1. Georgia – Knee Deep (Zac Brown / Jimmy Buffett)
This is kind of cheating since it’s a Zac Brown Band song but Jimmy plays too big of a role to exclude it from consideration. Plus, can you pick a better song for the Bulldogs? Recruiting on all cylinders, back-to-back championships, and the best team in the country again this year. Is there a better line than this for Kirby Smart?
“Got the blue sky breeze and it don’t seem fair
Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair”
2. Ohio State – Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes
This was the most difficult of the teams for me to figure out the song for. I think ‘Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes’ is the best song for the Buckeyes. With two straight losses to Michigan, Ohio State is seeing these changes play out in front of them and in the post-Urban Meyer era. I don’t want to assign the downfall to the program (obviously, they’re ranked second), but it’s certainly a change from where they were after reeling off eight straight wins against the Wolverines. For all intents and purposes, it’s different now, but the desire to get back after those losses is there.
“Visions of good times that brought so much pleasure
Makes me want to go back again”
3. Michigan – Tin Cup Chalice
Michigan’s song choice was deciding which song best encapsulated the Jim Harbaugh saga and his every offseason will-he-won’t-he drama. Tin Cup Chalice is a song where the narrator yearns to return to the good ol’ days (Harbaugh attempting to flee back to the NFL.) Harbaugh’s choice to interview for the Vikings on national signing day really tied the bow here on the song choice, especially on the urgency.
“Yes and now you heard my strange proposal
So get that Packard up and let’s move
I wanna be there before the day”
4. Alabama – Fins
An easy choice. And while the Crimson Tide aren’t the college-aged woman in the song being hit on by sleazy guys, they are being circled by sharks. The end of the Saban era is upon us, while the rest of the SEC seems to be taking massive steps around them. The Tide truly has fins to the left (LSU) and fins to the right (Georgia, Tennessee.)
“Can’t you feel them swimming around?
You got fins to the left, fins to the right
And you’re the only bait in town”
5. LSU – Cowboy in the Jungle
The moment that “family” came out of Brian Kelly’s mouth, this choice was made. The Irish-Catholic Kelly down in the Bayou has been an interesting fit, but it’s working. Like the Cowboy in the song, who was clearly out of place, Kelly found himself also rolling with the punches. Even a year later, the infamous introductory half-team speech remains the most notorious element of Kelly’s tenure thus far.
“There’s a cowboy in the jungle
And he looks so out of place”
5. USC – Boat Drinks
Don’t think I forgot about Lincoln Riley leaving Norman, Oklahoma, for Los Angeles. With the unpredictable weather and not-so-sexy vacation destination, it was probably a foregone conclusion that Riley would eventually want to get out of that climate. And while a good football team, it’s easy to see why this was an easy choice for Riley. An average low of 30 degrees in Norman, Lincoln bolting for LA shouldn’t surprise anyone.
“I should be leaving this climate
I got a verse but can’t rhyme it
I gotta go where it’s warm”
7. Tennessee – Cheeseburger in Paradise
The Vols are finally eating well after years at sea. Eating nothing but sunflower seeds and drinking carrot juice, Rocky Top is now chowing down on some cheeseburgers. With wins over Alabama, Clemson, and LSU, the Vols were in for an absolute treat last year. After the Butch Jones and Jeremy Pruitt eras, Josh Huepel is the cheeseburger in paradise that Tennessee fans had been craving. Medium-rare with mustard was nice.
“Cheeseburger in paradise
Medium-rare with mustard’d be nice
Heaven on Earth with an onion slice”
8. Texas – Volcano
I’ve been thinking hard about the Longhorns and what exactly this team is going to do. Am I a believer in the 2023 unit? Absolutely. However, I think there’s a case to be made that it could blow up (like every other Texas team post-Mack Brown). That’s why we picked Volcano for this one. While the song doesn’t specifically call out Austin as a place to avoid, I imagine when the Volcano blows, “Don’t want to land in no Austin, Texas” fits the bill. I want to be positive, but hey, I don’t know.
“Let me hear ya now I don’t know
I don’t know
I don’t know where I’m a gonna go
When the volcano blow”
9. Penn State – Fruitcakes
James Franklin is a notoriously cranky coach following Penn State losses, and no other song exemplifies a cranky old man like Fruitcakes. Humans in the cosmic bakery that came out too early and the advancement of technology and society feels to coincide with the cranky attitude Franklin continues to have. Tell me the lyrics below don’t describe a James Franklin post-game conference following a loss.
“We need people that care
I’m mad as hell, and I don’t want to take it anymore”
10. Clemson – Ringlin’ Ringlin’
I had this idea for *months* and chose this song for Clemson, even prior to hiring Garrett Riley as offensive coordinator (which might change by choice, but alas, we are riding with it.) Ringlin’ Ringlin’ describes a dying town and one that hasn’t kept up with the times of modern changes and technology. Under Dabo Swinney, I don’t think it’s totally far off. His refusal to use the transfer portal, lack of signature NIL investment, and overall unwillingness to play ball with modern football. I question whether that get fixed, and as of now, if the trend continues, Clemson is going to be “slippin’ away.”
Only forty people livin’ there today’
‘Cause the streets are dusty and the bank had been torn down
It’s a dyin’ little town”
Honorable Mention: Ole Miss – Coconut Telegraph
I wanted to cheat my rankings just to get this one in because it’s so perfect for Lane Kiffin. In the NIL era, Kiffin has become the SEC’s gossip and Twitter drama king. There is no better song for this program than Coconut Telegraph; it is by far my favorite fit and had to be included on that basis alone. The song is about gossip being spread around the Island from the same parties. Sound familiar for our Land Sharks and Kiffin? A song even Joey Freshwater would love.
“Now I’m not one to deal in gossip
But was he that big a fool
To do a belly-buster high dive
And miss the entire pool“