this was once the best college fight song. However, that is likely because it was the only college fight song.

It currently is the worst of the Power 5. It sounds a little “old and New England-y,” which makes sense given the times, but the modern fight song isn’t supposed to be “old and New England-y.”

100 or so years ago, this grade’s much better. But we live in a different world now.

122. Miami University

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 3.9515 5.0134 4.8831 4.7154
Rank (Conf.) 126 (11/12) 117 (9/12) 116 (10/12) 122 (10/12)

Taking 21 seconds to get to a good part is not a good start. Once you get there, it’s not that bad.

Choosing to go down a key was a weird stylistic choice, but it’s only a minor issue. Crowd factor scores decently because of the peaks, but the valleys crush the flow score.

121. Western Kentucky

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 4.8471 4.5399 5.0381 4.7413
Rank (Conf.) (11/14) (12/14) (11/14) (12/14)

This is similar to Ohio’s fight song in terms of melody, which will be discussed later. But where the Hilltoppers are different from Ohio is much worse.

Spending the middle 50% singing is not great for a non-hardcore fan. It separates potential new fans and might make them feel left out. The song has a decent beginning and end, but even there, it’s just forgettable.

Still to come: 120 more FBS teams.

Come back every week to figure out who are the next 10 on the list.

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