The Battle for Prestige

UT Traditions in Rivalry

The Texas Spirits participate in the annual Tochlight Parade and Rally, a traditional event that occurs right before the Red River Showdown.

Photo Credit: Victoria Garabedian


Red River Showdown
One of the greatest college football matchups of the year is UT vs OU. Since 1900, it has become one of college football's most anticipated events. The game tends to hold Conference Championship or National Championship significance. Since 1945, one or both of the two teams have gone into the contest ranked among the top 25 teams over 90 percent of the time.
Torch Light Parade
The first Torchlight Parade began in 1916 before the Thanksgiving Texas vs. A&M game. In keeping with the time, men and women marched separately to Old Main. Texas won the game and the parade became a spirit staple until the late 1960s. After a 20-year hiatus, the Texas Exes restored the Torchlight Parade tradition in 1987. Today, this popular student event is held every year before the Texas vs. OU game.
Each year, Longhorn students gather with torchlights in hand and form a parade that leads them to the Main Mall in front of the Tower where the crowd of students, faculty, alumni and fans hear from the Longhorn football coaches and players. - Texas Exes
Hex Rally
Since 1941, students have gathered to show UT spirit and put a Hex on the opposing team. The rally begins with trumpeters sounding off from the top of the tower for all of Austin to hear. The Longhorn Band and Texas football team enter to the beat of the band as student’s erupt in wild cheers and begin the rally. Student spirit groups then raise the energy of the crowd with their electrifying dances and cheers leading up to the most anticipated part of the night. Head Coach Charlie Strong and some senior players speak to the students and stir them into a frenzy. Next, as Longhorns have done since 1941, a Hex is put on the other team. The “Eyes of Texas” is sung three times as the thousands of students pass on the flame from candle to candle until the Main Mall is illuminated. - Texas Exes
Admissions Rivalry
UT Austin is the state’s flagship university, and competes with private schools such as Rice for top students. There is also a rivalry between Texas A&M and UT, as many student athletes are recruited for both schools.
Spirit Groups vs Sororities
Although the both often coincide in membership, Spirit groups such as the Texas Lassos often participate in the same events as some sororities. Who’s got more pep in their step when wearing orange?