college football
Erika Goldring/FilmMagic

18 Country Stars’ College Football Allegiances


Advertisement

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

LUBBOCK, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 13: The Josh Abbott Band performs before the college football game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Iowa State Cyclones at Jones AT&T Stadium on November 13, 2021 in Lubbock, Texas.

John E. Moore III/Getty Images

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.

Advertisement

Bill Anderson -- Georgia

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - JULY 17: Bill Anderson performs on stage during the 6th Annual Georgia On My Mind presented by Gretsch at Ryman Auditorium Nashville on July 17, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Georgia Music Foundation

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

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MAY 07: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Bobby Bones attends the 2022 iHeartCountry Festival presented by Capital One at the new state-of-the-art venue Moody Center on May 7, 2022 in Austin, Texas.

Dave Pedley/Getty Images for iHeartRadio

Radio personality and Arkansas native Bobby Bones uses his platform to champion his beloved Razorbacks across various NCAA sports.

Lee Brice -- Clemson

STERLING HEIGHTS, MICHIGAN - JUNE 18: Lee Brice performs at Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre on June 18, 2022 in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

Scott Legato/Getty Images

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

September 21 2014: Garth Brooks watches some drills during the Roddy White football ProCamp sponsored by Garth Brooks' and Troy Aikman's Teammates for Kids. The camp was held in Roswell, Georgia on Sunday morning. Each city where Garth Brooks appears on his world tour will have a Teammates for Kids sponsored ProCamp event.

Andrew Snook/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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).

Advertisement

Kenny Chesney -- Tennessee

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Stagecoach

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Stagecoach

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

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 28: Singer Sara Evans looks on prior to Game Two of the 2015 World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets at Kauffman Stadium on October 28, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Pool/Getty Images

Despite past family ties to the Crimson Tide, Sara Evans pulls for a different SEC squad: her home state Missouri Tigers.

Harper Grae -- Auburn

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - APRIL 11: Harper Grae attends the 2022 CMT Music Awards at Nashville Municipal Auditorium on April 11, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT

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

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 15: Jason Isbell performs at Tuscaloosa Amphitheater on October 15, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

David A. Smith/Getty Images

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.

Advertisement

Toby Keith -- Oklahoma

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 20: Recording artist Toby Keith attends a game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Washington Huskies during the 2014 MGM Grand Showcase basketball event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 20, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Washington won 69-67.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 01: Singer Dustin Lynch watches warmups prior to the game between the Florida Gators and the Charleston Southern Buccaneers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Gainesville, Florida.

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

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

GARNER, NC - MAY 14: American Idol" finalist Scotty McCreery performs at an outdoor concert for adoring local fans at his homecoming celebration at Buffaloe Park May 14, 2011 in Garner, North Carolina. In the past six weeks, McCreery has gone from being a cashier at Lowes Foods and a singer known only around the Triangle to being a national if not global phenomenon on "American Idol." Residence and town officials prepared a hometown hero's welcome for McCreery two days after he advanced to become one of three top finalist in season ten of America Idol.

Steve Exum/Getty Images

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 performs on ABC's "Good Morning America" at the House of Blues on February 1, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

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.

Advertisement

John Michael Montgomery -- Kentucky

LEXINGTON - MARCH 17: Country Singer John Michael Montgomery photographed on March 17, 1998 at his home in Lexington, KY.

Pam Francis/Getty Images

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

TALLAHASSEE, FL - APRIL 29: Singer/Songwriter/FSU Alum Jake Owen comes home and performs during Doak After Dark at Florida State University on April 29, 2017 in Tallahassee, Florida.

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Basis Entertainment

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, WV - SEPTEMBER 26: Brad Paisley performs before the game between the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Maryland Terrapins on September 26, 2015 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

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

Miami v North Carolina CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 14: Country music performer and former North Carolina Tar Heels football player Chase Rice does pushups during their game against the Miami Hurricanes at Kenan Stadium on November 14, 2015 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. North Carolina won 59-21.

Grant Halverson/Getty Images

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.

Advertisement

Darius Rucker -- South Carolina

Darius Rucker performs a free, surprise pop-up concert in Charleston for CMT INSTANT JAM: DARIUS RUCKER at The Windjammer on August 26, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. The concert premieres September 5 at 10/9c on CMT.

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT

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

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 03: Granger Smith attends the 51st Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 3, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for TheWrap

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

FARMERS BRANCH, TX - APRIL 18: Recording artist Chris Young poses at the ACM Lifting Lives Celebrity Golf Classic during the 50th Academy of Country Music Awards at Brookhaven Country Club on April 18, 2015 in Farmers Branch, Texas.

Jason Kempin/ACM2015/Getty Images for dcp

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.

Advertisement

READ MORE: The State of 21st Century Bluegrass in 10 Songs

This  story previously ran on Sept. 1, 2021.

Related Videos