So Week 8 of the college football season brings us a few moderately intriguing matchups, including Oregon’s attempt to keep the Pac-12’s dim playoff hopes alive against Washington, second-ranked LSU traveling to play a struggling (but ever-dangerous) Mississippi State, and Clemson traveling to Louisville to face the steadily improving Cardinals. But the showcase game Saturday night pits No. 16 Michigan (5-1) — in the midst of a watershed season under Jim Harbaugh — against seventh-ranked Penn State (6-0) in the Nittany Lions’ annual “white-out” game. It’s possible a major bowl berth (if not at least a shot at a playoff berth) is at stake.
I am a Penn State graduate. And I am old enough to predate this tradition, which began in the 2000s, when the Nittany Lions were seeking to boost home attendance. (The glorious tradition handed down to my generation was to sneak marshmallows into the student section and then toss them haphazardly onto the field.) But man, did the white-out work; it has gifted Penn State one of the most pronounced home-field advantages in big games since its advent. As an utterly subjective observer, I might even list it in my top-three college football traditions of the 21st century.
But that’s where we’re landing today: on traditions, and what works, and what doesn’t. So what would you include in your top three college football traditions? Does the white-out make the cut? And while we’re at it, what are your three least favorite college football traditions, the ones that make you hurl a foam finger at your television?