NORMAN — You’ve really got to hand it to Texas A&M. Because it’s not often a university’s regents get together, even for a hastily called meeting, just to reaffirm the authority everybody figured the school president already had.
Way to stand up to Texas, fellas.
A few days ago the Aggies appeared boldly irresponsible. Now, just irresponsible.
Perhaps next year, the year after that or the year after that, the Aggies really will receive an invitation from the SEC — the same SEC that put together its own hastily arranged meeting just to tell everybody it would not be inviting A&M, at least not yet — and their fans can tell the world (and me) “I told you so.” But it will only make them boldly irresponsible all over again.
Sorry guys, but the only way you win this one is by winning the Big 12.
You don’t win by running away to a place you can’t win (on the gridiron; because I give Gary Blair every chance in the world of knocking Pat off the Summitt). You don’t win by flapping your jaws and blaming Texas for everything.
Really, blaming everything on a football program that just went 5-7 and blew up the neighborhood — but retained the mayor — is just unseemly.
The other day I tried making the point the Aggies were acting spoiled, irrational and without regard for the destruction they might leave in their wake. From the response I got, you’d think I insulted everything A&M holds dear.
Maybe I did, but what blew me away was how no Aggie partisan argued the SEC suited A&M. Not one. But about 20 were pretty sure Texas was the devil.
A year ago, A&M beat Texas 24-17 in Austin. This season it shouldn’t be nearly so close in College Station.
What are the Aggies afraid of?
Some just can’t handle success, won’t take yes for an answer and believe — especially when their historical tormentor has its own television network (even if that network has no idea how it’s going to fill up so many hours of programming) — they just have to do something!
It would be so much easier if A&M looked at the Longhorns like everybody else looks at the Longhorns.
Really, who’s afraid of Texas?
A year ago UCLA beat the Longhorns. Then Oklahoma beat the Longhorns. Then, somehow, Nebraska lost to the Longhorns. Then Iowa State — Iowa State! — beat the Longhorns. Then Kansas State — Kansas State! 39-14! — beat the Longhorns. Then Oklahoma State beat the Longhorns. Then A&M beat the Longhorns.
But now everything’s going to change because Texas has a network? Yes, it will make the conference’s most filthy rich program even filthier and richer, and still you can’t buy fantastic success.
You might be able to buy your program a sturdier floor. You might be able to buy your way out of the kind of hilarity that ensued at Oklahoma when John Blake let his good buddy Joe Dickinson run things. But you can’t buy championships (well, unless you actually buy them, but having your own network, sure to inspire vigilance in your rivals, will only make that kind of skullduggery more difficult).
Really, the program A&M, and every other conference school, should fear the most is Oklahoma. It’s the Sooners who’ve won seven Big 12 titles since 2000, who’ve been in four of the last 11 national championship games and who’ve won 11 games in nine of the last 11 seasons.
But it’s not Oklahoma.
Because the Longhorns don’t play nice, don’t play fair, throw their weight around, fly first class, have drivers and gardeners on retainer and summer in the Hamptons (or Horseshoe Bay).
Quit crying and go beat them.
Like everybody else.
Clay Horning 366-3526 firstname.lastname@example.org