From charismatic coaches to lovable mascots, college football is dripping in pageantry.

Whether it's a drum major keeping his band members in step or an iconic yell that brings back memories of glory days gone by, this sport brings together millions every weekend to cheer on their teams and soak in the electric atmosphere.

Think you know about some of college football's best traditions? Take this quiz and prove your mettle:


What in college football is “Big Bertha?”

A. The female counterpart of Bevo the Longhorn at the University of Texas

B. A giant pizza sold at Michigan Stadium, which if you eat the whole thing before the game is over you get your face on the “Wall of Fame”

C. A famous power running formation used by Princeton and Yale in the early days of college football

D. A giant drum that’s eight feet in diameter, weighs 500 pounds and was once radioactive


D. A giant drum that’s eight feet in diameter, weighs 500 pounds and was once radioactive

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the drums.

Originally, “Big Bertha” was made for the University of Chicago in 1922. However, the university scrapped its football program and the drum sat underneath the bleachers for many years. During that time, scientists conducted atomic experiments related to the Manhattan Project at the stadium, and Big Bertha was contaminated during those experiments.

Colonel D. Harold Byrd rescued the drum by purchasing Big Bertha for $1. According to the University of Texas, Byrd bought the drum so that the Longhorns would have the biggest drum in the world.


Which college football program is home to the largest stadium in the country, at a current capacity of 109,901?

A. Alabama

B. Tennessee

C. Michigan

D. Texas


C. Michigan

OK, this is an easy one for those who know the sport well. That said, in the college football world, there is a certain reverence for The Big House.

The first game in Michigan Stadium was Oct. 1, 1927, according to the school, and there had been 238 consecutive crowds of 100,000-plus as of the end of the 2011 season. The stadium stands as a fixture in college sports, and it has received many renovations over the years.

In 2008 and 2014, Utah went to The Big House and conquered the Wolverines. BYU will receive its chance to play on the hallowed field on Sept. 26.


How many push-ups did Puddles, the Oregon mascot, do in 2014? Hint: Puddles does push-ups every time the Ducks score.

A. 2,672

B. 1,753

C. 3,628

D. 2,896


A. 2,896

That’s one exhausted Duck!

Puddles did a season-high 312 pushups in Oregon's season-opening 62-13 win over South Dakota and did 255 against Utah in a 51-27 victory over the Utes. Puddles' season-low number of pushups was 54 against Ohio State in the national title game, a 42-20 Buckeyes victory.


Which two teams fight over Floyd of Rosedale every year?

A. Michigan and Illinois

B. Indiana and Purdue

C. Minnesota and Iowa

D. Idaho and Idaho State


C. Minnesota and Iowa

According to, this tradition dates back to 1935. Tensions were high between Minnesota and Iowa after the Gophers targeted Iowa’s Ozzie Simmons to the extent that he had to leave the game in 1934. Iowa Gov. Clyde Herring made the situation worse by saying, “If the officials stand for any rough tactics like Minnesota used last year, I’m sure the crowd won’t.”

Minnesota Gov. Floyd Olson decided to defuse the situation with a friendly wager on the game with Herring. The winner would receive a prize hog.

Minnesota won 13-6, and the Gophers won a prize hog donated by Allen Loomis of Rosedale Farms. The hog was named Floyd after Gov. Olson. From then on, Minnesota and Iowa would fight over a bronze statue of Floyd of Rosedale.


What year did Boise State install the blue AstroTurf that would forever be known as the “Smurf Turf?”

A. 1970

B. 1986

C. 1994

D. 1979


B. 1986

In 1986, Boise State athletic director Gene Bleymeier decided that if the Broncos were going to spend $750,000 on installing new AstroTurf, it needed to be different.

“I was just thinking about what we could do and how disappointed I was going to be if we just put in another green field we had seen for 15 years,” Bleymeier told CBS College Sports. So, Bleymeier convinced the Boise State administration to go with a blue field instead.

The rest, as they say, is history.


Which team is famous for playing “Jump Around” from the House of Pain before the fourth quarter of every home game?

A. Florida State

B. Wisconsin

C. Alabama

D. Virginia Tech


B. Wisconsin

This tradition began on Oct. 10, 1998, as Wisconsin hosted Purdue for homecoming. An unnamed Wisconsin marketing guru decided that the fans needed something to pump them up for the fourth quarter and decided to play the House of Pain’s “Jump Around.” Thus a tradition was born.

BYU experienced this tradition firsthand in 2013, traveling to Camp Randall Stadium in November in a 27-17 Badger win.


What is the longest-standing continuous rivalry in college football?

A. Rutgers vs. Princeton

B. Harvard vs. Yale

C. Princeton vs. Yale

D. Lehigh vs. Lafayette


D. Lehigh vs. Lafayette

Simply known as “The Rivalry,” these two small schools in Pennsylvania started the first rivalry series in college football in 1884. These teams have played each other at least once a year since that time with the 1896 season being the only exception. The Mountain Hawks and Leopards have played each other 150 times, including an unbroken streak of 123 games. Lafayette leads the series 78-67-5.

On Nov. 22, 2014, Lehigh and Lafayette played their 150th game of the rivalry. Lafayette won, 27-7.


Which legendary head coach wore a houndstooth fedora?

A. Paul “Bear” Bryant, Alabama

B. Knute Rockne, Notre Dame

C. Barry Switzer, Oklahoma

D. LaVell Edwards, BYU


A. Paul “Bear” Bryant, Alabama

According to, Bryant received his first houndstooth pattern fedora from New York Jets owner Sonny Werblin in 1965. The Jets picked Alabama’s Joe Namath as the No. 1 pick in the 1965 AFL Draft, and the hat was a goodwill gesture toward Namath’s head coach.

The fedora would become a symbol of Bryant, and the houndstooth pattern is associated with Alabama to this day.


What is the name of the University of Southern California’s mascot?

A. Hector

B. The Trojan

C. Traveler

D. Tommy Trojan


C. Traveler

USC’s mascot is not the unnamed Trojan warrior that rides on a horse. Rather, it is the white horse Traveler that gallops onto the field every USC home game.

Traveler I made his first appearance in 1961 in the Trojans’ home opener against Georgia Tech. His owner, Richard Saukko, wore the outfit that Charlton Heston wore in “Ben Hur,” according to Traveler’s official website. That outfit was too cumbersome for Saukko to wear, so he crafted his own costume modeled after the statue of Tommy Trojan on USC campus.


Where does a Death Valley rock and running down a hill equate to "the most exciting 25 seconds of college football"?

A. Arizona State

B. Arizona


D. Clemson


D. Clemson

This bit of college football pageantry came about through the melding of two traditions. According to the school, the hill-running got its roots when the players dressed at Fike Field House, then ran through the gate and down a grassy hill before each game.

How about the rock, then, which originally comes from Death Valley, Calif?

It was placed at the top of "The Hill" on a pedestal in 1966. Before a game in 1967 against Wake Forest, coach Frank Howard told his players they could earn the privilege of rubbing the rock if they gave 110 percent. The team won, and a new dimension was added to this already rock-solid tradition, as Clemson players now rub the rock before making their running descent into the stadium.

That's also how it has became known as Howard's Rock.


Whose lovable mug is this?

A. Hairy Dawg

B. Spike

C. Uga

D. Timeout


C. Uga

This lovable mug belongs to Uga IX, the mascot of the University of Georgia who was formerly known as Russ. The first English bulldog to earn the title of Uga made his debut in 1956. His name was Hood’s Old Dan before becoming Uga I.

Since then, Uga has been treated as a celebrity at Georgia. Uga IV went with Herschel Walker to the Heisman Trophy presentation in 1982 in a custom-made tuxedo. Uga IX’s doghouse even comes with air conditioning. Then, when each Uga passes away, they receive a special burial in a mausoleum at the southeast corner of Sanford Stadium.


Which team’s fans yell “Hi rickety whoop-te-do?”

A. Oklahoma

B. Texas A&M

C. Syracuse

D. Ohio State


A. Oklahoma

The yell of Oklahoma goes like this:

Hi rickety whoop-te-do

Boomer Sooner, Okla-U!

Hi rickety whoop-te-do

Boomer Sooner, Okla-U!


Which university has the oldest marching band?

A. Harvard

B. Notre Dame

C. Yale

D. Ohio State


B. Notre Dame

The Band of the Fighting Irish is older than college football itself. This marching band even predates the American Civil War.

The marching band started in 1845, according to the school, just three years after the university was founded. Since football came to Notre Dame in 1887, the Band of the Fighting Irish has been right there at every home game.


Which retired head coach threw a flaming spear in 2013?

A. Tom Osborne, Nebraska

B. Barry Switzer, Oklahoma

C. LaVell Edwards, BYU

D. Bobby Bowden, Florida State


D. Bobby Bowden, Florida State

Normally, Florida State mascot Chief Osceola rides on his horse Renegade and plants his flaming spear at midfield before every FSU home game. However, on Oct. 26, 2013, against N.C. State, Osceola handed his spear off to someone else.

That someone was legendary head coach Bobby Bowden.

Bowden won 304 games, 12 ACC titles and two national championships for the Seminoles before retiring after the 2009 season. Little wonder Florida State holds Bowden in such esteem.


Where is dotting the I a great honor?

A. Illinois

B. Ohio State

C. Virginia Tech

D. Mississippi State


B. Ohio State

At history-rich Ohio State, one must be worthy to dot the I when the school's band spells out the state's name. A sousaphone player must be a fourth-year member of the band, according to the school, and eligible members participate in what is called a "dot-off" to earn the privilege.

On special occasions, non-band members are chosen to complete the time-honored tradition — a few include legendary Buckeyes coach Woody Hayes, comedian Bob Hope and golfer Jack Nicklaus — but it is generally left to the OSU band professionals.

To complete the dotting of the I, the sousaphone player — following a couple paces behind the drum major — struts out toward the top of the I. The drum major stops, points "dramatically" to the spot and the sousaphone player assumes the post, "doffs his hat and bows deeply to both sides of the stadium."

Energizing? Absolutely. Elegant? There's no doubt.