A rivalry that has lasted more than a century could come to an end on Friday night the University of Texas and Texas A&M University football teams square off. That’s because the Aggies are moving from the Big 12 to the Southeastern Conference next season.
Some longtime observers have noted that the rivalry has benefited both universities over the years. ESPN’s senior writer Ivan Maisel says "Texas A&M wouldn't be Texas A&M without Texas, and vice versa."
Without the Longhorns, the Aggies wouldn't have one of the great fight song lyrics in college sports. Every Aggie bellows "Goodbye to texas university," because Aggies do not consider it The University of Texas.
Without the Aggies and their "Gig 'Em" signal, a Texas student named Harley Clark wouldn't have come up with the "Hook 'Em" sign in 1955.
Without the Longhorns, the Aggies wouldn't have had Bonfire, both the decades of wonderful memories and the tragedy of its demise.
But in an open letter published in the UT alumni newspaper, the Alcalde, editor Tim Taliaferro says the colleges should embrace the end of the rivalry as an opportunity to hit the reset button on their relationship.
“What Texas parent wouldn’t want their child to attend Texas or A&M? They are the two top public schools in the state, and degrees from both schools are worth a lot. It’s a luxury that Texas students have both as options. I want my kids to be able to choose from two excellent schools—schools that are hard to get into and hard to graduate from,” Taliaferro says.
Meanwhile, State Rep. Lyle Larson, an A&M alumnus, is urging both universities to find a way to continue the tradition. And State Senator Tommy Williams from the Woodlands said in September that he would introduce legislation to force the two schools to compete.
How do you feel about the end of the UT-A&M football rivalry? Let us know in the comments.