In recent years, the Baylor-Texas A&M rivalry has become a great one — not just in football, but across almost every sport. (Think back to the five-overtime men’s basketball game, or the Lady Bears’ four meetings with the Lady Aggies last season, or any number of classic baseball series.)
Sadly, this Saturday’s game in College Station (11 a.m. CT, airing nationally on FX) will likely be the last such matchup on the gridiron between these two teams for a long time, with the Aggies defecting to the SEC beginning next season. The circumstances add drama to this year’s showdown, the 108th installment of the “Battle of the Brazos,” a series that dates back to 1899.
Further raising the stakes, both teams enter the weekend ranked in the top 25. Baylor, in fact, is the top-ranked team in Texas, sitting at No. 20 in the AP poll, followed by Texas A&M at 21, Texas at 22 and Houston at 25. Both the Bears and Aggies bring in high-powered offenses; Baylor is the only FBS school averaging 300+ yards passing and 200+ yards rushing, while the Aggies are averaging more than 200 yards per game passing and rushing.
Given the recent acrimony between the two schools both on and off the field, the A&M student paper ran a staff editorial urging their fans not to “tarnish the image of our own university” by their actions, and the Baylor and A&M student body presidents presented a joint message calling for sportsmanship this weekend. Bears and Aggies have also come together on efforts to support those affected by the Texas wildfires, cooperating in collecting food/water on campus and fundraising efforts among general fans.
So this weekend, let’s focus on the field and enjoy ushering the Aggies out of the league with one more loss.
Sic ’em, Bears!