As y’all know by this blog, we love the SEC and we’re really happy that two teams have been added to the SEC schedule. Missouri’s going to be a ¬†cold and difficult place for rivals to play in the East, and Texas A&M’s going to be a deafening place to play in the West.

But let’s be honest – when it became known that Texas A&M was not going to play Texas anymore, it ripped a lot out of college football’s soul.

For over 118 years, Texas and Texas A&M beat the crap out of each other. Even if both sides weren’t good, they were got off the turf for The Thanksgiving Game of All Thanksgiving Games.

Fanbases may not have liked each other (the Longhorn fanbase think of the Aggies as one-up from illiterate goat herders while the Aggies think the Longhorn fanbase is full of snobby you-know-whats who have never known hard work in their lives (interestingly Oklahoma and Arkansas feel the same), but when the Bonfire collapsed in 1999, they came together and treated each other with some love and respect in the face of a tragic accident.

Even though some people would like to see a SEC West rivalry played on Thanksgiving Day as an attempt to start up another rivalry, nothing’s going to be the same after Texas decided that they didn’t want to play the Aggies anymore.

Aggies athletic director Bill Byrne told The Birmingham News in March: “I’m very foolish. I assumed — and it was a rash assumption on my part — that our friends over in the state capital would want to continue playing us. It turns out they didn’t think we were as much of a rival as we thought of them.”

Of course, the reason why the rivalry was put on the bonfire after generations of fuel was Texas’ decision (backed by ESPN) to start The Longhorn Network. Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit must have quivered every time they had to tell Saturday Prime Time viewers what a wonderful thing The Longhorn Network was (thankfully they didn’t pitch it at the Final Game), because College Football and commentary’s about impartiality, and with the new network, it looked like anything but. Anyway, Texas A&M was absolutely furious by UT’s move and left the Big XII for the SEC. In response to that, Texas refused to schedule A&M as an out-of-conference opponent.

And now, we’re not joking.

Right now, the best thing for Texas A&M is to set up a ‘rivalry’ game with Arkansas on Thanksgiving, which at least has a little bit of history. The Arkansas rivalry already has a name called the Southwest Classic (which is kinda cool, in our view). The first game between the two was in 1903. They played from 1934 to 1991 as Southwest Conference Members, and renewed their rivalry in 1999 after eight years of trying to get another game going. Arkansas leads the current rivalry 41-24, but the last game in 2011 was an absolute classic, decided by three points after A&M’s defense once again dissolved. It would remain a home-and-home, rather than be at Jerry Jones’ Texas Stadium, where the last few games were held. This might annoy LSU (who currently play Arkansas at Thanksgiving), but the Tigers would probably be happy to play someone else then.

Jeez, we can still hear the Kyle Field crowd swaying and singing: “Saw varsity’s horns off…..” We really hope they’ll be singing it to Texas soon.

 

 

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