Texas A&M billboard goes up in Gainesville

September, 4, 2012
A little more spice has been added to Saturday’s game between No. 24 Florida and SEC newcomer Texas A&M.

There's a humorous billboard standing in Gainesville, Fla., heralding Texas A&M and taking shots at the SEC.

[+] EnlargeTexas A&M denies any involvement with this billboard displayed in Gainsville, Florida.
ESPN.com's Michael DiRoccoTexas A&M denies any involvement with this billboard displayed in Gainsville, Florida.
The billboard reads: “You've been annexed by Aggie Nation. The Best Academics & Cleanest Program in the SEC. WHOOP! Real Football. Real Tradition.”

WHOOP, indeed!

Texas A&M spokesman Jason Cook said on Twitter that the university isn’t associated with the billboard and had nothing to do with it being planted in Gainesville.

“The Gainesville billboard was NOT placed by Texas A&M University. We are investigating,” Cook tweeted.

Cook later came out with a statement in which he clarified even more that the Aggies had nothing to do with the billboard:
"This billboard was not placed by Texas A&M University, and it is certainly not reflective of how we have handled our transition into the SEC. We are investigating aggressively, as we believe that our institutional trademarks have been infringed upon. Texas A&M has tremendous respect for the University of Florida, and we look forward to hosting the Gators in our first SEC football game this weekend."

Well, that's just no fun at all. Nothing wrong with a little trash talk and strategically placed billboards.

While the location of the billboard, which is at the intersection of 13th Street and 53rd Avenue, sits about four and half miles away from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and Florida's campus, someone in Gainesville is bound to be irked by it.

"I really didn’t pay attention to it," Florida safety Josh Evans said. "I saw it but my mind ain’t on that. I’m about winning this game."

You just can't get upset at Texas A&M about it. The school didn't put it there and is associated with it by name alone. Still, it's funny. The creator of this sign used some interesting word play by stating that Texas A&M is the "cleanest" program in the SEC. How soon we forget about the two times A&M was hit with the "lack of institutional control" label under Jackie Sherrill and R.C. Slocum. And 1988 wasn't so great for the Aggies, as the NCAA uncovered numerous incidents involving improper incentives for prospective student-athletes.

Also, I think we can all agree that Vanderbilt takes home the academic trophy in this league.

The billboard is all in fun, but I'm sure Will Muschamp and his staff will find someway to use it as motivation for their players. And it's not like Texas A&M needs the Gators to be even more motivated. They are playing their first game of the season -- in their new conference, against a new conference foe -- while Florida is a game ahead. Florida can see what it needs to fix from an actual game. And something says the offense wants to do much better than it did over the weekend.



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?


Fitzsimmons and Durrett: OSU scandal

Part 2 of the articles on OSU's involvment in academic fraud was released. Some claim the expose is unfounded. Ian and Richard warn that there are two sides to all stories.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Longhorns talk

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mack Brown, Manny Diaz and all the latest with the Texas Longhorns.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Barkley on Manziel

Fitzsimmons and Durrett give you the latest on the Johnny Manziel story and Charles Barkley weighs in. You won't believe who the outspoken NBA Hall of Famer is disappointed in and what he thinks about the autograph allegations.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Kirk Herbstreit

Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly visit to preview the 2013 college football season.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Andy Dalton

Former TCU and current Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the expectations for the Bengals this season, give a prediction for the TCU-LSU game and talk about what it's like having the Hard Knocks cameras follow him.

Galloway and Company: Manziel talk

Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley, and Mark Friedman react to Dez Bryant's comments regarding the NCAA's ongoing investigation of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Dez Bryant sounds off

Richard Durrett, Ian Fitzsimmons and Glenn "Stretch" Smith react to Dez Bryant sounding off yesterday after practice about Johnny Manziel and the shadiness of the NCAA.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Dan Beebe

Former NCAA investigator and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to weigh in on the Johnny Manziel drama and give some insight as to what goes on during an NCAA investigation.