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

NORMAN — Bob Stoops doesn't get emotional about the rising number of familiar foes headed out the Big 12 door. Nebraska last year, Missouri in September, Texas A&M on Saturday at Owen Field. Stoops gets no lump in his throat, no moisture in his eye, talking about the dearly departing.

“Have a good go at it next year, wherever you're at,” Stoops said about the final OU-A&M game for the foreseeable future. “We'll play somebody else.”

No holes in that theory. No telling who the Sooners will play in 2012, but it won't be the Aggies, that mystical corps from College Station that is SEC-bound. If it's OK with Stoops, I'll get a little emotional for the both of us.

Nebraska, A&M, probably Missouri. The Sooners and Cowboys keep losing opponents that made our lives interesting. The neighborhood keeps changing, and not always for the better.

I love TCU, and I think West Virginia is going to be interesting in a Daniel Boone-does-Dodge City sort of way.

But there are danged few good things about losing Texas A&M. I won't miss the drive to College Station, and I won't miss all those student soldiers running around that are more militia than military, and I won't miss the swaying upper deck at Kyle Field. If I wanted an amusement park ride, I'd stop off at Six Flags.

Everything else about the Aggies, I'll miss.

It's a shame, really, Aggie football making what could be their final trip onto Oklahoma soil. A&M has been a regular on our schedules only since 1996. I don't know why they didn't play much before that — OU 14 times, OSU 11; lack of vision, I suppose — but the Aggies quickly became a familiar foe.

Here's what I'll miss:

* The Fightin' Texas Aggie Band. I don't really want to start any more debates about the musical quality of the Aggie band. I'm not a contest judge. I'm just Joe Consumer.

But every band except maybe those from the historically black colleges could learn a lesson from the Aggies. Play music everyone can cheer, and don't step sideways. March straight ahead.

Autumns won't be the same without hearing the Ags play “Ballad of the Green Berets.”

* I will miss the A&M-Texas Thanksgiving game. Maybe Tech can be an adequate replacement. We'll see.

* I will miss the Aggie War Hymn. The coolest sound in college football is that trumpet intro, signaling the fight song is nigh.

Navy has the nation's best fight song. Alabama is No. 2. Michigan No. 3. I'd put the Aggie War Hymn next.

* I will miss the names of A&M tailbacks. From John David Crow to Bubba Bean to Sirr Parker to Jorvorskie Lane to Mister Jones to Cyrus Gray, the Aggies always seem to have a tailback with a totally cool name.

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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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