Our Favorite (And Least Favorite) College Fight Song



By TSB Staff Contributors Paul M. Banks, H. Jose Bosch and Peter Christian

Tomorrow’s battle between Michigan and Notre Dame will feature the two most famous fight songs in all of college sports. For a lot of people, most fight songs sound very similar, and a lot like your standard military march. And that’s not accidental as they are called “fight” songs, not “spirit” songs, as both forms of music have similar ROTC roots. But for college sports aficionados such as us, saying all fight songs sound the same is blaspeheme! Here’s why, as we break down our favorites, as well the ones that annoy us. To make it fair, I told my panel of writers that you were not allowed to select your alma mater’s song.

1. Michigan-

I still can’t figure out how our own HJB graduated from this school. He actually has charm and personality, much more  than any “Michigan Man” I have ever met. Most girls and guys I know rocking maize and blue are to personality what Sarah Palin is to logic and reasoning. But I can’t deny their song, which is my favorite despite my possessing not even the slightest bit of non-loathing for the school. That’s how good it is.


2. Michigan State-

I have to admit it’s the only fight song that has given me goosebumps (other than The Victors) at a sporting event. Maybe it’s the interstate rivalry or just the enthusiasm of the students when they sing along so carelessly as articles of clothing slowly but surely fall off over the course of the game (seriously guys and gals, wear clothing that fits) But this song always gets my blood boiling in a good way. –HJB

Seriously, take in a game at the Breslin Center and watch the entire crowd sing-along. Then listen as the band cuts off the song when play resumes and the ENTIRE building finishes the song off acapella. Gossebumps everytime. Besides, it was also featured in Michael Moore’s “Roger and Me”. And how many fight songs make it into socially-conscious socioeconomic documentaries produced by polarizing filmmakers?   –PMB

3. Florida State-

Their song is so good it reminds us how dominate the program was in the 1990s and how many great NFL players were once Seminoles. It also makes us forget…what thugs their players are, how little the school even pretends to value education, how slaggish-looking many of their female fans are, well maybe not that last one.


Other Favorites

Aggie War Hymn – Texas A&M:

I’m not a huge fight song guy (likely a product of not attending a big time football school) but this song has always stuck with me. I love its cadence and how you can hum it all day long without getting tired of it.

Fight On, State – Penn State:

I really like the change in page and the slow build up to the finish.

On, Brave Old Army Team – Army:

Army seems like one of the only teams that should really have a fight song that its teams would get fired up by. I like it. I like it a lot.


I was this close to being a Badger after high school and I’ve always had a soft spot for alcoholism and debauchery. While this fight song isn’t anything like the unofficial school anthem “Jump Around,” just the thought of getting piss drunk along with this jovial tune makes me giggle.


I spent a summer in Tennessee and it’s unreal just how popular this song is. Even people who can’t spell Tennessee or find it on a map sing this with vigor and I’m just talking about those who graduated from UT.

Our Three Least Favorite:

1. Ohio State:

It’s not just because I’m a Wolverine. I hate this song because its pacing reminds me of little knomesaimlessly marching around . Yeah, it doesn’t make sense, but neither does celebrating the spelling of a four-letter word. And script Ohio? Yeah, Michigan’s marching band was the first to do it. Leave it to the Buckeyes to ignore the beauty of the formation and instead celebrate the dotting of an “I.” But I’m not bitter. –HJB

Everything Ohio State does is pretentious. It takes too long to get started and everytime I hear it, I feel like stabbing someone. That seems like a good reason to let it be the worst.  –-PC

2. Notre Dame:

This song just screams pompous, which is fitting because it’s Notre Dame. I feel like I should be wearing a top hat and a monocle while sipping on brandy beside the fireplace while this song plays on the gramophone. Yes, we’re just as pompus and drink just as much wine and eat just as much cheese at Michigan, but at least our fight song doesn’t sound so stuffy. –-HJB

It was used in the closing credits of “Airplane,” so I can say one good thing about it. However, this tune is the most over-played, over-hyped, and over-used piece of garbage signifying everything exemplifying the evils of bandwagonism. There is a reason ND fans, not actually affiliated with the school won TSB’s inaugural douchebracket this past March; a tourney determined by reader polling


3. USC:

The more ESPN whores them in their college football coverage, the more I think about replacing ND’s song with this one. Watching USC play on TV is so irritating because their stupid marching band knows literally 2 whole songs, and they play one of them after every first down. It’s more overplayed and sappy than the Celine Dion crapola from “Titanic” was during my sophomore year of college. But I guess it’s ok, because USC (and ESPN in general) pander to front-runner frat boys with no genuine knowledge of sports. Therefore, repitive trash is right up their alley. –PMB

Mostly because it sounds like an instrumental that would open a Hollywood movie from the Golden Age. –-PC

Others we can do without


This fight song is kind of the like the song “Oh, Christmas Tree” where no one knows the actual words, so they just keep repeating “Oh Christmas Tree.” How is that inspiring? I’m surprised it doesn’t lull anyone to sleep. I’ve met someone from Oklahoma once. The person had less personality than the computer screen you’re staring at right now. So it’s no surprise this song is as dull and tasteless as it is.


it’s just so boring and simplistic (exactly like most of Tim Tebow’s fans). The program may be at the pinnacle, but the song is very forgetable and primitive.


  1. Peter Christian says

    I don’t think I portrayed enough how much I love Aggies War Hymn. I demand you look it up if you aren’t familiar. Like, now.

  2. Good call HJB about how no one knows the words to Boomer Sooner, so they just say that over and over again. with O Chrsitmas Tree, I just sing the German version over and over again O tannenbaum

  3. PC, you’re on point about the Hollywood thing too…I half expect Howard Hughes to show up when I hear the beginning to that stupid fight song

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