Texas College Football’s Top Traditions

by Cullen Parker on November 21, 2019 in Lifestyle, Sports,

College football bowl games are right around the corner. For Texans, it’s an especially big deal. Bowl season might as well be its own holiday season, with several teams in the state all vying for a spot in one of the coveted bowl games.

 If you’re a fan of college football, then you know that every college team has their own unique traditions. However, you may be surprised to learn how some of these traditions got their start. With several top-tier teams, Texas supplies no lack of college football traditions, some wackier than others.

The bear has been Baylor’s fierce mascot for over 100 years. Photo courtesy Brian Kraus

Here’s a look at some of the best college football traditions, right here in Texas.

Texas Tech and Tortilla Tossing

One of the wilder traditions on this list, tortilla tossing is a long-held ritual at Texas Tech University sporting events.

Supposedly, the tradition got its start in 1989 when the concession stand started offering huge Coca-Cola drinks with thick plastic lids on top. By the second half of the football game, students realized that the lids made perfect Frisbees, and lids started flying onto the field.

However, by the next football game, students started bringing tortillas to up the ante. Add ketchup and mustard, and you have the perfect recipe for a baked flour projectile.  

Although the tradition has since died down, tortillas soaring through the air is still an occasional sight at Jones AT&T Stadium.

The Aggie War Hymn, led by the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band, is one of the nations most powerful university fight songs. Photo courtesy Allison Lara

Baylor and the Bear Mascot

Located in Waco, Baylor University is not in an area of Texas that most people would associate with bears. However, the bear has stood as Baylor’s mascot for over 100 years, solidifying its connection with the University.

In 1914, Baylor students voted on the school mascot, being given the choice of the antelope, buffalo, eagle, bookworm and bear. Thankfully for the football team (the Baylor Bookworms doesn’t quite have the same ring to it), the students voted for the bear as the school’s mascot.

Since the arrival of the first bear to Baylor’s campus in 1917, the campus has been home to over 50 American black bears. The Baylor football team is currently supported by two black bears, Lady and Joy, although they are no longer allowed to be on the field during football games due to safety concerns. 

The Aggie War Hymn

Every school has their fight song. But none compares to the energy of Texas A&M University’s Aggie War Hymn.

Led by the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band, every Aggie at Kyle Field joins together to sing the Aggie War Hymn before, in between the third and fourth quarters, and after the game.

The Aggie War Hymn is most famous for its final verse. All Aggies interlock arms and sway back and forth while singing, “Saw varsity’s horns off,” a reference to the school’s long-held rivalry with The University of Texas at Austin. During this final verse, visitors in the press box have reported feeling the entire structure rock several inches from the sheer power of 100,000 fans swaying side to side.

Not many rivalries compare to the historic showdown that takes place inside of the Cotton Bowl Stadium every fall between the Texas and OU football teams. Photo courtesy Jason Mowry

The Texas OU Rivalry.

Not many rivalries are as fierce as the competition between The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Oklahoma. Known as the Red River Rivalry, this colossal football showdown takes place annually at the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas during the State Fair of Texas. 

The annual meeting of the two football teams began in 1900, before Oklahoma gained statehood. At the time, the University of Texas was simply known as “Varsity,” (hence the lyrics in the Aggie War Hymn), and the Oklahoma football program was still in its infant stages.

Since then, the teams have met a total of 114 times, with Texas leading the series. The game is repeatedly a significant matchup for college football. At least one of the two teams have come into the rivalry game being ranked in the AP Poll top 25 70 times in the last 83 years.


Cover photo courtesy Muyuan Ma
Cullen Parker is an Agricultural Communications and Journalism student at Texas A&M University. He is an agricultural enthusiast, and you can often find him outdoors or playing a concert with his band in Austin or College Station