Photo Credit: ULM Athletics

Welcome back for the fourth of 13 installments where we rank all 130 FBS fight songs!

BACKGROUND

Fight songs are one of, if not the, best parts of college athletics. Everyone knows their 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 counterparts.

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. If the wrong song was considered for a team and it negatively impacted their ranking, we are very sorry.

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.

PREVIOUS ARTICLES

Rankings Nos. 130-121

Rankings Nos. 120-111

Rankings Nos. 110-101

If you’re interested in reading the rankings revealed so far without going through individual articles, that can found here.

Let’s get back to the rankings!

100. Pittsburgh

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 6.9144 5.9943 4.8841 5.9468
Rank (Conf.) 61 (7/14) 94 (12/14) 115 (11/14) 100 (11/14)

This is far too long. A fight song should not be longer than 90 seconds, at most. Why all the drums and percussion at the end for 20 to 30 seconds too long?

Overall, it lacks many redeemable qualities that would get it to the ‘above average’ group. Therefore, it’s left in the mediocre pile.

99. UNLV

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 6.1751 5.9151 6.0000 6.0013
Rank (Conf.) 86 (8/12) 98 (10/12) 91 (10/12) 99 (11/12)

Spelling is a weird issue that some songs have. As a pickier person about spelling or chanting, eight syllables in one chanting burst is about the limit where it goes from a quick chanting bridge to too far.

UNLV walks right up that line but then rounds out the song pretty well. Across the board, this is pretty middle-of-the-road.

98. Charlotte

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 6.8246 5.3389 6.5302 6.0082
Rank (Conf.) 68 (6/14) 112 (10/14) 76 (7/14) 98 (8/14)

Love the pace of this one. Not amazing, but it flows well.

With UNLV, there was a soft cap introduced on how many syllables is too many in a chant at once. 11 is more than eight, and is therefore deducted points. Outside of that, great song.

Having a rule for chanting is a weird hill to die on, sure. But a man has to have a code.

97. Georgia Southern

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 5.8919 6.1110 5.9506 6.0161
Rank (Conf.) 96 (7/10) 86 (7/10) 95 (7/10) 97 (7/10)

Another one in the camp of ‘like, but don’t love’ because it’s basic. It does have an uncommon distinction in this list, in that each component is ranked better individually than overall compared to other schools. This shows a relative consistency in score.

There are a few times where it looks like the song is about to kick into another gear, but then it goes in a different direction than hoped.

96. Hawaii

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 5.7175 5.8650 6.6232 6.0177
Rank (Conf.) 103 (11/12) 100 (11/12) 74 (7/12) 96 (10/12)

There are very strong nostalgia feelings from the first 20 seconds or so. That bridge feels like it’s meant for another song both in flow and tone. It really crushes the flow, and it’s not hard to imagine it also deflating the crowd a little.

A lot of critiques thus far have been about bridges in fight songs. There are good, useful bridges coming; that’s a promise. This is not one of them.

95. Washington

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 6.4150 5.8315 6.1031 6.0453
Rank (Conf.) 77 (8/12) 103 (8/12) 88 (9/12) 95 (9/12)

The top comment to this video is that it plays better at 1.25-times speed. On a re-listen, this commenter might be on to something. Speeding it up does make it sound a little rushed in some instrument groups. But on the whole, speeding up Washington’s fight song makes it a better fight song.

As for the song at regular speed, it’s too long for how repetitive it is. Definitely catchy, but is it exciting or crowd-provoking? No.

94. Louisiana Monroe

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 6.1773 6.0458 6.0049 6.0685
Rank (Conf.) 85 (6/10) 89 (8/10) 90 (6/10) 94 (6/10)

In listening to 130 songs, a 33-second song was always a welcome surprise. In that short time, the Warhawks don’t do anything memorable. So, in the future, it will be unlikely that non-Warhawk fans remember the tune. But in that short time, they do put together a decent tune.

Similar to their Sun Belt compatriots, Georgia Southern, it gets the uncommon mark of consistency – each component is ranked better than the overall score.

93. Arizona State

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 6.0153 5.5313 7.2249 6.0757
Rank (Conf.) 91 (10/12) 110 (10/12) 52 (6/12) 92 (8/12)

If the song were cut at around the 30-second mark, it would be so great. The fact that they put in the same thing a second time isn’t great, but it doesn’t hurt it too bad. Where it loses points is that weird ‘ASU’ chant three times at the end in a completely different musical tone.

92. Nevada

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 6.0231 6.0315 6.3180 6.1010
Rank (Conf.) 89 (9/12) 90 (9/12) 82 (9/12) 92 (9/12)

Nevada did the right thing by not wedging in the spelling of ‘Nevada’ in the middle of the song, ruining what was a good flow. Another basic song that is in the 90s for rankings due to it being basic. Decent showing for Nevada, but nothing over the top.

91. Coastal Carolina

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 6.3488 5.9535 6.2172 6.1183
Rank (Conf.) 79 (5/10) 97 (9/10) 85 (5/10) 90 (5/10)

First 45 seconds? Good. Then next 10 wane a little. The last 25 seconds? No, thank you. Add it to the heap of ‘good, not great’.

STILL TO COME: Rankings Nos. 90-81

Only 171 more days until FBS college football has returned, football fans. Hang tough and see everyone each Wednesday morning for the next installation of ranking FBS fight songs.