COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The winner of Texas and Texas A&M’s annual game usually gets a year of bragging rights in this football-crazy state.
The victor of tonight’s showdown will get to boast about this one for a lot longer than that.
It is Texas A&M’s last Big 12 game before the Aggies move to the Southeastern Conference next season. They hoped to continue the rivalry, which began in 1894, but the Longhorns have said their schedule is full through 2018.
The possibility that this could be the last meeting between these rivals has taken this already heated matchup to another level.
Texas coach Mack Brown talked to his players about the shot to go out on top.
“You should enjoy this because this could the last time that Texas ever plays Texas A&M,” Brown said he told them.
The Longhorns got Brown’s point loud and clear.
“This game will be remembered. The score will be remembered, just because it is the last one in a long series,” Texas safety Blake Gideon said.
Neither team is ranked or in contention for the Big 12 title. Since both teams already have six wins, they are bowl eligible.
Still, players from both teams know that fans are never OK with a loss.
“If you lose to them, the whole town turns on you,” Texas A&M defensive back Terrence Frederick said. “That’s every year. We lost a few games this year, but people say: ‘It doesn’t matter as long as you beat Texas.’ ”