Let’s be honest with ourselves for a minute, people go to college football games for one, and one reason only: some good ol’ fashioned football. While that remains to be true, we can’t afford to forget about the experience as a whole. And in my opinion, there’s one thing that separates college football from its professional counterpart.
Every time I watch a college football game on tv, one of my first thoughts is always how crazy an atmosphere that must be. If you ever watch an SEC game, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. But it is my belief that the true heart beat of a college football game lies within the marching band. To those of you who are laughing, shame on you. Just think about it for a moment, the band lifts up the spirits and emotions of the entire stadium and unifies thousands of people. They sometimes give us moments like this.
So I think it’s about time marching bands are finally given the respect they deserve. That is why we are counting down the top ten marching bands in the country. But we’re not just going off of pure talent here. Our countdown will take multiple factors into consideration including, talent, uniform, creativity, and reputation.
10. Jackson State University (Sonic Boom of the South)
For those of you have have seen the movie Drumline, you already know southern marching bands are in a league of their own. The Jackson State marching band is known for its one-of-a-kind performances and diverse musical arrangements. Through the years, the self-proclaimed “showtime band” has performed at venues far beyond the confines of Jackson State. No matter how well-known the Jackson State marching band becomes, they remain true to the music. Not to mention their totally badass nickname. Sonic Boom, how cool is that?
9. University of Southern California (Spirit of Troy)
If you ever get the chance to catch a USC game at the Coliseum, you’ll understand why the Spirit of Troy made our list. Their talent is unmatched and their visibility is widespread. I think once you’ve performed with the likes of Michael Jackson and Diana Ross, you’ve definitely made it. And just check out their uniforms! I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty awesome each member gets to wear their very own Trojan helmet. Scratch that, it’s extremely awesome.
8. Louisiana State University (Golden Band from Tigerland)
The LSU marching band is a true testament that you don’t need flash to be extraordinary. While their formations may be simple, they never seem to have trouble getting Tiger fans ready for each game. When you think about it, the Golden Band is partially responsible for the hostility and intimidation of Tiger Stadium. Oh and don’t forget, they have one of the most iconic touchdown songs in the country with “Touchdown for LSU”. Their talent and spirit has cemented their legacy in marching band folklore.
7. University of Tennessee (Pride of the Southland Band)
Dating all the way back to 1869, Tennessee’s “Pride of the Southland” is one of the oldest collegiate bands in the nation and by far one of the best. Every Saturday, the “Pride” puts on one of the best pre-game shows in the country. In fact, the band’s opening of the “T” is one of the most iconic images in all of college football. Between it’s tradition, formation designs, and skill, Tennessee has rightfully earned it’s spot on our countdown.
6. University of Florida (Pride of the Sunshine)
In recent years, the University of Florida marching band has evolved into one of the greatest in the country. From the technical aspects of their formations and playing style to their spirit and enthusiasm, there’s no question the Pride of the Sunshine deserves a spot on our countdown. As if that weren’t enough, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better looking band in college football. Their uniforms are some of the best I’ve seen, both sharp and very stylish. They even got the opportunity to play for the queen outside Buckingham Palace in 2012.