1. The fans. No question, these guys are at the top of the list. When Nebraska left, Texas A&M inherited the title of "Big 12's best fans." They're loud. They're everywhere. They're opinionated. Most of all, they're fun. Aggies are a special group, and we'll certainly miss them in the Big 12.
2. The Aggie War Hymn. Probably my favorite part of the gameday atmosphere in Aggieland. From the iconic horn blasts at the beginning, to the pounding of the drums, it always gets me pretty psyched. It's unmistakable, and the press box does indeed sway before the game and before the fourth quarter when Aggies lock arms and "Saw Varsity's Horns off." Love. It. College football personified. No fight song in the Big 12 comes close to the War Hymn.
3. The yells, however obnoxious they may be. Aggies like to make fun of me when I say this, but you guys really don't understand how complicated your yells really are. Try looking around. No team has more complex cheers, but thanks to being either a) taught by the family or b) going through freshman orientation, they all seem to know them by heart. My hat's off.
4. The Fightin' Texas Aggie band. I may not love this group as much as my friend and former colleague Berry Tramel, but I love the halftime show from this group anytime I'm in College Station. The interweaving marches are hypnotizing, and you won't see a tighter performance.
5. The pregame entrance, led by Reveille. The cadets towels are waving. The line reaches almost midfield. Finally, the team blows through the tunnel led by their energetic collie mascot. Great entrance, and the cap to what's always a great pregame atmosphere at Kyle Field.
6. Midnight Yell Practice. You won't see anything like this anywhere else. I try to go once or twice a year, and I love it every time. Where else will you find 30,000 fans the night before a game to do nothing but yell and hear a few fables from some crewcut Yell Leaders? This is always a fun experience, unless kickoff is at 11 a.m. the next day.
7. The Lone Star Showdown. We're losing the Border War, and we're losing this game, too. I hate that it won't be played anymore. The Aggies hate Texas more than any fan base hates any other group (sorry, Mizzou-KU), and even though it's not quite fully reciprocated, it makes for a great game every year. The last game didn't end like the Aggies wanted, and won't force Texas to change its mind any time soon, but here's hoping it's not too long before the game's played again.