College football and country music go together like humidity and the South. College football’s roots are firmly planted in the hearts of most country music fans and visa versa– it’s just hard to love one without the other.
Really, country music is about all kinds of football if you look at the theme songs for Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football, anyway. Big & Rich have been the zing in the zang-zang of ESPN’s “College Gameday” for so long that we all now want a ting in our tang-tang and we only pronounce city as “ci-tay.”
Last season, Florida Georgia Line took over the coveted spot for the “SEC on CBS” Saturday afternoon game. Every Saturday at 2:30 (CST) the FGL boys were playing to an audience of millions.
So, just who are country music’s biggest college football fans? Years ago, the answer would be Kenny Chesney without much fodder, but these days it’s a tight field.
Country Music’s Biggest College Football Fans:
Thomas Rhett: Rhett keeps a Georgia Bulldogs helmet on his bus and regularly wears a football jersey on stage. And he’ll wear any team. Rhett’s loyalties run deep with UGA, but his wife, Lauren is a Tennessee grad and high on Rocky Top. Rhett and his wife have been spotted at games for both of their beloved teams. (Not to mention, he makes it a habit to visit any college football stadiums near tour stops.)
Darius Rucker: Rucker graduated from the University of South Carolina and is almost always wearing a Gamecocks hat. Rucker’s tour bus features a Gamecocks license plate and if he’s around Columbia in the fall, you can find him on the sidelines of Williams-Brice Stadium.
Kenny Chesney: Chesney is such a fan he was even featured in a commercial for “SportsCenter.” He hails from East Tennessee and is a noted Tennessee Vols fan, but a recent SB Nation report lists his allegiances at a whopping 33 teams.
After those three, fandom still runs rampant, but not as show-y.
Justin Moore: Moore hails from Arkansas and is a long-time fan of the Arkansas Razorbacks. He regularly tweets about games and coaches and the current head football coach of the Hogs, counts himself a huge fan of Moore’s, the two have even become good friends.
Coach Bret Bielema in plaid and cowboy boots calling the Hogs on stage with Justin Moore. pic.twitter.com/8SbfCuigu6
— Elicia Dover (@EliciaDover) February 28, 2015
Chase Rice: Rice played at the University of North Carolina and his old college coach is now in charge of the Indianapolis Colts.
— Chase Rice (@ChaseRiceMusic) August 30, 2014
Brad Paisley: Paisley is a supporter of all things West Virginia, but especially the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Let’s goooooooo pic.twitter.com/6oefQc1fWT
— Brad Paisley (@BradPaisley) November 1, 2014
Sara Evans: Evans splits her loyalties most Saturdays in the fall between her home-state Missouri Tigers and her husband’s Alabama Crimson Tide. Evans’ husband, Jay Barker, was a legendary quarterback at Alabama and lead them to a national championship in 1992.
Garth Brooks: Brooks is passionate about everything he does and he’s especially proud of his alma mater, Oklahoma State University. In 2009, he was elected to the school’s Alumni Hall of Fame, that same year Barry Sanders was also elected. He won a Heisman once.
Lee Brice: Brice was a long snapper for the Clemson Tigers and wrote the song, “Orange Empire” for the team in 2012.
Toby Keith: Keith grew up selling cokes in Memorial Stadium on Saturdays when the Oklahoma Sooners were playing. Now, he’s great friends with their head coach, Bob Stoops and his two daughters went to school there.
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