After losing two of the five most exciting teams in the conference, the Big 12-2 is a lame duck league lacking any sort of excitement. Usually, the fall looms with the excitement of another season, but this year at least the Rangers might make it into the playoffs. There will be no hesitation to spend a fall weekend in Arlington instead of at Kyle Field cheering on the Aggies against the likes of Stephen F. Austin and Baylor. I fully expect attendance to be as low as it has been since the Zone expansion, as Aggies everywhere seem to be canceling season tickets and giving up on the program.
It’s not a mediocre product on the field that has people upset, because last year’s disappointing team gave us some reasons to be optimistic, and this year’s team projects as the best team in a few years, but the fact that Texas A&M and the board of regents and even our own Aggie governor let us down.
There was a chance to do something special, to improve the product, to awaken the hundreds of thousands of Aggie fans, to create excitement, but it just didn’t happen. Thousands of Aggies are pissed off, and for good reason. The decision to move to an inferior conference from the Big 12 was inexcusable. This Big 12-2 is not the Big 12, it’s a new conference with new rules and it’s on par with the Mountain West. You can’t take two of the top five football teams from a twelve team conference, eliminate a championship game, and still consider it the same conference.
Here’s a list of all the schools in the SEC and the schools in the Big 12 ranked 1-21 on which ones I would be most likely to buy a $500 ticket for the first conference game of the season at Kyle Field against Texas A&M:
1. Florida – The premier program in the nation at this time.
2. LSU – Those cajuns bring excitement. They may not be the sharpest knives in the drawer, but they are probably carrying knives.
3. Auburn – Great SEC tradition and that War Eagle thing is what college football is all about.
4. Tennessee – A sea of a real orange color and rabid fans are what you think of when you hear UT.
5. Georgia – We got a taste of the Bulldogs in that terrible bottom of the trash dumpster bowl game. Uga is the best mascot outside of Auburn among these teams.
6. Alabama – Maybe their coach is slimy, and maybe most of their fans should be in prison, but they would bring a high amount of excitement to Kyle Field.
7. Texas – Games against the Horns always seem to be big games, but move the game up to the conference opener, and there would be a lot of better options out there.
8. Oklahoma – Bob Stoops always has his team ready unless they are playing an SEC team.
9. Mississippi State – I saw them play in the Snow Bowl. They bring a sense of excitement for a small school. They are the anti-Baylor.
10. Mississippi – A lot of alumni walking around with scotch and cigars. A good, simple group of people.
11. Arkansas – Any fans that wear red pigs on the faces are really into their team.
12. South Carolina – When South Carolina hired Lou Holtz, they sold out every game in an 80,000 seat stadium in a season in which they lost all eleven games. The administration at South Carolina keeps the fans and alumni coming out to the stadium with popular and intelligent decisions regarding their athletic program.
13. Mizzou – They’ve fielded some talented offensive teams in recent years, but they travel poorly.
14. Kansas State – The purple clad waves of fans are friendly, and Bill Snyder might get them excited again.
15. Texas Tech – I have a challenged cousin that went to Texas Tech on an academic scholarship. I tried to avoid family get-togethers and football games where they let him out for a few hours.
16. Oklahoma State – This is a school that prefers to have empty seats than to sell tickets to visiting fans. Why would we want any of them to come to Kyle Field. Please don’t sell tickets to OSU fans.
17. Kansas – This was a joke of a program with a Michelin Man bully as a coach. Now, they are just boring. Basketball is another story.
18. Vandy – Vandy should probably be higher on this list. They have played well at times over the past few years, and everyone kind of pulls for them a bit.
19. Kentucky – They are a mirror of Kansas. They both cheat and are good in basketball, but the Kentucky football program is an afterthought.
20. Iowa State – This is a really boring team. They bring nothing to the table.
21. Baylor – When the Big 12 schools looked like they were going to leave Baylor behind, Baylor wasn’t deemed worthy of a Mountain West Conference spot. That is pretty low. Who would pay good money to see them?