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A Brief Review of College Football Music

Us die-hards know that college football is so much more than just a game. Evidence aplenty in the most recent Blog Poll answers, in which EDSBS asked participants to describe what they love about college football in 20 words or less.

Brian from MGoBlog wrote, "Sitting in Michigan Stadium 45 minutes before the opener; everything seems possible and only sunburn is definite."

Kyle from DawgSports chimed in: "Passion, pageantry, elation, tradition, family, unity, grandeur, slobberknockers, silver britches, feeling like a Bulldog on Saturday night."

Me? I'm a sucker for hype. Remember that terrific video of the autistic kid who buries six threes in five minutes? I was moved by his accomplishment, but what really got me going was the exploding crowd. It's one of the things that makes soccer such a thrill for me - the rabid fans and raucous celebrating.

This kind of passion gets my blood flowing.

So when we're talking about settling in to watch sports on TV, I like the atmosphere. It's why announcers can make or break watching a big game. The right voice, with the proper amount of excitement and table-setting, enhances the viewing experience. And yes, too, the music. Look, if it people didn't like it, they wouldn't have it with every sports broadcast. Some, of course, do it better than others.

As always, your own thoughts are welcome.

CBS Sports

--Listen to the CBS Sports college football song--

College football is violent. It's brute. It's raw, physical energy. CBS's college football theme music captures that perfectly. Dominant drums drive a pulsing, building harmony. When I hear the CBS theme song, I want to hit somebody. Or go to war. Or eat a big slab of red meat, preferably still moo-ing.

A great college football song should do that to you, and CBS nails it. I'm not sure it can be improved, and if they changed it, I'd wager good money the south would secede again.

ABC Sports

--Listen to the ABC Sports college football song--

It's a nice song, for sure, but it's a touch too Olympicky for it to be perfect for college football. Listening to it, you think about bowl games, especially the Rose Bowl, and it works for that. But ABC should also have something that jacks up the audience's adrenaline just a little bit more.

As an example, do you remember the NBA on NBC music?  That worked perfectly. Contrast that, by the way, with ABC's atrocious decision to use Tom Effing Petty this year.

Add up all the pieces and you're reminded of something: ABC is owned by Disney. And that shows up in little ways, like chicken-shit theme music. It's not a big thing, but as a consumer, my preference is with CBS. So it matters.

Fox Sports Net College Football

--Listen to the Fox Sports Regional college football song--

Let's just say that this song is doomed. Having had to follow Texas football from afar the last three years, I've had to watch far too many games on Fox Sports Southwest. The announcing blows and even the cameras seem dated. I'm shocked they can't do a better job.

The theme song itself is so-so. It's a little edgier than the ABC pageant, but what bothers me the most is the whistles that pepper the song. What is this, a rave? I expect better from Fox, as their NFL song is pretty ferocious. The whistles take the edge off the song and make it like something you'd hear at a high school pep rally.

A Word on ESPN

The actual college football music is fine if a little bit (like ABC's) soft. What bugs me is the adoption of Big and Rich's "Comin' To Your City" for the ESPN GameDay music. The constant cross-promotion of Warner Brothers records on ABC/ESPN is sickening. I don't mean that in some sort of anti-corporate "F@CK STARBUCKS!" kind of way. I mean that they do it at the expense of the product we're tuned in to see. Tom Petty for the NBA? Big and Rich for college football? Not impressed. Give me something that makes me want to go to war. It's easy. I've got my own music for tailgating. When I'm tuning in for hype, give me hype. Not watered down music that's safe to play at church.

This annoys me to no end.

Lastly, we should note that the BCS moves to Fox Sports this year. For the life of me, I can't remember what Fox's regular college football music sounds like. I know they have a bowl game or two each year, but the accompanying music eludes me. Anyone?