Does Texas A&M Football have a rivalry game?

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 24: Jeff Fuller #8 of the Texas A&M Aggies attempts to catch a pass against Carrington Byndom #23 of the Texas Longhorns in the first half of a game at Kyle Field on November 24, 2011 in College Station, Texas. The pass was incomplete. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)
COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 24: Jeff Fuller #8 of the Texas A&M Aggies attempts to catch a pass against Carrington Byndom #23 of the Texas Longhorns in the first half of a game at Kyle Field on November 24, 2011 in College Station, Texas. The pass was incomplete. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images) /
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When the Aggies left the Big 12 and moved to the SEC they gave up Texas vs. Texas A&M football games on Thanksgiving Day. Did they give up rivalries too?

Good-bye to texas university
So long to the orange and the white

Those lyrics will forever be a part of what it means to be an Aggie. During every football game, midnight yell, every sporting event and scattered happenings around Aggieland there will always be mentions of texas university. But the Aggies don’t play the Longhorns any more.

Some particularly fiery Aggies would go as far to say that the rivalry never existed in the first place. That’s lunacy. The Aggies and Longhorns have a longstanding mutually distaste that goes beyond the football field. However, now that the game isn’t happening, the Aggies find themselves in search of a new rival.

Good-bye to texas university
So long to the orange and the white

What is a rival? I confess, I googled it. But when it comes to college athletics we need a more nuanced definition. A rival is an opponent of particular emotional significance in which games against said opponent are competitive and of increased importance.

When Texas A&M joined the SEC they essentially went potluck in the rivalry department. The new “rivals” they were stuck with could not be any more different. South Carolina is the Aggies’ yearly SEC East opponent. The Gamecocks have yet to beat the Aggies since the home-and-home series began in 2012.

In lieu of the game against the Longhorns on Thanksgiving the Aggies drew a year game against the LSU Tigers. That game has since been moved off of Thanksgiving day (don’t they know about tradition?). Like the series with South Carolina, it’s been entirely one-sided, but this time in favor of LSU.

Is Texas A&M rivalry-less?

I have yet to find an Aggie that has any strong opinion about the South Carolina Gamecocks. Plenty of Aggies detest LSU, but the football team is O-fer in SEC games with the Tigers. That would disqualify either of those games as rivalries. So if the two “rivalry” games that the Aggies inherited aren’t rivalries, who is Texas A&M’s current rival?

Texas A&M has had more contested games against the Mississippi schools, going a combined 5-5 against Ole Miss and Mississippi State since 2012. The games were close, but the animosity just isn’t their. The Rebels’ fan base is known for being welcoming and fun, so trips to the Grove are pleasant, not contentious. The games against Auburn have been closer, but not nearly as heated as trips to Death Valley. Arkansas and Alabama aren’t options either – each series is decidedly lopsided.

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That leaves us with nothing. Texas A&M football does not have an active rivalry, and that’s a shame. The tradition and resources poured into the football program deserve more. Whether it’s scheduling Texas again or finding a way to be competitive against the bigger brands in the SEC West. Who would you propose becomes the Aggies’ next rival, and how would such a rivalry start?

***Sports Reference***