Photo courtesy of Oregon athletics

Welcome back to the 11th 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

Rankings Nos. 100-91

Rankings Nos. 90-81

Rankings Nos. 80-71

Rankings Nos. 70-61

Rankings Nos. 60-51

Rankings Nos. 50-41

Rankings Nos. 40-31

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!

30. Florida International

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 7.7978 7.6113 7.9584 7.7447
Rank (Conf.) 28/130 (3/14) 32/130 (1/14) 35/130 (3/14) 30/130 (3/14)

Musical bridges usually hurt the flow of a song, but Florida International’s connects the verses well. Chants are also well-placed and use the time they are given well. This was a positive surprise, to say the least.

29. Arkansas

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 6.9583 7.8376 8.4014 7.7587
Rank (Conf.) 60/130 (14/14) 28/130 (8/14) 26/130 (6/14) 29/130 (7/14)

This is one of the ones that comes with a lot of nostalgia strictly from the NCAA games. Having a “Road to Glory” career from one of the early 2010s NCAA games will understandably lead to hearing this song a lot.

The a cappella segments of the song hurt the flow, but help the crowd factor for a school in the SEC like Arkansas.

28. Michigan State

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 8.1110 7.2348 8.4858 7.7666
Rank (Conf.) 19/130 (3/14) 41/130 (9/14) 21/130 (4/14) 28/130 (5/14)

The last 20 or 25 seconds are where this song stands apart from some of the earlier songs. The first minute is fine, but not enough to elevate this one further than 28th. Even in a deep conference like the Big Ten, this one hits a lot of the right notes (pun intended).

27. Oregon

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 7.4143 7.7424 8.2735 7.7932
Rank (Conf.) 40/130 (2/12) 30/130 (3/12) 28/130 (2/12) 27/130 (3/12)

This one brings a strong bit of nostalgia, which should be an indicator of a high score by now.

It’s repetitive in the right way, so crowd factor points for it there. It’s missing something to really bring the overall score into the upper-7 or lower-8 range, but it’s hard to really pinpoint what that might be.

Lastly, you can also picture the Oregon Duck doing pushups, too, right? Extra nostalgia/feel good points just for that.

26. Washington State

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 7.3371 8.0151 7.8980 7.8163
Rank (Conf.) 43/130 (3/12) 20/130 (2/12) 39/130 (3/12) 26/130 (2/12)

Oh, this was just so great until they decided to spell out “Washington State Cougs.” At that point, why not just spell out Cougars? Sure, ‘Cougs’ is a nickname for Cougars, but if they’re going to spell out 20 letters, why go for the shortened name?

Why not just go for all 22 letters? It’s one of life’s great mysteries that no one is talking about – or will talk about, for that matter.

Otherwise, this is a brilliant fight song. But the spelling really spelled doom for the Cougs.

Without spelling out 20 consecutive letters, this song is in that No. 6 to 10 range. It’s only fair that spelling 20 consecutive letters dropped Wazzu about 20 spots.

25. UTEP

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 8.0398 7.4388 8.4321 7.8374
Rank (Conf.) 21/130 (2/14) 35/130 (2/14) 24/130 (2/14) 25/130 (2/14)

Of the Group of 5, UTEP is in the top five in terms of nostalgia. Not only is that great, but it flows well.

As far as concerns go, the only one is that it seems a little generic in terms of getting the crowd into the happenings of the game.

24. Marshall

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 8.3156 7.2576 8.5195 7.8376
Rank (Conf.) 16/130 (1/14) 39/130 (1/14) 20/130 (1/14) 24/130 (1/14)

The Conference USA is the second conference to have its No. 1 listed, with the Sun Belt being the first.

Marshall’s song is great. For the first time in these rankings, a song is going to be described as cool, because this is such a cool song.

It’s also really consistent, which is an underrated facet of a fight song. There’s a difference between repetition and consistency, and it’s an important one. Marshall really toes that line.

Similar to UTEP, concerns about speaking to the crowd’s soul hurts crowd factor a little, but nonetheless, it’s a great song that deserves nothing but praise.

23. Illinois

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 7.4435 7.8556 8.4358 7.8976
Rank (Conf.) 37/130 (5/14) 26/130 (4/14) 23/130 (5/14) 23/130 (4/14)

First and foremost, credit for a fun name like “Oskee-Wow-Wow.” That’s not factored in the rankings; it just feels like it should be mentioned.

The change of pace is what really causes this one to shine through.

Fight songs shouldn’t have listeners on their toes, but it also shouldn’t be boring and monotonous the whole way through. It’s a delicate line, to say the least.

Illinois’ fight song experiments with tempo better than any other fight song on this list. It does knock the flow score just a touch. But, it makes up for it in kind with a bigger boost to feel good.

22. TCU

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 7.9999 7.3957 8.8433 7.9087
Rank (Conf.) 23/130 (4/10) 38/130 (4/10) 15/130 (2/10) 22/130 (3/10)

Taking 10 to 15 seconds to start is a little too slow. So it’s really a 35-second fight song, which is a little on the shorter side. Because of that, some points were taken from crowd factor.

In one game of experience at Amon G. Carter Stadium, the student section was sufficiently enthused, though. Lengthen the song a little or make the fight song last for the entire 49 seconds, and this song would be taken to new heights.

21. East Carolina

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 7.9674 8.2980 7.1383 7.9254
Rank (Conf.) 27/130 (3/11) 13/130 (3/11) 54/130 (5/11) 21/130 (2/11)

This one has the right amount of spelling that doesn’t come in at a weird time. It also has the right amount of predictability. East Carolina missed out by 0.005 of being ranked No. 20 and getting to wait one more week to see its school appear on the preeminent FBS fight song rankings.

STILL TO COME: THE PENULTIMATE RANKINGS!

Since we’re down to 20, here’s an alphabetical list of the schools we’ve yet to see appear:

Ball State, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi State, Navy, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, USC, Western Michigan, Wyoming

Only 122 more days until FBS college football returns, football fans. Hang tough and see everyone each Wednesday morning as we near the end of our fight song rankings.