Aggies’ move to SEC signals end of an era

For nearly a century, the state of Texas has had one thing as constant as the summer heat. An end of year conference battle between the Texas Longhorns and the Texas A&M Aggies. It is known as the Lonestar Showdown and for years it has had dual meaning. The Lone Star Showdown was the game between the two traditional powers of Texas college football and it usually had important conference implications.

That all changed on Sept. 25, 2011 when the Aggies were officially accepted as members of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

The move culminates months of talk between A&M and the SEC as well as A&M and the other Texas schools. No university was more vocal about keeping the Aggies in the Big XII than Baylor.

Baylor threatened legal action to keep the Aggies from crossing the Sabine River and joining the SEC but in the end, the Aggies chose to take their toys and go to the SEC.

In this new world of college football, there is no such thing as loyalty anymore. It is sad that a school, especially one as keen on honoring tradition as A&M, will turn its back on a century of glorious tradition so it can get a bigger paycheck.

What is sad about this whole situation is that the family of Texas colleges was broken up for a second time in less than 20 years. The Big XII members in Texas were the last link to the historic Southwest Conference. With A&M going to the SEC, another piece of Texas culture and lore is being lost just as part of the culture of Texas was lost when the SWC fell apart in the 1990s.

At least then, half the old conference (Baylor, A&M, Tech and Texas) stuck together like brothers. The other half (Houston, Rice, SMU, TCU) was cast to the winds as they were not invited to join their brethren in merging with the old Big Eight.

This time the Aggies, the tradition school, are telling the world that they are more interested in making money than respecting the tradition of great rivalries with Baylor, Texas and Texas Tech. Rivalries that have done as much to advance the culture of state of Texas as anything.

The move to the SEC will no doubt re-open the rivalry the Aggies had with Arkansas when both were in the SWC as well as build a rivalry with LSU but at the end of the day are those worth the destruction of rivalries with your own people, your fellow Texans.

The Aggies will play their Texas brethren one more time this year and then after that its anyone’s guess as to if or when the rivalries will be renewed in non-conference action.

After this fall, the rivalry between the Texas schools will never be the same.