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The Best In-State Football Rivalry Is Back After 13 Years

ov 24, 2011; College Station, TX, USA; General view of the line of scrimmage during a game between the Texas A&M Aggies and Texas Longhorns in the third quarter at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
© Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

To take a line from former Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger, “We’re Back.” 

In this case the "back" being one of college football's best rivalries—the Loan Star Showdown between Texas and Texas A&M. College football fans from around the country can thank conference realignment for giving us one of the most heated rivalries back. The only downfall—fans will have to wait until Nov. 30 for the teams to square off at Kyle Field in College Station.

It’s been a 13-year hiatus since the two biggest football programs in the state have done battle, making the matchup overdue. To say there is a dislike between these schools would be an understatement considering A&M has Texas in their fight song twice, “Good-bye to Texas University, so long to the orange and the white.” When these two teams play, friends become enemies, husbands and wives stop talking and families divide.

Since 2011 the debate has raged over what team is best in the state. With Texas joining the Southeastern Conference, the debate will be settled on who runs the Lone Star State.


Lone Star Showdown History

This rivalry's first game was in 1894 with Texas winning 38-0. The Longhorns would go on to win the next seven games between the two teams. A&M's first win came in 1902 when the Aggies shut out the Longhorns 11-0. It would be another eight years before the Aggies would beat their rivals again. The Longhorns have dominated the all-time series, holding a 76-37-5 record. Texas also holds the longest win streak at 10 games from 1957-66.


Texas also won the first and last meeting in the series. The last came in 2011, the year before the Aggies left the Big 12 Conference for the SEC. Texas would make a last-second field goal to beat the Aggies 27-25, with the help four total Aggie turnovers.


The Aggies best run in the series came from 1984-99 with A&M would winning 12 of the 16 games the two teams played. The 1984 game saw the Aggies upset the then-No.13 Longhorns 37-12 and then a 42-10 win in 1985—A&M's biggest win during that stretch. The then-No.24 Aggies once again upset the then-No.7 Longhorns in 1999, winning 20-16, but the Longhorns would go on to win the next 6 games.    

In-State Recruiting 

The battle for Texas not only gives the winner something to hold over their rival, but it also will help when it comes to recruiting. The state of Texas produces some of the best high school talents in the country on a yearly basis, according to the's 2024 rankings. Texas had 59 top 300 players followed by, Georgia (38), Florida (29) and California (28).  


If one team can take control of the state in terms of recruiting it would certainly give them the ability to dominate the series moving forward. Stacking classes is key in the SEC. If you have one bad year it could set you back multiple years. Both Texas and A&M have no issue when it comes to recruiting in this new world of NIL to bring in top players. Both have strong NIL programs.  

The early signing period is being pushed up to the Wednesday before the conference championship games this year, meaning they will play just three days before giving both teams that one last shot to leave an impression with players. A win could be the difference in keeping or flipping some of the top targets.   


Welcome to the SEC 

 Texas A&M having been in the SEC since 2011 and should have a better understanding of how to get through a grueling football season giving them an advantage when they play Texas. When it comes to talent the Big 12, it is not at the same level as the SEC and it won't take long for the Longhorns to find out just how much talent is in the SEC from top to bottom. The amount of talent and depth of the league makes the season a lot more grinding than what Texas is used to playing Big 12 football.    


However, the advantage the Aggies should have might have disappeared when they fired Jimbo Fisher and hired a new coach. The Aggies hired Mike Elko after playing Fisher more than $75 million to walk out the door. Elko comes over from the Atlantic Coast Conference and does have some SEC experience as an assistant at A&M from 2018-21. The problem is Texas coach Steve Sarkisian does too after two different stops at Alabama. Coming from the Nick Saban coaching tree, Sarkisian learned how Saban handled the yearly grind of the SEC, and you could already see Sarkisian doing some of the same things inside his Texas program. What seemingly should be an advantage for A&M, Sarkisian's experience tilts that advantage to the Longhorns.


SEC football is nothing like anything else in the country as it is a faster, harder-hitting and made up of top-tier programs. This SEC is no pillow fight like the Big 12. In the SEC, every week is a brawl.

Luckily for the Longhorns, of the two teams transferring over from the Big 12, they are the one built to play SEC football. Sarkisian built the Longhorns like an SEC program and Texas will be ready to compete for the SEC championship right away.

Owning Texas

A&M might have been in the SEC for longer, but Texas is the team built to win it right now.  With the return of quarterback Quinn Ewers, Texas might have the best quarterback in the country and are loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. 

I don’t think A&M was happy when they got the news Texas was coming to the SEC, and they're not going to be happy come Nov. 30 when the Longhorns continue to own the Lone Star State.


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