Later this week we shall give thanks for our bountiful harvest, however we may conceive it, and thank our lucky stars as we sit before our turkey and dressing and near our loved ones.
As UT fans it would be an appropriate time to thank all those turkeys we've processed. As we move into the total victories passing lane with regard to Notre Dame, we should take stock of where we have earned those 819 victories.
Now face to the East, toward College Station, and say, "Thank you, Farmers. We couldn't have made it without you. When we say Hook 'em, we're talking about you."
Now wash your hands and come to the table.
The first turkey on the block is our favorites, Texas A&M: 73-35-5. Of all our avowed enemies, only OU has more victories over the Horns (40). But no one has supplied as many victories, not even the mangy Bears up in Waco.
Here's the list fresh out of the oven:
Opponent W - L - T
A&M 73 35 5
Baylor 71 22 4
Rice 68 21 1
TCU 61 20 1
OU 57 40 5
Arkansas 55 21 0
SMU 47 22 4
TxTech 43 14 0
OSU 20 2 0
Houston 16 7 2
Missouri 15 5 0
As a matter of fact, only two teams hold an edge over UT if they played us 10 or more games played: Notre Dame, 2-8, and, lord help us, Vanderbilt, 3-8. I personally think we need to jump on this Vanderbilt matter as soon as humanly possible. I didn't realize things were so out of hand. Get us some of SEC mojo on the sly. And if we'd done better with those eight lost ND games, we'd be ahead already.
It's also true USC has an edge on us, 1-4, but the 2006 National Championship killed that goose egg and gave us extended bragging rights. That's one of the reasons I see no gain in playing them soon; those rights last until the next game. Some here want to relive that night, but that was then, not now. Don't confuse the two.
Texas does have some nicks in the armor, being 0-2 against BYU and Syracuse, but those hits are balanced by being 7-0-1 against Alabama. That Red Tide don't roll here. And not much of an edge of LSU, 9-7-1, but still within reason.
The start of the Aggie Joke: The early era
We started playing A&M in 1894. In 1902, A&M finally scored.
Beergut related that they were established in 1871 but I'm sure they didn't spend the interim 30 years building an offense. Some things don't change.
Texas won the first six in a row, including the first Thanksgiving game on Nov. 28, 1901. All those games were shut outs. Finally, in 1902 A&M managed a 0-0 tie, a resounding victory by their standards of the day, and lo and behold, finally beat Texas 12-0 on the second Thanksgiving Day game (and second meeting) in 1902.
Texas went 6-0-1 over the next span of games, with A&M scoring a grand total of 26 points as the Horns jumped to a 13-1-2 lead by 1908 which it would never relinquish.
A&M would get better, would win the next three games in a row, but the mold was cast for both parties. The A&M series was a joke in the early days: 38-0, 48-0, 6-0, 5-0, 17-0 and 32-0. And while we joke now, they are not a team we can laugh off. However much fun we poke at them, we must take them seriously on the field.
The Aggies also represent something we all should value: they are our link to the natural world. More than a concept, it is a real living relationship with the land, something that is the very basis of the Texas mystique, both in our own minds and in the mind of the world at large. And no matter how sophisticated we become in the electronic era, how many abstractions removed we may become, the Aggies will still maintain that link. So, while we make fun of them so much in this period, they still do represent something of great value to us - and something we should never lose.
That being said, we still must whip their ass on Friday, if only for old time's sake.