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September 16, 2011

OU players embracing FSU atmosphere

The calls have been going out to Florida State fans this week. The administration in Tallahassee is imploring their fans to show up and be loud this weekend as Oklahoma comes to Doak S. Campbell Stadium for a top five showdown.

Get loud? Check.

Play the Warchat loud? Check.

Give these Sooners one of college football's best, and loudest, gameday environments? Check.

I see a little problem with that theory for Florida State, because while Seminole fans want to crank it up to 11, Oklahoma's players couldn't be happier.

Going to Tallahassee and taking on Florida State in Tallahassee, inside of Doak Campbell, with Chief Osceola planting his spear at the fifty-yard line with the Warchant blaring in the background - well, that's just like a bucket list dream for most players from OU.

"I think it's going to be a life-changing experience," said potential starting right guard Lane Johnson.

Johnson isn't being facetious. He loves the Warchant. It was his high school fight song at Groveton (TX) High School.

Now he gets to hear the real deal on Saturday.

"There's something about (Florida State), seeing Chief (Osceola) going out there planting that spear in the ground and hearing that chant," said Johnson. "I know when I was in high school at Groveton, we were the Indians and that was our fight song.

"It's weird. I know Florida State back in the 80s and 90s and Miami and Florida State, you just knew those were the teams that had a lot of swag and a lot of talent and just what a great program it is."

The bucket listers don't start and end with Johnson. We asked just about every Sooner we came across this week about growing up knowing of Florida State and the Warchant.

"You watch it as a kid growing up and I was always a fan of the Warchant," said starting defensive end Frank Alexander. "We get a chance to see it. That's a real big thing."

It's almost as though these Sooners were headed to Florida for a trip to Disneyworld instead of a battle between two teams who have been talking about each other all summer.

Surely one of the Cali Trio has no idea about this Warchant thing? Surely they were too caught up with USC playing for national championships as kids to worry about these guys on the east coast?

"I'm doing it all week in practice. I love it," said San Diego native and starting running back Brennan Clay. "It's so loud but I love the beat. I'm not gonna lie. It gets me going and gets me pumped up. I like it."

Oklahoma is trying its hardest to play up the Warchant as an annoyance this week in practice. The coaching staff has speakers on a golf cart at practice. It drives right up near the line of scrimmage as the Sooners get set to snap the ball.

But it just doesn't seem to have a negative effect on these Sooners even though they've heard it all week.

"It helps out a lot," said Alexander. "When I hear that Warchant it's gonna get my hyped and motivated too. It works both ways."

Let's face it, the Florida State Warchant is very cool for football players. Just as Michigan had the Fab Five with their black socks and baggy shorts, the Warchant carries that same kind of clout. It's an iconic symbol for any football player over the last 30 years.

Maybe you have to play for Florida or Miami in order to truly be a hater.

Whatever the case, crank it up to '11' Florida State. These Sooners can't seem to wait.


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