Commentary

If A&M and Texas never played again

Texas A&M's possible move to the SEC could alter the rivalry

Updated: August 23, 2011, 10:53 PM ET
By Carter Strickland | HornsNation.com

All these years later, the plays and the scores aren't all that important to Bob Davie.

Texas/Texas A&M 1962
AP PhotoAt one point in his career, Darrell Royal won 10 straight games against Texas A&M.

But the game, what it meant, who it affected, how it was played, the aura that surrounded it -- those are things Davie will never forget about the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry.

"Even just getting on those busses and going to the game," said the former A&M assistant coach, now an ESPN analyst. "You're going through these small towns like Caldwell, you see that countryside, you see these houses with an A&M flag out there or a Texas flag flying, and you just know it means something to all these people."

For 117 years, this game has meant something. With Texas A&M possibly leaving for the SEC, that history won't be lost, but future games might be. There is no guarantee the two schools would schedule a non-conference game, and if they do it could lose its traditional Thanksgiving weekend scheduling.

Knowing that, the question of, "What if the game were never played again?" was posed to Longhorns fans and Aggies fans. Here are some of their responses:

"I would miss the rivalry, but I would welcome the opportunity to not have to listen to the Aggies whine anymore about how they are treated unfairly. I'd also love to see us join the [Pac-12], so watching the Big 12 implode would be nice."
-- Barry Dauber, UT '05

"It would be sad to see it go. But if they didn't play the game anymore, I don't think it would be because of A&M. I think it would be Texas flipping A&M the bird because [Texas would be] upset [Texas A&M] left the Big 12."
-- Jason Stegent, A&M '03

"… A&M just isn't UT's main concern or rival as it relates to football. The loss of the Texas-Oklahoma game would cause a statewide backlash from UT fans. By this I mean devastating. Whereas A&M, we would laugh and wave goodbye for shear foolishness. The table talk, when A&M was trying to go to the SEC, from every UT fan was laughable. For A&M's sake, the quote "don't buy the dress before you are invited to prom" seems to come to mind. A&M has always been a stepchild to UT -- even when they were beating us. We are their biggest rivals, and OU is ours."
-- Thomas Clayton, UT '07

[+] EnlargeFred Akers
AP PhotoFred Akers career at Texas ended with four straight losses to the Aggies.

"I always picture families and friends gathered in homes all over, watching this game and yelling at each other and the television, wearing their maroon or burnt orange or even both in some cases. There are bets placed and words exchanged and bragging rights are at stake for the whole next year. I think for the most part, the A&M vs. UT rivalry is something that makes both schools special. No matter how the teams perform the rest of the year, anything can happen at the A&M-Texas game, and that is what makes it so great."
-- Deana Fuchs, A&M '95

"The UT-OU rivalry has become more important, mostly because A&M has receded from the national stage and has rarely ventured into the top 20 for some time now. Earth would keep spinning if UT never played the Aggies again."
-- Andrew D. Mendez, UT Law '96

"Every Thanksgiving, all of our family friends would gather at Grandma's house to share leftovers and choose sides. Most of us were thankful for family, friends and the Fightin' Texas Aggie wrecking crew. It's that scary school spirit that I'd miss the most. There is nothing else that brings friends together like a good rivalry."
-- Deborah Lawson, A&M '92

"Don't let the door hit you in the (rear end) on the way out."
-- Scott Wilson, UT '72

"They might as well cancel Thanksgiving. I grew up in Arkansas and even I know how important that game is."
-- Wendy King, UT Law '01

"This game means a lot to the fans and is great to watch during Thanksgiving, no matter what the outcome is. I, for one, have done my best, when I'm not deployed, to watch that game every year … I hope that the Texas-Texas A&M games continue for a very long time and keep up the rich history between the two teams, and the same for the fans."
-- Spc. Jeremy Osborne, U.S. Army (deployed in Afghanistan)

"It's kind of like breathing -- you hate to do without it."
-- Fred Akers, Longhorns head coach, 1977-86

Carter Strickland covers University of Texas sports and recruiting for HornsNation.com.

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