Texas A&M University, Home of the 12th Man
The Texas A&M Aggies are a prominent, competitive, and highly regarded athletic program. Even still, they may be more known for those people who watch them play rather than the amateur athletes themselves.
Texas A&M is the home of The 12th Man. Pertaining specifically to the football program, the fans of A&M consider themselves the 12th member of the team, supporting the 11 on the field. This tradition has taken on a life of its own, perhaps surpassing what the team has actually accomplished on the field.
Texas A&M football has found success, though it has also lived through its share of upheaval. Moves from the Southwest Conference to the Big 12, and most recently from the Big 12 to the SEC, have left the Aggies semi-homeless. They aren't thought of as a classic SEC school, because they aren't. Yet the SEC dominates the football conversation, leaving A&M in a perpetual game of catch-up.
1939 was the last time the Aggies captured a football national championship. At that time, a man named Homer Norton was the coach. It wasn't until the late 1980s before the team became a real national contender again for any extended period.
On the basketball side of things, Texas A&M started making the NCAA Tournament semi consistently under Shelby Metcalf in the 1960s and '70s. Since the turn of the century, the program has been even better, despite rotating through coaches who kept leaving for greener pastures.
If A&M is best known for anything, it's its rivalries on the athletic fields. Seemingly every Texas school is a rival of A&M, particularly stemming from the school's time as a member of the Big 12. The University of Texas is the one the Aggies particularly gun for. However, since the move to the SEC, they also renewed a long-forgotten battle with LSU, dating back to early part of last century.
College Station is a legendary collegiate town. The 12th Man lives for its A&M athletics. The university has the second-largest student enrollment of any in the country. The only thing keeping the Aggies from national prominence is consistently winning on the field.