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Jenni Carlson: If OU, OSU can get along, why not Texas A&M, Texas?

by Jenni Carlson Modified: August 17, 2011 at 3:36 pm •  Published: August 17, 2011

What Texas A&M will ultimately do is anyone's guess.

Go to the SEC? Stay in the Big 12? Who knows?

But this much has become clear during these past few weeks — there is no bond between Texas A&M and Texas. The longtime rivals have been playing each other for more than a century on campuses separated by a mere two-hour drive, and yet, there is no strong relationship between them. There is only animosity and distrust.

They've taken “bitter rivalry” to a whole new level.

These two could learn something from Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Sooners and Cowboys are heated rivals and fierce competitors, but they know how to get along with each other.

I was reminded of that Tuesday night at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. The state's sports shrine inducted its latest class, a distinguished bunch that included three Cowboys and two Sooners. That meant a lot of orange bloods mingling with a bunch of crimson lovers.

And you know what?

Sooners cheered Cowboy honorees, and Cowboys cheered Sooner honorees.

It's not just people being nice. There's a real bond between the two sides that will remain solid regardless of what becomes of the Big 12.

“I think OU and Oklahoma State will stick together if something happens,” said OSU mega-booster Boone Pickens, one of the Hall of Fame inductees. “We're kind of a stick-together crowd in this state.”

We should thank our lucky stars for that after what's been going on south of the Red River lately.

I know A&M types want to talk about how a possible move to the SEC is all about playing in a more prestigious conference or making more money or escaping a crumbling conference, but the truth of the matter is, they want out of the Longhorns' shadow. They've been trying to escape for decades. They're fed up. They've decided to do something about it.

(I've got bad news for the Aggies — even if you go to the SEC, you're still going to be in the Longhorns' shadow.)

The Aggies have an inferiority complex when it comes to the Longhorns. Heck, their fight song includes the repeated lyrics “saw Varsity's horns off.” Of course, the Texas fight song also says "goodbye to A&M." That's not just a rivalry. That's a deep-seeded loathing.

“The Aggies ought to stick with Texas,” Pickens said. “They have a hard time hugging Texas. I don't know if you noticed that.”

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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