Ranking All 130 FBS Fight Songs: Part XII

by | May 5, 2021 | ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Clemson, Football, G5, LSU, MAC, Mississippi State, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Penn State, SEC, Sports, Texas A&M | 0 comments

Photo courtesy of Clemson athletics

Welcome back to the 12th 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

Rankings Nos. 30-21

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!

20. Penn State

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 7.2891 7.9388 8.5550 7.9304
Rank (Conf.) 45/130 (8/14) 23/130 (2/14) 19/130 (3/14) 20/130 (3/14)

Another good use of change of pace. This would rank much higher if it wasn’t the same thing twice, because the second half doesn’t add all that much.

50 seconds feels like the right cutoff for the song.

19. Northwestern

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 8.4415 7.7550 8.3535 8.0763
Rank (Conf.) 12/130 (2/14) 19/130 (6/14) 27/130 (6/14) 19/130 (2/14)

Northwestern owns one of the most underrated fight songs of the Power 5. From start to finish, it is really a strong fight song.

This is the type of song that anyone should be happy to get to hear on a weekly basis, but it usually ranks around the middle of the Big Ten on others’ lists.

18. Ball State

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 7.9913 8.0010 8.4431 8.1091
Rank (Conf.) 25/130 (2/12) 21/130 (2/12) 22/130 (2/12) 18/130 (2/12)

For being the same thing in a row twice, this one doesn’t feel as repetitive as, say, Penn State’s. There are no glaring downsides for this song.

It might be just a touch on the basic side, but that might have more to do with Ball State not being a traditional powerhouse in the college football landscape.

17. LSU

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 8.1108 8.0310 8.4107 8.1459
Rank (Conf.) 20/130 (5/14) 19/130 (6/14) 25/130 (5/14) 17/130 (6/14)

The rare ‘same thing, three times in a row’ situation, but each time it speeds up a little. This is one of the most well-rounded fight songs in the SEC and in all of college football.

Also, this song is one of the most recognizable and identifiable with LSU. Whenever you can pin a song to a university, that’s a great sign for the nostalgia/feel good rating.

16. Clemson

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 7.3448 8.2361 9.1310 8.2370
Rank (Conf.) 42/130 (5/14) 15/130 (3/14) 11/130 (3/14) 16/130 (3/14)

This one has very strong nostalgia vibes. The repetition here helps it out on the whole, although the last 30 seconds are a bit superfluous. The song could be wrapped up after about 45 seconds.

One of the comments replying to this video says “so this is the song I keep hearing in NCAA 2005 dynasty mode,” and that’s exactly why it rates so highly on the nostalgia/feel good factor. Thanks to NCAA 2005, this song will always be instantly recognizable — at least to us.

15. Mississippi State

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 8.7502 7.9915 8.6131 8.3366
Rank (Conf.) 9/130 (3/14) 22/130 (7/14) 17/130 (4/14) 15/130 (5/14)

This is the type of song you can hum along to. It flows well and doesn’t stick around too long.

It loses some points because it doesn’t scream “Mississippi State” — at least not to someone who isn’t a Mississippi State fan.

In doing this exercise, it immediately was recognizable and sounded like an SEC song, but it would’ve taken a few guesses to come up with Mississippi State.

14. Texas A&M

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 7.5675 9.2551 7.3543 8.3580
Rank (Conf.) 35/130 (9/14) 2/130 (1/14) 45/130 (9/14) 14/130 (4/14)

There were two schools that were hard to be objective on the basis of being too critical: Texas A&M and Oklahoma. As someone whose third team is Texas, saying nice things about Texas A&M is hard.

It feels fair to say the Aggie fan base can be, delicately put, a bit much. But that’s not always a bad thing. It’s a sign that they take pride in their school, and, on the whole, that’s a good thing for the landscape of college football.

If you’ve ever seen a Texas A&M game on TV or had the pleasure to watch a game at Kyle Field, you’d know that they even are a bit much surrounding the fight song.

That is entirely why the crowd factor ranks second in the entire country and first in the SEC. In terms of rallying around a fight song, no school in the SEC does it better than Texas A&M.

The only reason it was not first in the country is because lyrics were not taken into account for any school for consistency’s sake, which hurts Texas A&M more than any other school on this list. Had lyrics been taken into account, the Aggie War Hymn is likely pushing for a top 5 spot and is almost definitely running away with the crowd factor’s No. 1 spot.

Lastly, it only feels fair to point out that this is a very catchy tune. And Aggie fans, you’re welcome for spelling ‘Aggie’ properly for your entire section; the higher, less petty road was taken.

T-12. Ole Miss

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 8.3135 8.2521 8.7218 8.3849
Rank (Conf.) 17/130 (4/14) 14/130 (4/14) 16/130 (3/14) 13/130 (3/14)

There are big-time nostalgia feels for this one.

This is a great fight song that could be played on a loop and it would take a long time to get sick of it.

The song also ends perfectly. Ole Miss might have the best ending of any fight song out there, and it is the best ending of any fight song covered on the list thus far.

It would appear that Ole Miss runs the ‘Sip for this ranking, but it is a very close gap!

T-12. Western Michigan

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 8.4317 8.1101 8.8878 8.3849
Rank (Conf.) 13/130 (1/12) 16/130 (1/12) 14/130 (1/12) 12/130 (1/12)

Short and sweet — an approach not taken by enough fight songs. It’s peppy and doesn’t draw itself out for an absurd amount of time.

Western Michigan comes in hot, gets the crowd going, and brings a great feeling without being overbearing or too long.

Whoever created the song understood the value and purpose of a fight song, so kudos to them.

11. Oklahoma

Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 8.3517 8.9994 7.2321 8.3957
Rank (Conf.) 14/130 (2/10) 7/130 (1/10) 50/130 (4/10) 11/130 (2/10)

If it was hard to be fair to Texas A&M, it’s almost impossible to be fair to Oklahoma.

But to be fair, this is a very catchy tune.

Where the Sooners lose non-Oklahoma fans is that they play the song for far too many occasions. A sack in the middle of the second quarter does not need the entire fight song. Forcing a three-and-out does not need the entire fight song. A 13-yard gain does not need the entire fight song.

All instances are where they’ve played the entire fight song from personal memory.

As a result, it loses feel good points.

It’s going to get annoying if you’re not an Oklahoma fan and you’re trying to watch but everything Oklahoma does gets the band to play the fight song.

Also worth noting, the gap between No. 11 and No. 10 is very large. Oklahoma’s final score is 8.3957, while No. 10’s final score is 8.9184. For reference, that’s the same gap between No. 11 and No. 25. That should be a sign that we’re really elevating into that final gear for the top 10.

STILL TO COME: THE FINAL RANKINGS!

We’re just one week away from crowning the No. 1 fight song!

From A to Z, the final 10 are: Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Navy, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Texas, USC, and Wyoming.

Only 115 more days until FBS college football returns, football fans. Hang tough and see everyone next Wednesday morning as for the final of our 13 weekly fight song rankings.

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