I’ll be brief. It’s a Friday afternoon in May. Hopefully you’re about to split from work and head to the lake or the coast or the golf course.
Because it’s May, the journos, the rabid fans, and the poindexter slovenly bloggers (hi, GBH) must banter about something. Well, what the hell do we talk about when there isn’t realignment?
Ah, yes - the Texas Longhorns and the Texas A&M Aggies hypothetically LOL engaging in American Football sporting competition. They used to compete annually, you see. I know - it’s true!
College football media man and hair loss savior/lackey Barrett Sallee floated the freshest of all topics on Thursday:
AUDIO: Texas vs. Texas A&M needs to come back on an annual basis. Why won't it? Texas is scared of Texas A&M— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) May 17, 2018
Free month of hair loss treatment from @GetKeeps at https://t.co/r8w4tuWGtC pic.twitter.com/HE9Mft2Sq2
The first point is sound and has been the unwavering battle cry from most of us at GBH - the Horns and Ags should play football every year on the two campuses.
The second point is the surprising (I guess) lightning rod that got Sallee Twitter ratio’d.
“Texas is scared of Texas A&M.”
This straight to video Made for TexAgs© hot take understandably caught the ire of internet Longhorns because it was immediately interpreted to mean that Texas is fearful of scheduling ANY difficult out of conference games.
Texas is terrified of A&M. That’s why it scheduled Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, USC and LSU in its place. https://t.co/SpcromKv3c— Burnt Orange Nation (@BON_SBNation) May 17, 2018
- Both Texas and Texas A&M do a pretty damn good job scheduling out of conference games. From 2015-2025, here are some example opponents...
- Texas: Notre Dame, Cal, Maryland, USC, LSU, Arkansas, Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State
- Texas A&M: Arizona State, UCLA, Clemson, Colorado, Miami, Notre Dame
So fear of playing good programs isn’t what’s going on here.
2. The FEEEEAR comes from having to eat shit for 365 days god forbid you were to lose to your hated, in-state rival. That’s a valid fear! Do you know how much shit Ags have to eat when they lose to Ole Miss? Aside from some internet nonsense, basically none. Same goes for the Horns if they lose to Kansas State or USC or many others.
If you’re an Aggie or a Longhorn and you live, work, and play in the great State of Texas, you know a ton of people on the other side of the rivalry. Siblings, coworkers, bosses, SPOUSES, cousins, and friends. If you lose in this rivalry, you have to deal with a lot of shit. If you’re a Longhorn, you have to deal with LOUD, indignant Aggies. If you’re an Ag, you have to deal with smug, asshole Longhorns. It’s what makes the rivalry so damn great. It’s what makes this sport the best in the world.
If A&M loses to Clemson in September (likely) it will sting briefly and force a reassessment of expectations in Year 1 of the Jimbo era, but we won’t really have to eat any shit. Sure, some pigeons will be chirping on the internet, but as fans, we really don’t have much skin in the game.
Same goes for the Horns when they play LSU or Michigan. A loss would sting, but they don’t have to show up on Monday at work to an office full of Wolverines. Chances are they don’t have a lot of family members who went to LSU (yes, I know there are anecdotal exceptions. Spare me the comments). Point is, there just isn’t as much skin in the game for a fan.
After all the trash that has been spewed, all the pettiness, all the ego... if (and when) Texas and A&M play again... the loser in the first game back is going to have to eat a truckload of shit. And that makes for some incredible theater and incredible football. There’s so much invested emotionally. Texas A&M doesn’t play a rival in football. G’ahead and try to manufacture one in your mind, but it doesn’t work like that in this sport.
3. These programs act like their schedules are full, but if the decision makers wanted the game to happen, it wouldn’t be difficult to figure out.
It’s normal to be hesitant when a possible outcome is having to eat shit. The counter emotion is just as intense and makes all of the uncertainty worth it - the sheer joy of kicking the shit out of the Longhorns.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Gig ‘em.