College football is shrouded in a veil of superstition and strange traditions. Yes, I’m talking about your uncle who believes that he has to wear his lucky underwear in order for his team to win as much as I am talking about your best friend who believes that they have to watch the game in a certain spot in order to ensure victory. In an effort to combine my two loves of college football and all things strange, below is a list of the top five strange college football traditions. Now tell me, is there anything better than college football and strange traditions? No, there isn’t!
The Mirror Lake Jump
At Ohio State University there exists a very strange tradition called the mirror lake jump. Every year during Michigan week, (the week where Ohio State plays Michigan) thousands of often inebriated college students brave the cold weather and jump into Mirror Lake located on Ohio State’s campus. This longtime tradition has been around for decades but has been controversial. This past year the tradition has been officially banned due to a student death and we don’t know if students will willingly follow the law and jump this upcoming year. Time will tell.
The Sod Cemetery
In an effort to drive the other school’s facilities management department completely insane, the Florida State football team has a strange and cryptic tradition. Since 1962, anytime the Florida State football team is on the road and considered an underdog if they happen to win they take a piece of the sod from the field and bury it in their very own sod cemetery. The tradition grew to include bowl games and championship games. Today, since sod is rarely used as college football, is mainly played on a turf field, the Seminoles are encouraged to not damage the expensive fields; they are left to scavenge for other mementos.
Burning Of The Cleats
Syracuse University has come up with a great way to rid its football players of the bad juju they pick up during the course of a football season. From 1981 through 2004 Syracuse football players have been burning their practice cleats in a symbolic, some would say barbaric, act of cleansing. The tradition stopped from 2005- 2009 under new head coach Greg Robinson but was picked up again once Robinson was fired. Today the Syracuse football team is still burning their cleats. I hope you brought your marshmallows!
Fourth Year Fifth at Virginia
Most college students drink, this is no surprise; but Virginia college seniors drink with a capital ‘D’. Each year before the final home game, Virginia seniors drink an entire fifth of alcohol before kickoff and somehow watch a football game. This tradition isn’t for the faint of heart or for those with a weak liver. Virginia, I’ll let you keep this tradition; I’ll keep my tradition and alumni status from the University of Cincinnati instead.
Pink Locker Room
In an effort to gain even the slightest of mental edge, college football programs will do practically anything. In the case of The University of Iowa, practically anything translates into painting the visiting locker room the color pink. Nearly everything in the visiting locker room is pink including the urinals and the carpet. Why Pink? Then head coach Hayden Fry learned that the color pink has a natural calming effect on people. This is easily the funniest tradition on the list.