Wednesday, November 23, 2011

$o much for tradition

So tomorrow marks the end of an era. Tomorrow is the last time the Longhorns and Aggies will play in the foreseeable future.

You see, Texas A&M, that university that prides itself on "tradition," decided to walk away from the Big 12 and join the SEC beginning in 2012. For those of y'all like me, who grew up watching the old Southwest Conference, it's hard to comprehend. The Aggies are walking away from tradition for a few dollars more. The joke will be on them when the bills for sending the women's soccer team to South Carolina or the baseball team to Florida on a regular basis.

The SEC sold the Ags a bill of goods. Let's be real, there aren't any kids from Georgia or Tennessee or Alabama who are clamoring to move to College Station to play football. What the SEC wanted was unfettered access to Texas recruits. Currently the only SEC school that does much recruiting in Texas is LSU - but they're practically family.

When the Big 12 damn near imploded a year ago, A&M was one of the schools that benefited the most as the exit fees paid by Colorado and Nebraska found their way into the coffers in Austin, College Station, Norman and Stillwater. A&M signed off on that deal knowing full well that UT was going to launch the Longhorn Network. So, using the LHN as an excuse for leaving for the SEC is a canard the A&M administration figured their loyal followers wouldn't question.

And now the nation's third longest rivalry is coming to an end. And it sucks. I grew up with this game. Often times Thanksgiving dinner was scheduled around it. Before my oldest daughter was born I took my wife up to Austin to watch the game. My oldest daughter's been to Kyle Field twice to watch the 'Horns beat the Ags.

Here's hoping the 'Horns send the Ags running off with their tails between their legs.

Hook 'em!


A Harris County Lawyer said...

Really Paul? You are putting this all on the Aggies?

Last I looked, the Longhorns were the ones who booked themselves a sweet deal with the Longhorn Network.

And A&M said they hoped to keep the Longhorns on the schedule even if it was non-conference play. The Longhorns were the ones that said they were too busy to play them again for the next nine years.

I'm sad that the tradition is going away too. Growing up in College Station, I've gone all my life.

But I think there is enough blame to go around to both schools for the dissolution of our beloved rivalry.

Paul B. Kennedy said...

A&M knew all about the Longhorn Network when the agreement was made to keep the Big XII together last year. The Ags were only too happy to take the money from Nebraska and Colorado.

Now, should two more teams be persuaded to join the Big XII maybe Texas will be able to beat up on their baby brother every Thanksgiving again.