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Aggies On Top Of Longhorns Is No Laughing Matter

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This is a story about a non-story.

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Photo by Aaron M. Sprecher/Getty Images. Banner Society Illustration.

The Amway Coaches Poll, like its title sponsor, is an utter and complete scam. As outright lunacies within the college football extended universe go, it’s one of the milder ones, so we as a society tend to let it pass with an eyeroll. (NB: We also let most of the major lunacies skate as well.) Unlike college football, the Coaches Poll is a thing that is definitely happening this fall, and is proceeding as though nothing is amiss.

Even in a typical season runup, this poll is merely an Excuse For Hollerin’, albeit a sacred one. But there are limits, folks. We still live in a civilization. We’ve nothing much on the horizon to look joyfully forward to, but that is NO excuse for treating this extremely mundane occurrence as though it is anything but:

The Texas A&M University Aggies are ranked 13th in this poll, while the Longhorns of the University of Texas are ranked 14th. Now more than ever, this is truly information we do not require.

This is not news, because the Texas and Texas A&M football programs are not rivals. How many times do we have to keep telling you? This is not news. If these teams were rivals, this would be news, and worthy of such discussion, but it’s not. I’ve come here today to assure an anxious audience that they’ve nothing to fear from this proximity between two football programs who are never, ever, ever getting back together, and haven’t so much as cast a stray thought in one another’s direction since their final meeting, a football game mired so far in the distant past nobody can even recall who won, much less be moved to bring it up in casual conversation at the slightest opportunity!

Honestly, it’s barely even worth a mention, the placement of these two obviously unrelated teams in a preseason poll noted for its meaninglessness in a sea of meaningless preseason polls, even considering how close together they are on the list. Just look at ‘em. Close enough for white pants to brush up against leather chaps without the need to manufacture a socially acceptable excuse. Close enough for two sets of boots to tangle together under the covers. Close enough for eyelash kisses. Close enough to bite down on their lower lip, just hard enough. Again, they’re not rivals. Not only do they not think of one another that way, they never think of one another at all.

I’m glad we’ve settled this.

Anyway! While it’s not news, it is very, very funny. Not because A&M is on top (although they clearly would be; Texas is emotionally the alpha here but you don’t need me to tell you that stops at the bedroom door), but because in some imaginary arms race to pay beleaguered SIDs across the country to fill out ballots under their bosses’ names, the Aggies came out ahead, and must therefore be more monied than their Longhorn compatriots. Money is numbers, and unlike wandering eyes (Texas, it’s in the song) and cauterized hearts (A&M, because of course they’re into recreational branding), numbers don’t lie!

Some things, like math, are just eternal. Arguing whether it’s better to be the guys (why is it always guys) with the biggest lake house or the guys who own the lake is one of them.

You know what’s not eternal?

The memory of who likes coffee before breakfast, but tea after. The way they like their eggs. The little noises they make when they’re falling asleep. The way their nostrils flare when you stand just a little too close. The way their taste in cinema tops out at Z-grade horror flicks but they’ll still sit stoically through the most heartbreaking of your favorite subtitled movies playing at the arthouse, only to tear up silently in the Sonic drive-thru lane on the way home, head turned towards the menu where they think you won’t see, only you can, and they know you can, because when you reach across the gearshift and squeeze their knee, just once, they cover your hand with theirs, so briefly, and for a second you can see another universe through the single tear pausing on their cheekbone, refracted by the light of limeade mix-in options.

That knowledge will all fade, ebbing away faster and faster with each scorned chance at renewal, along with the sense of why you ever fought in the first place, along with your stupid, senseless pride.

As of press time, Texas A&M is scheduled to open the year hosting Arkansas on September 26.