College football is more of a natural production than the NFL.
Most schools have a marching band that attends the games. Not only does the band generally perform intricate set pieces before games and at halftime, it also plays during the games, providing the soundtrack for various cheers.
The bands at Stanford and Wisconsin are particularly known for their antics — not always in a good way — while the Ohio University, Jackson State, Southern, and Florida A&M bands are regarded as among the best in the land.
Arguably the most well-known band feature related to college football is “Script Ohio” where the Ohio State University marching band spells out Ohio before a sousaphone player dots the “i.” In comparison, a few NFL teams may have a drum section, but they lack full marching bands.
Both the NFL and college have cheerleaders, but they are quite different. College cheerleaders are actual cheerleaders; they perform stunts and tumbling and wear cheerleading outfits. NFL cheerleading squads are more like dance teams.
They perform dance routines instead of stunts, and they don’t wear the standard skirt and top. Plus, they don’t lead the crowd in cheers like college cheerleaders do.
College cheer squads are also usually co-ed while only a handful of NFL teams boast male members. Most colleges also have a dance team.
NFL teams generally take the field to some sort of video montage and pump-up music. College teams are a little more varied. Purdue has the World’s Largest Drum. Georgia Tech is lead onto the field by a 1930 Ford Model A car called the Ramblin’ Wreck. Oklahoma has the Sooner Schooner, a horse-drawn covered wagon. Another tradition unique to college is hand gestures. Florida State has the Tomahawk Chop. Rival Florida does the Gator Chomp.
Texas fans are proud to flash the Hook ‘Em Horns sign. TCU fans have the Horned Frog sign.
Texas Tech fans do “Guns Up.” Arizona State fans make a trident. Houston fans make the same sign, only it’s a cougar paw.