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NCAA Football – 1986 – Special – The Texas A & M Aggie Bonfire Prior To The Texas Longhorn Game


There has never been or ever will be a rivalry quite like the rivalry between the Texas Longhorns and the Texas A & M Aggies….with the first meeting being in 1894….and by 1911, Texas led the series 15–4–2. The series went back and forth until 1939….but Texas still led 27–15–4.  After that, Texas went 36–7–1. A&M then won 10 of the next 11 games in the series. Texas then won 12 of the last 17 games in the rivalry.   

In July 2011, A&M elected to join the Southeastern Conference beginning in 2012. The move to switch conferences resulted in the ending of the rivalry. On November 24, 2011, Texas faced A&M in College Station in the final scheduled meeting of the rivalry. Texas won 27–25 on a field goal as time expired.

Each school mentions the other in its fight song (“and it’s goodbye to A&M” in Texas Fight; the entire second verse of the Aggie War Hymn is about Texas). The football series was the third longest in college football. The last regular season football game was usually reserved for the match-up. Each school has elaborate pregame preparations for the annual football clash, including the Aggie Bonfire and Hex Rally. Texas has a unique lighting scheme for the UT Tower after beating Texas A&M.

The Texas Aggie Bonfire was a long-standing annual tradition at Texas A&M University….as part of the college rivalry with the University of Texas at Austin.  For 90 years, Texas A&M students….known as Aggies (A&M has the best school of agriculture in the world)….would build and burned a bonfire on campus each autumn just before the annual Thanksgiving Day game. Known to the Aggie community simply as “Bonfire”….as the annual autumn event symbolized Aggie students’ “burning desire to beat the hell outta t.u.” which was of course a derogatory nickname for the University of Texas. The bonfire was traditionally lit around Thanksgiving in conjunction with festivities surrounding the annual college football game. Although early bonfires were little more than piles of trash, as time passed the annual event became more organized.  Over the years the bonfire grew to an immense size, setting the world record in 1969…when in 1999, the Bonfire collapsed during construction….killing 12 people….of which 11 were students and 1 a former student…. while injuring 27 others. The accident led Texas A&M to declare a hiatus on an official Bonfire.   

This video provides an awesome inside look at Bonfire….and when it burns….what a show…captivating!!!

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