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Texas, A&M say goodbye to rivalry

The second verse of the Aggie War Hymn reads:

Good-bye to texas university
So long to the orange and the white
Good luck to dear old Texas Aggies
They are the boys that show the real old fight

Yeah, this one’s going to sting for a while for Texas A&M. The Aggies, who will begin their new life in the SEC next season, were hoping to do so with the satisfaction that comes with knowing they got the last laugh, the final game in a “best of” series. But not just any series. They wanted to go out on top against “tu”.

After all, it was Texas who has insisted they’d rather not play A&M if the Aggies weren’t a member of the Big 12.

Texas A&M had the chance to stick it to UT on the way out the door as they looked to the future.

Instead, A&M reverted to old habits, giving up a (shocker!) halftime lead and handing over four turnovers to an anemic Texas offense that racked up 20 second-half points in route to a 27-25 victory over the Aggies.

To reiterate the tweet of the night courtesy of Patrick Southern: “A school leaving for another league largely because of its ‘little brother’ status in its state gets beaten by Colt McCoy‘s little brother.”

The rivalry lasted nearly 120 years and the final installment for the foreseeable future came down to -- of all things -- a game-winning field goal that followed a controversial (and utterly ridiculous) personal foul penalty on the final drive.

Justin Tucker won’t have to pay for drinks on Sixth Street for the next year; likewise, he should probably steer clear of the greater east Texas region just to be safe. With Tucker’s 40-yard field goal straight through the uprights with plenty of leg to spare, the Longhorns rushed the field in celebration. Kyle Field, which is as loud and as colorful as any SEC environment, was sullen.

That’s because, as it stands right now, it’ll be the last meeting between the two teams for at least the next seven years.

That’s a shame.

It wasn’t a pretty game -- each team had 10 penalties and there were a combined six turnovers -- but players on both sides gave it everything they had and it came down to the final play. You can’t ask for much better than that.

But fans can and should ask for better from Texas and A&M because they deserve better. College football deserves better than two sides who are so filled with disgust for each other that it prohibits them from giving us games like this.

Look, I get it: Texas ticked off everyone and their mom when they got their own TV network worth hundreds of millions of dollars and tried to air high school programming on it. They went too far in the eyes of angry Big 12 members.

I also get that A&M had a chance to be a part of the best conference in college football and increase their annual exposure and revenue streams.

Each side did what they felt was best for them and that’s completely understandable. But, just know this, A&M: not every school has what Texas has. In fact, no one really does. You’re not going “out-Texas” Texas. Also, you knew UT wasn’t interested in keeping this rivalry alive once you departed. The Longhorns may have been petty, but at least they’ve been consistent. And, Texas, know this: your actions have consequences. Four teams have now left the Big 12 -- and two more almost left -- because, in some form or another, they were finished with you being the alpha male. The SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12 are conferences based on equality. That’s the trend in successful and stable college football. Get with it, or go independent.

Your salute to the Aggies this evening was classy, but it was too late.

My parents divorced when I was six years old. I have no idea how many times they fought during the process or what was argued. But I do know that when it was all settled, I spent equal time with both for many, many years. I was too young to know if their friendly conversations about the weather and my school’s potluck dinner were truly friendly, but if they weren’t, they masked it because of the consideration they had for me.

If Texas and Texas A&M need time to cool off, then they can have it, but someone -- both sides, really -- needs to be the adult sooner or later.

Sooner is preferred.