SEC game-day atmosphere is something that high-definition TV never will be able to replace.

And one of our favorite parts of the game-day experience is the pregame field entrance.

Each team has its own unique take on entrances, and today we’re going to be taking a look at the history of some of them.

Some of the league’s pregame rituals, such as the flying of the eagle at Auburn and the honorary “Mr. Two Bits” cheer at Florida, are not included in this list, as we tried to focus on the actual entrances.

And while very cool, we’re leaving the new Arkansas entrance off this list because, well, there just isn’t enough history to it just yet.

Let’s get to some of the league’s coolest pregame entrances:


Seen at: Williams-Brice Stadium (South Carolina)
Originated: 1984
An explanation of the tradition:

From South Carolina’s official website:

The University of South Carolina Gamecocks feature perhaps the most unique and electrifying pregame entry in all of college football. In fact, The Sporting News rated USC’s “2001” as the most exciting pregame entry in all of college football. As the minutes wind down on the game clock prior to the opening kickoff, the Gamecocks leave the locker room following final pregame instruction from their coaching staff and assemble in the tunnel in the southwest corner of Williams-Brice Stadium. Then, as the crowd of more than 82,000 begins its roar of anticipation, the first notes of the them song from “2001-A Space Odyssey” blare over the stadium sound system. As the music continues, the enthusiasm of the crowd is feverish. Finally, at just the exact moment, in perfect coordination with the music, the Gamecocks hit the field running, and the stadium goes wild.

This magical moment has been captured by national television, including ESPN, CBS, ABC, Jefferson-Pilot, ESPN-2, and WTBS, during those networks’ telecasts of games at Williams-Brice Stadium. It is indeed one of the special traditions in college football.

The theme “2001” corresponds with the University’s Bicentennial, which was celebrated four years ago.

Running through the “T”

Seen at: Neyland Stadium (Tennessee)
Originated: 1965
An explanation of the tradition:
From Tennessee’s official website:

From the time of General Neyland through the 1963 season, the Vols had their team bench on the east side of the field, close to their dressing room which entered the field on the 50 yardline.

In 1965, Doug Dickey changed all that as the Vols opened the season against Army. He moved his team’s bench to the west side, allowing the Vols to enter the field just before the opening kickoff through a giant “T” formed by the Pride of the Southland Band.

When the Vols moved to the new dressing room quarters under the north stands in 1983, the “T” remained, forming from north to south instead of east to west.

The “T” has occasionally been formed on the road, most notably at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville and at the 1986 and 1991 Sugar Bowls in New Orleans.

Only Gators Get Out Alive

Seen at: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (Florida)
Originated: 1992
Explanation of the tradition: The entrance stems from an idea Steve Spurrier had, which involved calling Ben Hill Griffin Stadium “The Swamp.”

Orlando Sentinel sports columnist Mike Bianchi recalled the story in a 2012 column, some 20 years after Spurrier intially approached him about the nickname:

As my former Sentinel colleague Chris Harry of reminded me recently, it was exactly 20 years ago when I got the phone call from Steve Spurrier, who was then early in his tenure at the University of Florida, where he would become the second-greatest coach in Southeastern Conference history behind Bear Bryant.

“Got a story for you, Bianchi,” Spurrier said.

As the hometown columnist at the Gainesville Sun, I was amazed at the marketing genius that was about to come from the mouth of The Head Ball Coach. His story idea was to start calling Florida Field “The Swamp” – a place where only Gators get out alive. I ran with the idea, wrote the column, Gator Nation embraced the nickname and Spurrier’s brainstorm has magnificently morphed into one of college football’s most recognized homefield advantages.