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George Mason’s ‘Green Machine’ and VCU’s ‘Peppas’ named top two college pep bands

The Green Machine in 2011. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

I took a shot at George Mason’s basketball team in the introduction to Monday’s Atlantic 11 poll, joking that the mediocre Patriots had been voted the near-unanimous No. 1 over a host of much more deserving candidates. This rubbed some Mason fans the wrong way, to which I say: lighten up. The poll is all in good fun and it will feature pithy comments about every school that’s fortunate enough to crack the top 11. If you’d like to be a voter and defend George Mason against all wisecracks, e-mail me.

While George Mason is not nearly the best team in the Atlantic 11, the Fairfax school does boast the best pep band in the country, at least according to This is not a joke. From the countdown video of the nation’s top five pep bands:

Brass and rhythm sections just aren’t enough for band director Doc Nix, who’s been known to add singers, rappers, DJs and electric violins to the group. With a musical collection that ranges from Rage Against the Machine to Michael Jackson, it’s no wonder the Green Machine is a thriller. 

No. 2 on the NCAA’s list? Another Atlantic 11 pep band — VCU’s Peppas.

Variety is the spice of life and VCU’s ‘Peppas’ have plenty of spice. It starts with band director Ryan Kopacsi, a free spirit whose energy level is reflected in his musicians. Havoc may be the mantra for the basketball team, but it might as well be the fans’ slogan as well. 

Stanford, Memphis and Indiana round out the top five. Not coming next week: Atlantic 11 pep band power rankings.