The Texas A&M Athletic Director has stepped over the line and poked the elephant that lurks in their Southern midst, Alabama. In an earlier, simpler time, a gaffe or inflammatory remark – even a Gordon Gee-level “zinger” – might get printed in the next day’s newspaper, but today, everyone knows about it instantly.
At a dinner event with boosters on June 13, Aggies AD Eric Hyman spoke about all things Texas A&M and just couldn’t resist the urge to poke fun at the defending national champion Alabama, whose last loss was to A&M.
My San Antonio’s Brent Zwerneman was at the “Brazos County A&M Club Coach’s Night” event and reported that Hyman said, “What do the moon and Texas A&M have in common? They both control the Tide.”
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny “Football” Manziel and his Aggies defeated Alabama in Tuscaloosa 29-24 last year, a big feat for one of the little brothers in the Texas college football world. While Alabama went on to win the BCS National Championship for the third time in four years, the one blemish on their dominant 2012-2013 season was the afternoon they spent with A&M.
Hyman was hired at Texas A&M a year ago after a stint at South Carolina, so Spurrier-esque comments like these should be expected from a former Spurrier-adjacent administrator.
Spurrier has a history of jabbing Saban and Alabama, saying things like, “If he wants to be the greatest coach or one of the greatest coaches in college football, to me, he has to go somewhere besides Alabama and win, because they’ve always won there at Alabama.”
This Hyman comment obviously excited the college football world, including the intern that runs Paul Finebaum’s twitter account – even the president of Texas A&M responded. This scenario is only possible in the 21st century.
When the word “Tide” entered the presumably smoke-filled and steak-sizzled Texas ballroom, Nick Saban awoke from his slumber. Saban never forgets. He lays awake at night and recites the names of the people that he must destroy like Arya Stark.
Saban will have the entire off-season to focus on beating Texas A&M, which, in a sense, is unfair. Just ask Notre Dame what happens when Saban and his coaching staff has time to prepare. It’s not pretty.
Alabama makes its first visit to College Station with Texas A&M being a member of the SEC on Sept. 14.