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Colleges and Universities With the Best Teams and Sports Fans

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  • Harvard University (Cambridge, MA):
    School colors: Crimson and Black
    DYK? The Crimson Football program is one of the oldest in the country with five conference championship wins.

    The women's Track and Field team not only took home championships for the 2022–2023 season but also was named Team of the Year.
  • Iowa State University (Ames, IA):
    School colors: Cardinal Red and Gold
    DYK? The University is known for having one of the best women's basketball programs in the nation, and since the founding of the Big 12 in 1996, has only had three losing seasons to date.

    During home games, The Cyclone Marching Band, also known as the "Pride of Iowa State," leads fans in the "Cyclone Power" chant, where the east side of the stadium chants Cyclone followed by the west side responding with Power.
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI):
    School colors: Green and White
    DYK? The Spartan Football team has six national and nine Big Ten championship wins under its belt over 126 seasons.

    The Spartan men's basketball team has won six Big Ten championships as well as making it to the Final Four of the NCAA Championships 10 times and winning twice.
  • Stamps School of Art & Design—University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI):
    School Colors: Yellow (Maize) and Blue
    DYK? Michigan Stadium, or "The Big House," is the largest stadium in the US and third-largest in the world. In 2013, it set the record for the highest NCAA single-game attendance, amassing a crowd of 115,000+ for the game against the University of Notre Dame.

    Out of 29 total teams, 13 Wolverine athletic teams hold a collective 57 national championship titles.
  • The Ohio State University—Columbus (Columbus, OH):
    School colors: Scarlet and Gray
    DYK? The Ohio State Marching Band made history in 1936 for the earliest iteration of "moving script writing" for their musical drill "Script Ohio," and in 2022 they made history again for performing a quadruple "Script Ohio" with the assistance of an alumni band.

    The Buckeyes Football team holds three Big Ten championship titles as well as eight national championships.
  • The University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX):
    School colors: Burnt Orange
    DYK? The Longhorns Football team holds 30 Big 12 Conference championships as well as four national titles.

    Hook 'em Horns is the chant and hand signal of UT at Austin, and students, alumni, and fans are seen performing it in the stands at sporting events.
  • University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, AR):
    School colors: Cardinal Red and Appleblossom White
    DYK? Said to date back to the 1920s, Calling the Hogs is one of the most iconic sports chants used before kick-off at all home games. Get in on the hype with the simple lyrics:
    Woooooooooo, Pig! Sooie!
    Woooooooooo, Pig! Sooie!
    Woooooooooo, Pig! Sooie!

    Over 75 consecutive seasons, the Razorbacks baseball team has produced 55 All-American players—including 24 first-year student-athletes—and 54 MLB players.
  • University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT):
    School colors: Navy Blue and White
    DYK? At UConn, Basketball reigns supreme. The Husky men's team just took home their fifth NCAA Division I Championship title in 2023, meaning all but one of their six Final Four placements resulted in a championship win.

    The women’s team is even more notorious in March Madness appearing in the competition 32 times, making it to the Final Four 22 times, and winning 11 times. This also means, with the exception of the pandemic-interrupted 2020 season, the team has made it to the tournament every single year since 1989.
  • University of Florida (Gainesville, FL):
    School Colors: Orange and Blue
    DYK? With a total of 47 national titles across all sports, the Gators was the first athletics program in collegiate history to win both the men's basketball and football national titles in the same calendar year (2006).

    Most often done in the stands at sporting events, Gators greet each other with the Gator Chomp by holding their arms out on top of one another and opening and closing them like an alligator.
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA):
    School Colors: Cardinal Red and Gold
    DYK? The men's Trojan Track & Field team has won an impressive 26 NCAA titles, and the women's team has taken home three additional championships to add to their accolades.

    The University's iconic "Fight On!" fan song celebrated its centennial anniversary during the final football game of the 2022 regular season.

Roarin' in Red

  • Bellarmine University (Louisville, KY):
    School colors: Scarlet and Silver
    DYK? Competing in the ASUN Conference, the Knights teams are on the rise as they transition into NCAA Division I. The University competes in 25 varsity sports with national championship titles in D-II men’s basketball and collegiate dance.

    #SwordsUpBU is the newest Bellarmine fan tradition sweeping the stands and social platforms. The hashtag is used to highlight the accomplishments of the athletic teams, but it’s also an in-person greeting where you raise your arms up like crossed swords to show your pride.
  • Cornell University (Ithaca, NY):
    School colors: Carnelian Red and Dark Gray
    DYK? The Cornell men’s hockey team has won 12 ECAC Championships and 25 Ivy League titles (21 outright, four tied). In 1970, the Big Red team was the first (and currently only team) in NCAA hockey history to win a national title while being undefeated and untied with a perfect record.

    Cornell keeps the spirit alive with several fight songs, but the one with the longest use and tradition is "Give My Regards to Davy", a song written by three Cornellians in 1904 that is sung to the tune of George M. Cohan's "Give My Regards to Broadway".
  • Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL):
    School colors: Garnet and Gold
    DYK? The Seminoles football team has won three national championships, 18 conference titles, and six division titles. They’ve also achieved three undefeated seasons and completed 41 straight winning seasons from 1977 to 2017.

    The Seminoles War Chant and Tomahawk Chop make the fan section recognizable to any Florida State opponent, but the chop doesn’t just serve to intimidate but to unite Seminole fans everywhere. An unofficial anthem to Tallahassee, Florida, you can hear it playing anywhere from nightclubs to the grocery store.
  • Indiana University Bloomington (Bloomington, IN):
    School colors: Crimson and Cream
    DYK? Hoosier give it their all, and the IU Bloomington teams have brought home 25 national titles, produced 161 individual NCAA champions, and won 182 Big Ten team titles.

    Indiana students are known as Hoosiers, a nickname for residents of Indiana and everyone who finds a home at IU. The University and its community are so proud of the moniker they don’t even have a mascot. What represents a Hoosier better than a Hoosier? Nothing.
  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey—New Brunswick (New Brunswick, NJ):
    School colors: Red and Gray
    DYK? Known as "The Birthplace of College Football," The Rutgers University Scarlet Knights are one of the two teams to have ever competed in an intercollegiate football game. The November 1969 game was against Princeton University, and Rutgers prevailed with a score of 4–6.

    Rutgers commits fully to its Scarlet Knight motif on game day, going so far as to conduct an ax-chopping ceremony before every game, fire a stadium cannon after the team scores, and have a player lead the band while holding aloft the Scarlet Knight’s sword after a winning game.
  • The University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL):
    School colors: Red and gray
    DYK? UA ranks second to Yale for most NCAA Division I National Football titles; their 16 championship wins span nearly a century with the team first claiming the trophy in 1925 and most recently in 2020.

    UA’s football team was first known as the Thin Red Line, but on a rainy day in 1907 during a game against Auburn, the iron-rich soil turned to a sea of red mud that stained Alabama’s white jerseys. The team was quoted to have played like “a Crimson Tide.” Roll Tide is now the rallying cry of the Crimson Tide for athletes, fans, and alumni alike.
  • University of Mississippi (University, MS):
    School colors: Cardinal Red and Navy Blue
    DYK? Since 1947, what the University considers its “modern era” of the baseball program, the Rebels have made it to the NCAA Championship tournament 25 times, competed in six NCAA College World Series, and recently secured their first-ever championship title in 2022.

    Ole Miss’ student section fan chant is well-known around the country for its unique lyrics. “Are you ready?” That question sets off the chant that goes like this:
    ”Hotty Toddy, Gosh amighty
    Who the hell are we, Hey!
    Flim flam, bim bam,
    Ole Miss, By Damn”
  • University of Nebraska—Lincoln (Lincoln, NE):
    School colors: Scarlet and Cream
    DYK? Nebraska has brought home 29 national championships in five of their 22 varsity athletics teams. They hold eight titles for men’s gymnastics, eight for bowling, five for volleyball, five for football, and three for women’s track & field.

    The Cornhusker have so much fan energy they needed not one but two mascots to live up to the hype. Herbie Husker and Lil’ Red have both been named “Mascot of the Year” in their histories, and Lil’ Red was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2007.
  • University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC):
    DYK? Although active since 1923, the USC Gamecocks women’s basketball team has more recently been making a name for itself. The team has made it to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Division I Tournament every year since 2014, placing in the Final Four five times and winning twice.

    USC fans like to honor tradition by singing the first stanza of the alma mater at all athletics events, and at the end, it’s customary to raise one’s right hand cupped, as if offering a toast, while singing the phrase “Here’s a Health, Carolina.”
  • University of Wisconsin—Madison (Madison, WI):
    School colors: Red and White
    DYK? The Badgers men’s basketball team is no stranger to NCAA March Madness, participating in the tournament for 19 consecutive seasons from 1999 to 2017. The team has made it to the Final Four four times and won the championship once.

    Everyone knows what happens between the third and fourth quarters at a Wisconsin Badgers football game. Since 1998, “Jump Around” by House of Pain has been used as the official Wisconsin Badgers hype song to get the crowd’s energy up toward the end of a game.

Ovations in Orange

  • California State University, Fullerton (Fullerton, CA):
    School colors: Blue and Orange
    DYK? Since the early days of the program in 1975, the Cal State Titans team has been considered elite in college baseball, making 41 total appearances in the NCAA Tournament, 18 appearances in the College World Series, and winning four national championships.

    "Titan Pride" is the rallying cry for 12 national team championships in seven sports, hundreds All-American players, dozens of professional athletes, many national coach of the year award winners, Olympic basketball players, and a Miss America candidate.
  • Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK):
    School colors: Orange and Black
    DYK? The Cowboys baseball team has made 20 trips to the College World Series, ranking the team fifth overall for all-time appearances.

    Men’s basketball has a rich history of success with more national titles and placements in the NCAA Championships than any Big 12 program other than the University of Kansas.
  • Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY):
    School colors: Orange and Blue
    DYK? The men’s Division I basketball team has made it to the NCAA Championships 41 total times, which includes six appearances in the final four and one championship title.

    Syracuse is so known for energetic fans that its football stadium is called the Loud House. One student-favorite tradition is when the stands collectively shake their keys at opponents to distract them on a third down.
  • University of Tennessee at Knoxville (Knoxville, TN):
    School colors: Orange and White
    DYK? In more than 120 years of football, the Volunteers have claimed 811, a win rate of over 66%, and have the 11th most wins of any program in NCAA history.

    Despite having an official fight song ("Down the Field"), UT fans' preferred song is Rocky Top by the Osborne Brothers, serving as a beloved rally cry as well as a taunt seeing as the song is despised by the rest of the schools in the SEC.

Bold in Black & Gold

  • University of Colorado Boulder (Boulder, CO):
    School colors: Gold and Black
    DYK? The Buffaloes hold 24 total NCAA titles, consisting of 17 for skiing, one in football, and six for men’s and women’s cross-country.

    The school has a real Buffalo named Ralphie as one of their two mascots. Before every game, the team storms the field with the buffalo at the helm. The inaugural “Run With Ralphie” took place in 1967.
  • University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA):
    School Colors: Black and Gold
    DYK? The Iowa Hawkeye’s men’s wrestling team holds 37 team Big Ten Championship titles and 24 team national titles. Iowa has also earned national championships in men’s gymnastics, football, field hockey, wrestling, and rifle as well as women’s track and field.

    2023 marks the inaugural season for the Iowa women’s wrestling team, and the team has already seen accolades with one of their athletes being named “Wrestling Athlete of the Week” by USA Wrestling. The University made history by becoming the first Power Five school to sponsor a varsity women’s wrestling program.
  • University of Missouri—Columbia (Columbia, MO):
    School colors: Black and Gold
    DYK? Competing in the SEC, Mizzou’s football program has 15 conference titles, five division titles, and appeared in 35 total bowl games. The team has also seen 13 All-American players come and go through their ranks.

    School spirit extends far beyond the campus limits at the University of Missouri—and it’s very common to find current students, faculty members, alumni, and other fans donning their colors every week for Black and Gold Fridays.

Giving in Green

  • Baylor University (Waco, TX):
    School colors: Green and Gold
    DYK? The Baylor Bears men’s basketball team has made it to the NCAA March Madness Tournament 15 times, with three placements in the Final Four and one championship title win as of recently in 2021.

    The Baylor fan section is affectionately known as the Bear Pit, and you’ll often catch students swiping at their enemies with their “Sic ‘em Bears” chant or singing the Baylor “Old Fight!” song after every score.
  • California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento, CA):
    School colors: Green and Gold
    DYK? The Sacramento State Hornets hold five conference titles, including three under their current membership with the Big Sky Conference for three consecutive years from 2019 to 2022.

    Sac State is dedicated to supporting its teams through its official campus fan club: The SWARM. A passionate and dedicated student group, members are encouraged to support all 21 Division I sports by bringing high energy to all home games and events.
  • University of Oregon (Eugene, OR):
    School colors: Green and Yellow
    DYK? Not only has the Ducks football team made it to the Pac-12 Conference championships three consecutive years, but they also made history as the first-ever champions, sharing it with the University of Washington due to having the same season record and a tied game.

    Oregon fans picked up a fun tradition in 2010 using a music throwback from the 1970s! Between the third and fourth quarters of home games, the student section sings “Shout” from the movie Animal House, which took place at the University.
  • University of South Florida (Tampa, FL):
    School colors: Green and Gold
    DYK? USF varsity athletics has claimed 16 national championships—15 by individuals and one team title by the women’s swimming team—as well as 142 conference titles since 1965.

    The Bulls football team celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2021 and is the fastest program in Florida to reach 150 wins. The Bulls spent a program record of 20 straight weeks ranked in the top 25 during the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Boisterous in Blue

  • Duke University (Durham, NC):
    School colors: Navy and Royal Blue
    DYK? The Blue Devils are one of the most well-known teams in March Madness—making it to the NCAA tournament a total of 45 times, locking in 17 Final Four placements, and winning five titles.

    “Every Time We Touch” by Cascada captivates Duke Crazies like no other fight song. When it was released in 2006, Marching Band Director Jeff Au was pushing for more modern songs to play on game day, and it was this internationally recognized German pop song with its catchy chorus that rooted itself in the hearts of Duke students.
  • Pennsylvania State University—University Park (University Park, PA):
    School colors: Nittany Navy and Beaver Blue
    DYK? The Nittany Lions are notorious for The White Out games, where all spectators attend dressed in white during select home games. These events have been lauded as "the best atmosphere in college football."

    The Penn State Blue Band was a huge influence in the rise of college bands playing the song 'Seven National Army' at sporting events.
  • University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA):
    School colors: Blue and Gold
    DYK? UCLA is second to only to Stanford for the most NCAA team championships at 121 title wins across 11 varsity sports. And because Bruins athletics are on the rise, they’re set to join the Big Ten Conference in 2024.

    The Bruins men's basketball team has set several NCAA records including 11 title wins, seven consecutive titles in a row, 10 consecutive Final Four appearances, 54 consecutive winning seasons, four undefeated seasons, and more.
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC):
    School colors: Blue and Navy
    DYK? Carolina has won 49 NCAA Division I national championships in eight different sports—ranking them 8th in the country overall for title wins—and 52 individual national championships.

    Unsurprisingly, a fan favorite song at UNC football games is “Sweet Caroline,” and you’ll likely hear it led by the students of the Carolina Fever. This campus fan organization introduces other students to the athletic teams and brings them out to games.
  • University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN):
    School colors: Blue and Gold
    DYK? With 11 NCAA championships, 900+ all-time wins, seven Heisman Trophy winners, and the most All-Americans of any university, Notre Dame football is one of the most storied programs in college athletics.

    When it comes to Notre Dame, the fan base far exceeds students, faculty, and alumni. This University is notorious for drawing in fans from everywhere regardless of association with the school. That’s just the power of the Fighting Irish!

Pride in Purple

  • Grand Canyon University (Phoenix, AZ):
    School colors: Purple and Gold
    DYK? Volleyball has been part of the athletics programs since 1949. Since then, both the men's and women's teams have become members of the Western Athletic Conference as well as the NCAA Division I program.

    GCU fans are so known for being lively and enthusiastic that they have their own name—and you'll find the Havocs cheering on the Antelopes in the student section every game.
  • Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA):
    School colors: Purple and Gold
    DYK? LSU is becoming notorious for their gymnastics team with their ninth appearance in the NCAA Championship, a Final Four placement, and a school record-breaking gymnast in 2023.

    The LSU Tigers football team has won five national championships as well as 15 conference championships in its 130-year history.
  • Post University (Waterbury, CT):
    School Colors: Purple and Orange
    DYK? At Post, student-athletes are more than just great at sports. In fact, the athletic program ranks 5th among Division II schools for community service hours.

    Post Eagles are familiar with success, boasting 10 of 22 teams that hold at least one Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference championship—each of these teams has also had appearances in multiple NCAA Championships.
  • Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, TX):
    School colors: Purple and White
    DYK? A member of the Big 12 Conference, 18 varsity TCU sports compete in the NCAA Division I and have won multiple national championships and produced many professional athletes.

    Currently ranked 18th in the nation, the University’s women’s volleyball program is on the rise, making it to the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament in 2020 and producing many All-American players.

Source: CX Student Users

Want more information on how this list was compiled? Find out more about where our Lists & Rankings come from.

About This List

It’s no secret that athletic teams and the fans that support them are a huge part of campus culture at most colleges and universities in the country. The electric atmosphere! The rush of a winning play! The euphoria of the whole community celebrating after a home win! Who wouldn’t love all that? But not all teams and not all fans rise to the occasion quite like the schools on this list. These colleges are notorious for winning teams, up-and-coming athletic programs, or top-notch campus spirit.

From fan chants that are known nationwide to a history of championship wins, learn a few things about schools recommended by real students just like you. Whether you’re thinking of playing in college or cheering your teams on from the stands, there’s a lot of pride in college sports—pride you can take with you long after you graduate.

(And if you see a lack of mascots on this list that's because they have a whole list all to themselves: Colleges and Universities With the Best School Mascots in the Country.)

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