Photo courtesy of Notre Dame athletics

We did it! We reached the final of 13 weekly articles. To those of you who have read each week, thank you.

To those of you just jumping on, it’s never too late to join the discourse and catch up on the past articles. There are links to the other ones elsewhere in this article.

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

Rankings Nos. 20-11

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

Let’s get to the final rankings!

10. Wyoming

  Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 9.1055 8.7843 8.9995 8.9184
Rank (Conf.) 4/130 (1/12) 11/130 (1/12) 12/130 (1/12) 10/130 (1/12)

As mentioned last week, the gap between No. 11 and No. 10 is very large. Oklahoma’s final score is 8.3957, while Wyoming’s final score is 8.9184. For reference, that’s the same gap between No. 11 and No. 25.

“Ragtime Cowboy Joe” hits all of the right literal and figurative notes in a fight song. The buildup in the beginning and the chanting in the middle are the types of things that were complained about in lesser songs, but inexplicably, these work.

The nostalgia is through the roof on this one — second-highest in the Group of 5.

Overall, very underrated. Flow? Great. Crowd? Pumped. Feel? Good.

9. Texas

  Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 8.8356 8.8485 9.3185 8.9628
Rank (Conf.) 7/130 (1/10) 10/130 (2/10) 6/130 (1/10) 9/130 (1/10)

The intro is great and the overall tune is catchy.

It’s one of the most recognizable songs when that first trumpet hits, so that helps.

It’s difficult to not clap along and sing despite having heard it hundreds of times. That ability to replay it and not get sick of it is another great sign of an overall well-rounded fight song.

8. USC

  Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 8.7598 9.0142 9.2212 9.0024
Rank (Conf.) 8/130 (1/12) 6/130 (1/12) 8/130 (1/12) 8/130 (1/12)

This could be a top-3 song if not for the singing interlude in the middle. It really cuts into the song at a bad spot and not in a good way.

Even with that, USC’s fight song is still one of the pinnacles of college football.

7. North Carolina

  Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 9.2321 8.8745 9.1581 9.0348
Rank (Conf.) 3/130 (1/14) 9/130 (2/14) 10/130 (2/14) 7/130 (2/14)

This is the right amount of predictability and consistency.

Of the top seven, North Carolina is likely the least prestigious in terms of football programs. But that does not stop the Tar Heels from having a great song.

It could earn some crowd factor points if it were a little more recognizable. This doesn’t scream “North Carolina” to a non-North Carolina fan, but it still is good enough to compensate for that in other areas.

6. Florida

  Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 8.9353 9.0574 9.3143 9.0911
Rank (Conf.) 6/130 (2/14) 3/130 (2/14) 7/130 (2/14) 6/130 (2/14)

Simply iconic.

No glaring issues from start to finish.

It’s up there with any other team in terms of nostalgia from the college football video games growing up, which definitely helps with memorability.

Throw in a little “Go Gators” in the middle, and this is just chef’s kiss iconic.

5. Navy

  Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 9.0814 8.7458 9.8953 9.1171
Rank (Conf.) 5/130 (1/11) 12/130 (1/11) 3/130 (1/11) 5/130 (1/11)

The winner of the best ‘Group of 5 fight song’ goes to Navy.

The first half would be pretty good on it’s own, but then they go and make the whole song that much better with an elite second half.

Navy does not mess around with some random throw-in halfway through. Instead, the Midshipmen let the music speak for itself. It’s a thing of beauty, really.

4. Michigan

  Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 8.5548 8.9856 9.9985 9.1311
Rank (Conf.) 11/130 (1/14) 8/130 (1/14) 2/130 (2/14) 4/130 (1/14)

The start is not the best and is what is limiting Michigan from being No. 1. That’s the difference.

By 53 seconds, we’ve hit the good stuff. This is the part that is regularly being softly whistled or run on a loop in one’s head through all hours of the day.

A personal love for that specific section was the whole reason that this 13-week, 20- to 25-hours’ worth undertaking ever even occurred.

Thank you, University of Michigan.

3. Florida State

  Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 8.7435 9.3553 9.2189 9.1683
Rank (Conf.) 10/130 (2/14) 1/130 (1/14) 9/130 (1/14) 3/130 (1/14)

When you hear this, you think Florida State. A real classic in the college football landscape.

This one has a great use of change of pace and variation of volume the whole way through.

2. Tennessee

  Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 9.5341 9.0395 9.4395 9.2632
Rank (Conf.) 1/130 (1/14) 4/130 (2/14) 5/130 (1/14) 2/130 (1/14)

This gives so much nostalgia from NCAA Football ’05, specifically. This is the best fight song in the best college football conference.

If Tennessee ever gets back to the pinnacle of college football, there will be at least one excited fan, strictly so we can hear the fight song more. This is a very honorable second-place finish for the Volunteers in this list.

1. Notre Dame

  Flow Crowd Factor Nostalgia/Feel Good Overall
Rating 9.4414 9.0334 9.7118 9.3050
Rank (Conf.) 2/130 (1/7) 5/130 (1/7) 4/130 (1/7) 1/130 (1/7)

Join a conference!

No, but in all seriousness, this is well-deserving of the No. 1 spot.

You hear this song and you can just imagine the golden helmets, a panning sky cam shot of Notre Dame Stadium in a prime time game, Touchdown Jesus, Reggie Bush pushing Matt Leinart into the end zone, etc.

Notre Dame, as a brand, is one of the most recognizable in college football, whether we ‘join a conference’ people want to admit it or not. And the Fighting Irish’s fight song is a perfect representation of that brand and everything it encapsulates.

There is also an argument to be made that there is no better song that is emblematic of college football and college fight songs on the whole.

That’s All Folks

No, but seriously, thank you to everyone that has read one or more of these articles. This has been a fun thing to sit down and do every week.

Disagree with these rankings? Send all hate and follows to @CJOlson2000 on Twitter.

Not entirely sure what to rank next, but as long as college sports exist, there are always weird and pointless rankings to create, so stay tuned.

If anyone would like to see a spreadsheet with all 130, that can be found here.