As a new season gears up, fans across the nation can't wait to watch their favorite college football teams hit the field. Such an American institution appeals to a long list of country singers. Many of them, as you might expect, grew up in either one of the Midwest or Southwest's high school football hotbeds or in the Deep South, where the national championship trophy almost always resides.
These stars of varying fame might be loading up their RVs for tailgating if touring didn't get priority, as each of them is a vocal supporter of a major college football program.
Josh Abbott Band — Texas Tech
Texas Tech has no shortage of country star alumni. Pat Green, Wade Bowen and William Clark Green all went to Tech. But Josh Abbott is definitely one of the most vocal celebrity supporters of the school. Besides constantly repping the Red Raiders in social media, he routinely returns to play for the students in Lubbock.
Bill Anderson — Georgia
A lot of Georgia fans reside in Nashville and work in country music, namely Corey Smith, John Berry, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett and Luke Bryan. Yet few adore the Bulldogs (or the Atlanta Braves) more than Bill Anderson: a product of the university's journalism program turned Country Music Hall of Fame singer and songwriter.
Bobby Bones — Arkansas
Radio personality and Arkansas native Bobby Bones uses his platform to champion his beloved Razorbacks across various NCAA sports.
Lee Brice — Clemson
Lee Brice and his family root for an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) powerhouse, which surely sets up some good-natured smack talk with former Florida State student-athlete Jake Owen and South Carolina supporter Darius Rucker.
Garth Brooks — Oklahoma State
Garth Brooks adds collegiate athlete legitimacy to the list. He's a former scholarship member of his school of choice's track and field team. The javelin thrower turned arena-packing megastar remains a die-hard Cowboy (though it's common to see him wearing another school's hat or hoodie).
Kenny Chesney — Tennessee
Kenny Chesney could easily be knocked for pandering to local college and NFL fan bases wherever he goes with his wardrobe choices, but by all indications, he's a longtime Volunteers fan.
Sara Evans — Missouri
Despite past family ties to the Crimson Tide, Sara Evans pulls for a different SEC squad: her home state Missouri Tigers.
Harper Grae — Auburn
Country personalities who surely yell "WAR EAGLE" at strangers range from Auburn donor Jimmy Buffett to such rising stars as noted alum Harper Grae.
Jason Isbell — Alabama
One of Americana's brightest stars pulls for the greatest traditional power of them all and a team that's regularly a lock for the College Football Playoff. He's joined in the Crimson Tide nation by Nick Saban name-dropper Walker Hayes.
Toby Keith — Oklahoma
Known sports fanatic and proud son of Oklahoma Toby Keith loudly and proudly supports his Sooners, which must make for some good-natured teasing with the scores of Texas Longhorns involved in country music.
Dustin Lynch — Florida
Dustin' Lynch's dad Chuck played for the Gators in the 1970s as a walk-on defensive back, so it makes sense that the singer roots for the alma mater of fellow country artist Easton Corbin.
Scotty McCreery — North Carolina State
Scotty McCreery had the weird pleasure of attending North Carolina State while he was famous. Heck, we won American Idol at age 17. But he still enjoyed the college experience at a Division I school.
Tim McGraw — LSU
Tim McGraw ranks high on the list of famous Bengal Tiger supporters, joining the likes of the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty fame and all-time SEC basketball great Shaquille O'Neal. Straying from football a bit, McGraw narrated ESPN's SEC Storied special Shaq & Dale.
John Michael Montgomery — Kentucky
Nineties country legend John Michael Montgomery and his talented family —including his brother, Eddie Montgomery, and son, Walker Montgomery— root for their home state Wildcats.
Jake Owen — Florida State
Jake Owen had a golf scholarship to Florida State University before a wakeboarding accident required serious shoulder surgery and ended his golf career. It led to him playing guitar, and he definitely doesn't have any ill will towards his alma mater. Since then, he's been known to catch football games in Tallahassee.
Brad Paisley — West Virginia
Morgantown, arguably the most country setting of all the great Southern college meccas, feels like home for this crooner. He's played quite a few shows on campus and might as well qualify as an honorary member of the Mountaineer Marching Band.
Chase Rice — University of North Carolina
You can bet Chase Rice is a huge UNC fan, given he actually started as a linebacker for the team. He then had an interesting stint as a reality TV star before transitioning to a country career.
Darius Rucker — South Carolina
Hootie and the Blowfish famously formed during Rucker's time at the University of South Carolina (USC). Now a country singer, Rucker doesn't hesitate to rock team gear whenever he hits the stage or keep tabs on game scores during concerts.
Granger Smith — Texas A&M University
Granger Smith is a big Aggie fan and an A&M graduate. He even wrote a song for the team called "We Bleed Maroon."
Other A&M graduates of note include former classmates Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen.
Chris Young — Texas
Though he's a native of Tennessee, Chris Young's among the many Texas Longhorns (and Dallas Cowboys) fans itching for football season to kick off.
This story previously ran on Sept. 1, 2021.
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