One of the more fascinating aspects of the swirling events of the past two weeks has been the machinations coming out of College Station.
AD Bill Byrne heads off to a family reunion in Idaho, after assuring Texas that the Aggies were on board with the Pac 10-16 scenario. Meanwhile Chancellor Mike McKinney and BOR member Gene Stallings were working to get A&M into the SEC -- history be damned.
If you believe the Aggie message boards, they were sick and tired of being painted as the tag along little brother to Texas, and saw the SEC as the way back to their rightful place as a nationally prominent football program.
Those message boards got plenty of support from public statements from folks like Stallings, who appeared on Randy Galloway's ESPN radio show in Dallas and said "We don't need to piggyback with anyone."
Stallings said, "This is Texas A&M we’re talking about, and I don’t really feel that we need to piggyback on anybody. I don’t know what the options are…Let’s just say we wanted to go in another direction, why couldn’t Texas come with us? I mean isn’t that a logical question?"
Galloway then asked him if it was important to preserve traditional rivalries, and Stallings responded, "Not necessarily."
So now there are a lot of angry Aggies, who think they missed out on an opportunity to "Return to Glory," and take their rightful place among the college football elite.
Really? Return among the elite?
Texas A&M is 666-440-48 all time, a 60% winning percentage.
The Aggies have had 11 seasons with 10 or more wins. They have finished the season nationally ranked 23 times.
They have finished in the Top Ten 11 times.
They have finished in the Top Five exactly twice and it's been a while.
The last time Texas A&M finished the season in the Top Five these men were in the White House.
Texas is 845-321-34 all time for a 72% winning percentage.
Texas has 23 seasons with 10 or more wins, and have finished the season nationally ranked 47 times.
Texas has finished in the Top Ten 26 times while also posting 22 Top Five finishes.
So what is the Aggie boasting and bravado based on?
The Sherrill/Slocum era. A&M was 175-75-3 over the 21 years. Thanks to the run between 1984-94 when A&M won 10 out of 11 contests with Texas, the Aggies were 12-9 against big brother from 1982-2002.
The Aggies never finished in the Top Five during that period. They went 5-9 in Bowl games during this time frame, but they had a winning record against Texas, and that translated into a magnified self-image.
The past seven season have only added to the Aggies' irritation with "T.U." While A&M has gone 42-44 over that span, Texas is 79-12 with a National Championship and four BCS Bowl game appearances. Two wins over their hated rival have salved the wounds somewhat, but not enough to ease the pain of watching Texas build the preeminent college football program in the nation.
Now after a renegade faction of the Aggie administration gets their hopes up that they might be rid of their nemesis for good...