There will be plenty to miss when Texas A&M leaves for the SEC

A strong marching band, tailbacks with cool names and the ability to pull an upset are just some of the things that make the Aggies special.
by Berry Tramel Published: November 3, 2011

* I will miss A&M's coaching tradition. Mike Sherman has a lot to live up to; so did Dennis Franchione, who failed. But the Aggies aren't in the habit of hiring mediocre coaches, even if they don't always win big.

Dana X. Bible, who won big at Nebraska and Texas. Matty Bell, who won big at TCU and SMU. Bear Bryant. Gene Stallings. Wishbone inventor Emory Bellard. Jackie Sherrill. R.C. Slocum. The Aggies have hired themselves some football coaches.

* I will miss A&M's upset capability. The Aggies knocked Kansas State out of the 1998 national title game. OU out of the No. 1 ranking in 2002. Texas out of the 2006 Big 12 title game. The Aggies made this conference much more interesting.

* I will miss A&M's capability to be upset. The Aggies lost to Arkansas State in 2008. Lost to Baylor 35-34 in 2004, when the Bears had just four Big 12 wins in the conference's eight-year history. Lost to Louisiana-Lafayette in 1996. With the Aggies, you never know what you'll get.

* I will miss the Wrecking Crew nickname. The Aggies don't necessarily play that kind of defense anymore (Von Miller a notable exception), but what a great nickname and tradition.

* I miss the 12th Man tradition. I like history and the preservation thereof. Not all tradition is worth preserving, and certainly some of A&M's falls into that category. But connections to the past are a priceless possession, and the Aggies certainly value theirs.

* I will miss the tradition of kissing your date after an A&M score. Sort of silly, but relatively harmless, and completely understandable when you remember that A&M didn't go coed until 1963.

* I will miss OSU-A&M games, which provided some of the Big 12's best drama. Five of the last six Cowboy-Aggie games were decided by five points or less. Three of the five were one-point affairs.

* I will miss the Stoops blowouts. Stoops' teams have scored at least 50 points on A&M four times. Stoops' teams have scored at least 60 on the Ags three times. No other foe has been so victimized by the Sooners. Baylor and Iowa State never have allowed OU to reach 60.

So long, Aggies. You were good neighbors. You made our football lives better. Knock 'em dead in the SEC.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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