The Longhorns thought this was the same old Texas A&M. They were wrong.

Texas thought they could come out on the other side of things smelling like a rose with this coaching coup as they entered the SEC. They miscalculated.
June 1, 2024; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies fans celebrate a 4-2 win against the Texas Longhorns during the second round in the NCAA baseball College Station Regional at Olsen Field College Station. Mandatory Credit: Dustin Safranek-USA TODAY Sports
June 1, 2024; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies fans celebrate a 4-2 win against the Texas Longhorns during the second round in the NCAA baseball College Station Regional at Olsen Field College Station. Mandatory Credit: Dustin Safranek-USA TODAY Sports / Dustin Safranek-USA TODAY Sports

The Longhorns don't yet understand that this is a different Texas A&M than the one that left them 12 years ago

The Schlossnagle coup by the Longhorns, as it turns out, wasn't all it was cracked up to be. What was portrayed to be a seismic shift by Texas fans looks now as though it was only momentarily destabilizing for Texas A&M baseball.

Texas thought they were essentially vivisecting a program that had completely passed them by; after all, the Aggies ended Texas's season two out of the last three years, and now the Longhorns thought they were getting the coach that was primarily responsible for that level of play. Not only him, either, but all of the players that really made this Aggie team special.

There are Longhorn fans now trying to walk back the idea that they were all very sure that Texas A&M baseball players would be moving to Austin in droves to follow their beloved coach. If you don't believe me on that, though, go ahead and feast your eyes on this very brief selection from a very extensive corpus of similar declarations:

So, what tack are they taking now that every key player has announced their return to College Station? The answer is 1) various and 2) all equally feeble.

Bold choice to say "now that A&M is done, we can actually get some guys." Doesn't exactly project strength!

Of course, Grahovac, LaViolette, Schott, etc. just weren't takes for Texas. That is obviously what happened! Also, did you hear about these high school junior pitchers?

I wasn't being serious, of course—just a little trolling! Except I was and they did commit, so I was right all along. The players who we didn't offer, I mean. Did you forget we got the coach?

Of course, when all else fails, just say they way outspent you and throw out some random numbers.

What the Horns still have yet to realize is that this isn't the same Texas A&M that left them for dead in the Big 12 twelve years ago. They chose to tag along behind the Aggies, and what they're slowly in the process of discovering is that the Maroon and White are in much more of a place of strength than they remember.

That's why they have so much trouble with the fact that this has been such a PR black eye for their program. Those without a dog in the fight have consistently taken the Aggies' side, and it has no doubt had a material effect on what Schloss is trying to do in his opening days as head coach of the Longhorns. It's gotten so bad for them that we have random guys on the jumbotron at Yankee Stadium slamming Schlossnagle.

They are absolutely hating this. Just look at the Facebook comments of any of these posts recently—Longhorn fan after Longhorn fan is begging, pleading for people to just "move on." That's not because this is old news, it's because they can't stand the negative attention.

The Aggies can hit back now—effectively. Schlossnagle had to spend his presser at Texas attempting to seem penitent for what he had done. The Aggies' welcome event for Earley masterfully balanced looking forward to the future and making clear what had happened with the previous coach, with a few well-placed digs in there.

Of course, while this baseball kerfuffle has captured the hearts and minds of the country in the sports desert that is late June into early July (and with great reason, by the way—it's a really compelling story), football is the straw that stirs the drink in collegiate athletics. Most Longhorn fans have only the memories of the moribund 2000s for the Aggies: a time period that coincided with Texas's strongest run in recent memory.

Staying stuck in that past as they are so adept at doing, they see no reason why anything should change. But it isn't just them that grabs the headlines anymore. The Aggies are a huge brand of their own now. It's a different ball game.

And what is Texas's brand becoming? The guy who just tries to ape everything A&M does? Follows them to the SEC, immediately annoying every fanbase in the conference and drawing their derision? Sees the Aggies' coach and makes a desperate bid for him despite claiming they're superior to the Aggies in every way?

They'd better hope they have a big year in football, because this will be their best chance for a while. The recruiting returns, despite a playoff appearance, just aren't there. They keep swinging and missing. And it's the Aggies—yes, A&M, coming off of a 7-6 season—that's in the top five recruiting classes in the nation.

Things are different now. There's no "big brother-little brother" dynamic. The Longhorns thought they stole A&M's soul.

Turns out the spirit of Aggieland is harder to kill than they thought.