Texas Living

7 of the Most Texas College Traditions

By Staci Parks 8.26.19

Texans are drawn to tradition. It’s a way to link the present to the past, bonding generations. Tradition takes different shapes, from stories and beliefs to rituals and customs.

Texas’ colleges and universities are ripe with them. As a new school year begins, let’s take a look at seven of Texas’ most storied college traditions.

Courtesy of Baylor University

Baylor University

If you head to Waco for a football game, take note of the Baylor Line. This massive group of students has created a human tunnel to welcome the Bears onto the field since 1970. For a refreshing break, every Tuesday afternoon during the semester, students refuel with Dr Pepper Hour, where they sip on floats made with the unofficial soft drink of Texas. See also: tortilla tossing.

Courtesy of Southern Methodist University

Southern Methodist University

The most exciting place to be on Mustang game day is tailgating along The Boulevard in the heart of SMU’s Dallas campus. “Boulevarding” has become a strong tradition for alumni and current students alike. Once you head inside the Gerald J. Ford Stadium, be ready for an appearance from school mascot Peruna IX, a black Shetland pony that gallops across the field after every SMU touchdown.

Courtesy of Stephen F. Austin University

Stephen F. Austin State University

The Purple Haze Association makes it their mission to immerse Nacogdoches in a sea of purple, all in the name of the university’s beloved Lumberjacks. The Battle of the Piney Woods, an annual football game against the rival Sam Houston State University Bearkats, is one of the university’s most anticipated events.

Courtesy of Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University

Tradition is a way of life at Texas A&M University, one of the state’s oldest and most personable universities. Aggies essentially have their own language. (You’ll hear “Howdy!” everywhere you go.) So, it’s only fitting that the home of the 12th man takes campus customs such as Midnight Yell and Aggie songs seriously.

Courtesy of TCU Athletics

Texas Christian University

Don’t forget your earplugs before a game at Amon G. Carter Stadium. TCU’s Frog Horn proudly blasts at 120 decibels each time the Horned Frogs score. The purple-hued, 3,000-pound, smoke-blowing horn sits in the south end zone during every home game. (Oh, and it travels to away games too. Looking at you, SMU.)

Courtesy of Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University

Red Raiders know how to make an entrance. At each home football game, The Masked Rider leads the team onto the field. No game day experience in Lubbock is complete without stopping for a photo op in front of Will Rogers & Soapsuds. The Saddle Tramps, Tech’s all-male spirit organization, wraps the 3,200-pound statue with red crepe paper before every home game.

Courtesy University of Texas Athletics

University of Texas at Austin

Game days in Austin are nothing short of a spectacle, complete with the world’s largest Texas state flag, Smokey the Cannon, and an overwhelming amount of burnt orange. Bevo, UT’s beloved longhorn-steer mascot, has also long been a sideline staple. Look for the orange-lit UT Tower after a victory against rival Texas A&M.

No matter who you root for, we can all agree that tradition is what binds us to one another. Remember any of your college traditions? Write in to Editor@TexasHeritageForLiving.com. Catching a school game? Use your Texas Farm Bureau member benefits to get discounted tickets.

Find out more of Texas’ myths and quirky habits here.

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