A&M: 'Good-bye to Texas University'?

June, 11, 2010
6/11/10
9:36
AM CT
If Texas A&M's flirtation with the SEC becomes a full-blown love affair, the Aggie War Hymn will have to be taken quite literally.

Penned by James Vernon “Pinky” Wilson during a lull in World War I, the Aggies' "fight song" lyrics are dripping with Wilson's and every red-blooded Aggies' disdain for Texas University:

Hullabaloo, Caneck! Caneck!
Hullabaloo, Caneck! Caneck!
Good-bye to Texas University
So long to the Orange and the White
Good luck to the dear old Texas Aggies
They are the boys that show the real old fight
"The eyes of Texas are upon you..."
That is the song they sing so well
So good-bye to Texas University
We're going to beat you all to --
Chig-gar-roo-gar-rem
Chig-gar-roo-gar-rem
Rough Tough! Real Stuff! Texas A & M!

Saw Varsity's horns off!
Saw Varsity's horns off!
Saw Varsity's horns off!
SHORT! Ay!


Would a split of these century-old rivals end the tradition-rich Texas-Texas A&M football game? Would the relationship become so strained that Texas, which would play in a revamped Pac-10, decide to make alternative Thanksgiving plans? Have we reached a point where Aggies feel as though they're living under UT's giant thumb and are ready to go? What would they do with their Saw 'em Off! t-shirts and bumper stickers?

With so much talk about saving rivalries as the current college conference landscape tremors with change, A&M athletic director Bill Byrne -- led by a hard sell by former A&M and Alabama coach Gene Stallings (now on the A&M Board of Regents) -- could be playing with fire. How does "Lou-is-iana State U-ni-ver-sity" or "Al-a-bam-a U-ni-ver-sity" sound in the Aggie War Hymn?

Now, does a split mean that the Texas and A&M rivalry is entirely dead? Well, no, both sides could still agree to a Thanksgiving non-conference game. Still, it wouldn't carry the same weight as conference archrivals, and there is a chance -- I think a very good one -- that the game doesn't get scheduled because of the lingering bad taste from the split.

Texas and A&M felt so strongly about their rivalries in all sports that they created the State Farm Lone Star Showdown for all men's and women's head-to-head competition. The Lone Star Showdown trophy is awarded to the winning school each year. Neither school has a similar competition with any other school.

It is true that culturally speaking, Texas, in liberal-leaning Austin, is a good fit for the Pac-10, while the conservative-minded Aggies would be well-placed in the SEC. Still, we're talking sports not politics and it's difficult, even sad, to envision the state's two oldest public schools parting.

A separation would create one of the few instances in which large, in-state rivals compete in different conferences. Obviously Florida (SEC) and Florida State (ACC) is a notabe exception, but even that comes with asterisk because Florida State only emerged as a football power with the arrival of Bobby Bowden in 1976 and it doesn't carry the same long-term conference affiliation as A&M (SWC and Big 12).

But, if A&M decides to head east, it will have to live with being the party that went rogue and severed ties. Are Aggie fans ready to Saw 'em Off! for good.

If so, it's good-bye to Texas University.

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