For the first time ever, the best student section in college football will be crowned the Live Más Student Section of the Year. Taco Bell has assembled the Live Más Student Section Selection Committee, a group of college football experts from around the country, to watch, rank and reward student sections each week before an overall Live Más Student Section of the Year winner is crowned at the end of the season. Be part of the conversation and show us what makes your student section the best using #LiveMasStudentSectionChallenge!
Throughout the regular season, our Committee will choose one student section that stood out and crown them the Student Section of the Week.
Nicknamed "The Corral", Boise State's student section once helped create a "micro earthquake" during the Broncos' 2009 win over rival Idaho. If the infamous blue turf isn't intimidating enough, opponents have to deal with a student section that gets going with a thunderous "BOY-SEE, STAAAATE!" going each game. It's easily one of the best game day atmospheres on the West Coast.
You can't miss the BC Superfans, clad in their gold Superfan shirts for every game day at on-campus Alumni Stadium. As the student section sings along to "Sweet Caroline" and "Build Me Up Buttercup" and students get tossed into the air for every point scored, game days at The Heights are one-of-a-kind.
The Hill is already packed with students when the team arrives via bus. Under the jumbotron, 105 players gather for the sprint down the hill, through the crowd, and onto the field. It's as electric a moment as there is in college football, with the students pushing the energy to another level cheering the players on as they make the sprint through the crowd. Once the game starts, the hill is a general admission free-for-all of some of the most passionate students in the nation.
The student section in Tallahassee has its share of painted faces, Osceola and Renegade costumes, and outright insane students that pack the house for every big game. Roughly 16,000 strong, you'll see students doing the "Chop" in unison as they root on their Seminoles.
The student section at Indiana is called the Crimson Guard, and the group supports all Indiana athletics, not just football. The students have had a good amount to cheer about now with the team trending in the right direction.
The Louisville student section is arguably the most fearsome in the ACC — loud, consistent and tough as nails on opposing teams. You know to ONLY throw your "L" up using your right hand.
One of the most intense student sections in the ACC, this Student Section is known to turn Sun Life Stadium into a raucous affair. Their traditions are loud, chanting it's all about the "U" and "We Got Some Canes Over Here," and visual as the Student Section has its own smoke machine. Having the Student Section sit right next to the visitors bench gives Miami a home field advantage.
Hotty Toddy! Ole Miss has never lost a tailgate. The Grove is arguably the best pregame party in college football and Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is an absolute zoo when kickoff comes. Get there early though, because there's nothing quite like "Locking the Vaught" when Led Zeppelin blares over the loudspeaker and fans lock arms and sway as their team runs onto the field. Remember four years ago when Ole Miss pulled off the upset against Alabama? Students stormed the field and carried the goalpost out of the stadium.
"Whiteouts" at Penn State really are something special, but before that, you're wading through tent-packed Nittanyville, before your ears rupture from thunderous chants of "We Are", as your eyes settle in on the giant, student-made "S" that makes its way into the end zone every week.
On game days, USC students "kick the poles" on their way from campus into the venerable Coliseum, which they turn into a sea of cardinal and gold. A storied student section traditions include yells of "Fight on!", throwing out "V for victory" hand signs and chanting the "SoCal Spellout". In the running for a major trophy? Well, this student section gets the front row to call out their candidates for national TV exposure.
"Enter Sandman" is what everyone remembers about a Virginia Tech game, but it's really the atmosphere, led by a rowdy student section, that sets the tone. Once those first few notes of the Metallica hit echo through the stadium, the student section erupts, getting the crowd and the team pumped enough to have the stadium shaking once the players sprint onto the field.
At West Virginia, the "Mountaineer Maniacs" are the largest student organization on campus and membership comes with matching T-shirts donning the section's name. The group is loud, proud and helps provide for a quality home game atmosphere at Milan Puskar Stadium. Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong...
If you haven't heard about jump around, then you're missing out. Between the third and fourth quarter, the students sing along and literally jump around while the song of the same name is blared throughout the stadium. Many have said that the stadium shakes during the tradition and it's one of the more talked about traditions when it comes to in-game recurrences. The students at Wisconsin always bring their best and are among the best in college football.
Amidst a sea of green, the student section played a huge role in propelling Notre Dame to a big win against Michigan. Their coordinated 'Green Out' and unceasing noise throughout the night showed why South Bend is among the most sought-after college football destinations in the country. Tradition, creativity, endurance, impact... qualities that exemplify our first Live Más Student Section of the Week.
The Inferno, Arizona State's Student Section, helped energize their team to a marquee upset win over No. 15 Michigan State. Braving the 100-degree heat in Tempe, Arizona State students — sitting in the end zone — made an already tough environment even worse for Michigan State. At one point, they appeared to play a role in a delay of game penalty and were deafeningly loud the entire game. Tradition, endurance and impact... qualities that make them the Live Más Student Section of the Week.
A packed Texas student section was loud and proud on Saturday, coming early and staying late. Well before kickoff the students serenaded the crowd with a pregame rendition of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" and stayed late as the band played “Eyes of Texas” following their win. Throughout the game they made their presence felt, even head coach Tom Herman said afterward they had a "direct impact on the game" which Texas won decisively 37-14 over visiting USC. Endurance, creativity and impact…qualities that make them the Live Más Student Section of the Week.
This week The Hurd, Utah State's Student Section, brought next level enthusiasm to their primetime matchup against Air Force. These rabid fans took to social media to lobby for their school, camped out over-night and were deafening throughout the game. The Hurd took their whiteout to the next level by blanketing the student section in baby powder continually throughout the night (you have to see it to believe it). Passion, tradition, energy, endurance and creativity... qualities that make them the Live Más Student Section of the Week.
This week, the Penn State University Student Section showed us all what makes college football great. Starting on Monday, Nittanyville was packed with tents as over 700 students camped all week through rain and cold so that they could be the first into the stadium on game day. The once-a-year “whiteout game” was a sight to behold as the student section brought relentless energy and incredible noise until the final whistle, fueling the largest crowd in Beaver Stadium history. From the chants of “We Are” to the staple “S” in the student section, it was impressive to see their passion. Tradition, endurance, impact, creativity... qualities that make them the Live Más Student Section of the Week.
It takes a special Student Section to gather for Midnight Yell Practice the night before the game. Then on game day, the 12th Man showed up 30,000+ strong as Texas A&M took on #13-ranked Kentucky. They cranked up home field advantage, doing their signature yells throughout the game and staying loud when the Aggies were on defense. It certainly helped, as A&M's defense held Kentucky to just 178 yards and the Wildcats had multiple pre-snap penalties. When the victory was sealed by a touchdown run in overtime, the student section, still full, did a rousing rendition of the Aggie War Hymn capped by "sawing varsity's horns off" where they swayed in celebration of the win.
The energy was dialed up this weekend as the Wolverines took on No. 15 Wisconsin under the lights. 25,000+ students showed up in traditional fashion dressed head to toe in maize screaming and yelling. You could hear the entire student section belting out The Killers “Mr. Brightside” and at one point during the game the students led fans in lighting up the stadium with their mobile devices giving their team a clear path to an eventual 38-13 victory. Tradition, endurance, impact... qualities that make them the Live Más Student Section of the Week.
The inhabitants of Clemson's famed Hill had been waiting all season for a big-time showdown in Death Valley, and when the time finally came, they erupted on an overwhelmed NC State. In a battle of unbeatens, Clemson's student section made it clear they were veterans of the big-game environment, tormenting Ryan Finley and an NC State offense that wasn't prepared for all the noise. In Raleigh, last season, NC State had 21 points and 244 yards at the half. With the Clemson' faithful bearing down on them this time around, NC State mustered just 100 yards before the break and trailed 24-0. Tradition, endurance, impact... qualities that make them the Live Más Student Section of the Week.
The "Paddle People" were raucous and rowdy throughout Oklahoma State's 38-35 upset over No. 15 Texas. In between snaps, you could hear the paddles rhythmically hitting the wall as chants of "Orange!" and "Power!" could be heard echoing throughout the stadium. The booming cheers from Oklahoma State's student section created an absolute nightmare environment for Texas. Endurance, tradition and impact... qualities that make them the Live Más Student Section of the Week.
The Zzu Cru is one of the best student sections in the country. Every week, they make Pullman a tough place to play. This week, despite a late kickoff and inclement weather, the Zzu Cru provided a clear home-field advantage helping their team defeat Cal and stay atop the Pac-12 North. The Cru made their presence felt during Cal's last-ditch effort late in the 4th quarter, cranking up the noise to an absolutely deafening level. Endurance, impact and creative energy... qualities that make them the Live Más Student Section of the Week.
For the Georgia student section it doesn't matter who they're playing, what time the game is or what the weather is like. Temperatures were close to freezing on Saturday night but that didn't stop the Georgia student section from showing up in droves for the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry. Students painted their faces, waved red shakers in unison, rallied around the Spike Squad and called for their Dawgs at every kickoff. Auburn was completely overwhelmed. No team in the SEC had more false start penalties than Auburn on Saturday, a credit to the rambunctiousness of the Georgia student section inside Sanford Stadium. Impact, endurance and tradition... qualities that make them the Live Más Student Section of the Week.
UCF has one of the largest student bodies in the United States with roughly 66,000 students. And it's as if every one of them came to campus on Saturday. The atmosphere was electric from ESPN's College GameDay until long after the sun went down. From the opening kick, you could tell that this game meant something more to these students. The Bounce House was rocking and contributed to a handful of Cincinnati false start and delay of game penalties. Impact and endurance... qualities that make them the Live Más Student Section of the Week.
In the world of college football, there is no more qualified voice to act as Chairman of this prestigious Committee than William Laurece "Rece" Davis. As a voice on ESPN since 1995 and the lead of ESPN College GameDay Built by The Home Depot since 2015, Rece has pretty much been everywhere and seen everything. While his knowledge of college sports and unbiased perspective have earned him the trust of college football fans across the land, his heart lies in Tuscaloosa with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
He's been to Rome with Jim Harbaugh. He's put his feet up in Nick Saban's office. He's thrown post patterns on the South Lawn of the White House with the Clemson Tigers. As one of ESPN's most popular and recognized reporters, Marty Smith brings a passion for college football, an enthusiasm for its fans and more energy than this Committee can probably handle. Since visiting Lane Stadium as a five-year-old with his dad, Marty has bled the orange and maroon of the Virginia Tech Hokies. Gobble Gobble.
Since joining ESPN in 2016, Molly is a rising star in the world of college football acting as the sideline reporter for ESPN's Friday night games and as the host of numerous college football studio shows. Her experiences as a cheerleader at Boston College, where she received the Athletic Director's Award for Academic Excellence, bring a unique and indispensable perspective to the Committee. From The Heights to the sidelines, Molly McGrath has seen the future of America getting rowdy on game day.
You can't script The Duck. The Duck wakes up, lives, and goes to bed like everyone on this planet. But he wakes up with 20 quarts of coffee, lives to solely amuse himself, and goes to bed if he's bored. He's a student. He's not a very good student, as he has been in school since '47. He's a philanthropist. He wants to help when he can. He means well. He's The Duck.
Alex Scarborough has been covering college athletics for ESPN since 2012. Before that, he worked for the Tuscaloosa News, Savannah Morning News and Rome News-Tribune. A native of Southern California, he now lives in Birmingham where he reports heavily on the SEC.
Sam Khan Jr. is a college sports reporter for ESPN.com. This is his seventh season covering college football for the company. A Houston native, Khan graduated from the University of Houston and spent seven years covering sports at the Houston Chronicle prior to joining ESPN.
When it comes to football and food, Tom VanHaaren has always lived más. He joined ESPN.com in 2011, where he learned a go route didn't mean getting in the drivethru line at Taco Bell. He covers college football and recruiting, and he loves a good tailgate. His penchant for food and his knowledge of the college football atmosphere make him a natural fit for the student section selection committee.
As a college football reporter, Edward understands how crucial student sections are. But he's on this committee to see if anyone can rival the 2006 student section at Florida. As a proud member of the UF drumline and Gator Band back then, he likes to think they helped block a game-winning field goal against South Carolina because of how loud they helped make the Swamp. They made history. Can you?
David has covered college football for more than 12 years, spending the past seven seasons at ESPN with a focus on the ACC. He's attended games at more than 30 stadiums and is an aficionado of eccentric student-sections everywhere.
Kyle Bonagura is a Los Angeles-based college sports reporter for ESPN.com. He grew up in the Bay Area and attended Washington State University. When it's not football or basketball season, he's trying to visit as many new countries as possible.