Ever since Texas A&M and Texas concluded (paused?) their rivalry on the field when the Aggies left for the SEC, the two sides have traded barbs with public comments to play the part of rabble-rouser to their rival.
Texas AD DeLoss Dodds has done as much as anyone, stating the SEC had a "sliver of the East side" of a presence in Texas, and back in March, reiterating that Texas will "get to decide" when the two teams play again.
Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin responded to the "sliver" comment by speaking for the state. "We think Texas in now SEC territory. It's a little bit of an extreme to say we're a sliver in the East there," he said.
At last week's SEC meetings, a reporter asked the Aggies' prominent bowtied leader if he had any one liners to lob the Longhorns' way.
Yes, and no, was apparently the answer.
"I don't have to make it anymore," Loftin said of A&M's former Big 12 rival, as he walked away. "It's not relevant to us anymore, that's the whole point. It's not an important issue."
I'm immensely entertained by the form this rivalry has taken since it moved off the field. The two sides are heating up on the recruiting trail, too, but neither side has come close to crossing any lines while taking swipes at the other, and both sides seem successful in riling up rival fans with incendiary comments.
It's harmless. It's fun. Dodds sat down with reporters at the Big 12 meetings this week, but the Aggies hardly came up and Dodds didn't seem real talkative about the maroon-clad folks about 100 miles east of Austin.
Ultimately, though, it just makes me sad that we can't see these two play on the field and have these comments be a run-up to annual November games. Those would mean perhaps more than ever with the two sides tacking on a little conference pride to one of college football's best in-state rivalries.
I've said it before, I'll say it again: College football is worse off when Texas and Texas A&M don't play. Even if the off-field shenanigans when they don't are entertaining, too.