Big 12 Realignment: Is This the End of Texas-Texas A&M Rivalry?

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Big 12 Realignment: Is This the End of Texas-Texas A&M Rivalry?
Aaron M. Sprecher/Getty Images

I grew up with an older brother so I know how battles like the one currently taking place between the University of Texas and Texas A&M play out.

Usually the younger brother wants something that the older brother has but doesn't want to share.

The younger brother pleads and screams, and promises to do whatever the older brother wants just to be able to play with that toy.

Until one day, the younger brother finds a new toy—a better toy—and the older brother's bargaining chip has lost all of its power.

Insert the Longhorns as the older brother, and the Aggies as the younger, and that's about where we stand in this Big 12 civil war.

While Texas has made clear its desire to make the switch to the Pac-10, it appears Texas A&M officials believe it will benefit more from a move to the SEC.

And the Longhorns are about as happy about losing the power as the older brother would be.

Sources within the conference have confirmed that officials from Texas are meeting with the other nine remaining Big 12 schools to discuss a plan put forth by conference commissioner Dan Beebe to keep the conference intact.

According to the source, Texas officials are trying to sell the idea that Texas A&M would be responsible for effectively destroying the Big 12 by leaving. As a result, there will be immense pressure for the Aggies to stay in the Big 12, the source said.

According to a report by Joe Schad of ESPN, however, early returns indicate that the plan has little chance to succeed and we will ultimately see Texas take its program to the Pac-10 along with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech no later than Tuesday.

Now, once the move becomes official, the future of the rivalry becomes the major question mark.

There have reportedly been threats that the Longhorns would refuse to play the Aggies if it didn't follow the rest of the teams to the Pac-10.

In my opinion, these threats are empty.

I could see the annual Lone Star Showdown going on hiatus for a few years, but ultimately, this game is far too profitable for both schools to be ignored.

This has been the case for a number of non-conference rivalry games. In-state rivalries, like Florida-Florida State and Georgia-Georgia Tech, have maintained annual games for years despite not competing in the same athletic conference.

Not only that, but the rivalries have avoided losing substance as well.

If the Longhorns and Aggies do indeed go separate ways, a rift between the schools would be created that could forever intensify the hatred between the two competitors.

If it's been heated between the schools in the past, the future of the rivalry could prove to be hotter than a hog on a west Texas summer afternoon.

Sure, the schools would find new rivals in their respective conferences.

Texas A&M already has a history with the Arkansas Razorbacks and the LSU Tigers—rivalries that would immediately be rekindled as they would be playing on a yearly basis. Fans of both the Longhorns and USC Trojans have been dying for a rematch ever since the classic 2005 national championship game between the two schools.

But as the saying goes: "Absence makes the heart grow fonder"—or hatred stronger, as the case may be.

Like two brothers that have grown up side-by-side for their entire lives, this sibling rivalry isn't going away any time soon.

 

UPDATE: ESPN as reported that Texas will turn down the Pac-10 invitation and remain with a 10-team Big 12.

Leave opinions in the comments section: what is the Pac-10's next move? Is this the right decision for the Big 12 teams? Does the Big 12 find two new teams to invite--if so, who? Is it the right decision for Texas A&M to stay in the Big 12? How does this affect the SEC? And is this the end of conference realignment talk for the time being?

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