Ninth-ranked Texas A&M is honoring “The Junction Boys,” a group of 40 or so players that survived a hellish summer camp under coach Bear Bryant in 1954, then went on to win the Southwestern Conference title two years later.

At South Carolina on Saturday, the Aggies wore white uniforms with maroon numbers and stripes in the style of their 1956 uniforms. The team also wore a patch to commemorate that team, which finished 9-0-1 and ended a 15-year conference championship drought. Only the Aggies' current run of 18 years without a title is longer.

The Junction Boys were made famous in Jim Dent’s book and an ESPN-made movie of the same name. After he was hired in 1954, Bryant felt his team was soft and took them 250 miles west into Texas hill country for pre-season drills. Every day the temperature topped 100 degrees on the hard, sunbaked field and the workouts lasted from dawn to dusk with Bryant refusing to let his players take water breaks. More than half the players that made the trip to Junction, Texas, left the team.

The Aggies went 1-9 in 1954, the only losing record in Bryant’s 38 seasons, but those who stayed credited his brutal camp with helping them to their championship.