College football season is an incredibly exciting time of the year for the United States. Hundreds of schools are starting seasons that bring in crowds of thousands. ESPN analyzes each game with scrutiny that the most hardcore sports fans can never get enough of. Then there is the halftime battle. Bands from around the country practice for almost as many hours as the football teams to give a great halftime show. They have their own unique traditions that leave the student sections cheering and clapping along every time. Here are some of the best of these bands with a little about why they are just so special.
The Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band-Texas A&M
The Aggie Band is unique in the fact that it is a military marching band at a state university. The Aggie Bandsmen are a throwback back to the days when A&M was strictly a military school, and as such the band wore military uniforms and marched in military formations. The Aggie Band is made up of members of the Corps of Cadets who live, eat, and train together. Band members must not only train for their halftime drill but also in military skills and leadership courses. Each week’s halftime drill is different, meaning that Aggies always get something new to be impressed with each week. Each drill consists of the band marching from their block formation in a military manner and performing military flanking movements in order to create new designs that often intersect at midfield, providing quite a spectacle. While the football team’s record has its up and down years, the Aggie band still claims that they “have never lost halftime”.
The Marching Storm-Prairie View A&M
Prairie View A&M’s Marching Storm is one of the most exciting bands from historically black colleges. Their high stepping, dancing, and exciting drum line always brings down the house, even at a school like Texas A&M that is used to a more conservative marching band. If the unique high intensity band routines was not enough already, the “Black Foxes” dance troupe adds a very energetic dance routine to their already exciting performances.
Ohio State Marching Band
The Ohio State marching band is one of the college bands that came up with floating formations, quick stepping, and other band techniques commonly used today. They are best known for their “Script Ohio”, a routine involving the band marching in a long line that eventually forms a cursive “Ohio”, followed by a sousaphone player high stepping in step with the drum major to “dot the I”. Not only is this one of the most recognized college band traditions, but it also ranks among the most well known college football traditions as well.
These bands, each fundamentally different but all being the best in their trade, make up the best college marching bands. Their performances are something that the student body, alumni, and even opposing fans look forward to seeing at halftime each week.