The college footballseason is in full swing as fans across the country are experiencing the different things that make this time of year so exciting and memorable, although the wins are understandably more fun than the losses.
But before the outcome of a game is known, one thing that fans really enjoy is when they get to watch their favorite team run out of the tunnel and onto their home field.
When the team makes its way into their own stadium, there is so much hope. The revved up crowd is eager to fire up the home squad. The home team, full of excitement, is ready to pound its opponent into the ground.
The ACC has some of the best stadium entrances in the country. Here's my ranking of the league’s five best.
5. Georgia Tech
When the Yellow Jackets run into Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field, they are led by the Ramblin’ Wreck. The 1930 Model A Ford Sport Coupe has guided the team onto the field for every home game since 1961. Two flags adorn the front of the car. One says, “Give ‘em Hell Tech,” while the other declares, “To Hell With Georgia.”
Many college programs run out of the tunnel through smoke. The originators were, of course, the Miami Hurricanes. The tradition actually began back in the 1950s and continues to this day. Now the Canes run through a giant blown-up helmet through the smoke and into Sun Life Stadium. It helps when there is a full house cheering Miami on, which is not always the case.
3. Florida State
With over 80,000 Seminole fans engaged in the War Chant, it is an electric atmosphere when Florida State enters Doak Campbell Stadium. And the pre-game celebration is not complete until Chief Osceola plants the spear at midfield.
2. Virginia Tech
“Exit light, enter night.”
Above the door leading onto the Lane Stadium turf is the Hokie Rock with the saying, “For Those Who Have Passed. For Those To Come. Reach For Excellence.” Each Virginia Tech player touches the Rock and then darts on the field with Metallica’s "Enter Sandman" blasting through the loudspeakers. Even for those that don’t care for heavy metal music (and I’m guessing head coach Frank Beamer is one of those), it is a chill inducing moment.
A Clemson booster was the one that had the idea to place legendary coach Frank Howard’s Rock from Death Valley on top of the hill at Memorial Stadium. In 1967, the Clemson players started rubbing the Rock before each game, to which Howard said, “If you’re going to give me 110%, you can rub that rock. If you’re not, keep your filthy hands off of it.”
Before each game, the Clemson team is bussed around the stadium where the players touch the Rock and run down the hill into the east end zone. In 1985, announcer Brent Musberger, then with CBS, proclaimed that the Tigers entrance was “the most exciting 25 seconds in college football.”
— Written by Jon Kinne, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a college football fanatic. Kinne has been writing about recruiting for the Irish Sports Daily for 10 years. Follow him on Twitter @JonRKinne.