Top 3 Bands in College Football

Each week on his radio show, Greg Burton of Richmond’s ESPN Radio 950 asks me to name “Bill’s Top 3.”  This week’s challenge:  The Top 3 Bands in College Football.

For the record, there was “serious thought” put into this project. We spent AT LEAST 45-seconds coming up with the following band selection criteria: 

1-The band must be an integral part of its team’s game day stadium atmosphere.

2-The band must play a variety of original music that is distinctive to its team.

3-They have to be loud, and they have to be good.

Now, rule No. 3 immediately eliminated Notre Dame, USC, Ohio State, Michigan, Texas, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.   Those schools have great songs, in fact AWESOME SONGS.  But there are other bands that are louder, sound better, and really add to the atmosphere of a game. 

(What I'm saying is this: There are only so many times you should play Rocky Top during the course of 4 hours. How about Tennessee Waltz?  Or Tennessee River. Heck, play the theme from Tennessee Tuxedo. I'll pay for the sheet music, but for the love of Bluetick Coonhounds everywhere, please Vols,  occasionally play something else.)

So here are Bill’s Top 3 Bands in College Football


No. 3-A. Auburn University Marching Band.


Check out the Band entrance video.  Most teams have the pump-up, hype video for their team.  At Auburn, the band gets its own video and its really well-done.

Great interaction with the crowd.  Lots of creative yet traditional elements here.

No.3-B Million Dollar Band, University of Alabama.  

This 426-member band is so popular and powerful that, like Auburn, it has its own entrance video too. And it's intimidating, just like Coach Saban's team. 

The first five notes of "Yea, Alabama" send 102,000 people into a frenzy.   

Rammer Jammer.


No.2.  Penn State Blue Band, The Pennsylvania State University.

Surprised at this selection?

Well, check out the roar when this band takes the field. Talk about loud.

Go to a game at Penn State and you'll see a really neat relationship between the band and the fans.

Yes, Ohio State and Michigan have the more familiar fight songs, No question.

But in in the Big Ten, the best Fan-Band bond is in State College.



No. 1. The Golden Band from Tiger Land, LSU.

There's a serious New Orleans-flavor to this band. It's like a 350-member jazz/show band.

They are musicians. But dang,  can they can bring it loud and impact that stadium.

They get SEC football in a big way at LSU. Football is really important there, y'all know that.

But they also get chord progressions and music theory and all things jazz at that school. Brass bands have always been a huge part of the Louisiana culture and they bring that big brass sound to a football stadium like no other band.

The result? Take a listen:

William Rothpast2 Comments