The SEC and Big XII revealed the matchups for their annual challenge... and per tradition, Texas A&M was paired with the least exciting opponent they could find.
Matchups for the 2021 SEC/Big 12 Challenge are set! pic.twitter.com/7BkothnZ0D— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) October 21, 2020
If you attended A&M during the Big XII days (spoiler alert: I did), you saw a series of regional basketball rivalries flourish under BCG and Turgeon. Annual Big XII South home-and-homes established legitimate bad blood, and that’s been sorely missing from the majority of our schedule in the SEC.
With that in mind, here are our opponents during the eight-year history of the Big XII / SEC Challenge:
- Oklahoma (2013)
- Did not participate (2014)
- Iowa State (2015)
- West Virginia (2016)
- Kansas (2017)
- Kansas State (2018; 2020)
- Oklahoma State (2019)
The only four schools missing from that list? You guessed it — the four schools that share the Lone Star State: Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, and TCU.
Look, I’m not demanding an annual game against Texas. That’s a battle for another article. But is it really too much to rotate A&M among the Big XII south? Let’s send a Buzz Williams squad to a (post-COVID) rabid sellout in Lubbock and see how they hold up. Let’s play a game against the literal closest major university to our campus. Let’s do something different. Anything. The Oklahoma schools should be the off-year matchup that we begrudgingly settle for. They shouldn’t be the highlight.
OK, y’all. Rant over. Kansas State isn’t supposed to cause too much trouble this season, so this does provide us a winnable game in a limited non-conference schedule. But man, when you consider the potential opponents... it’s hard to not see this as an opportunity lost.