A Better Cross-Divisional Rival Than TAMU?

Photo Credit: Fanatics
Photo Credit: Fanatics /

Cross-divisional rivalries make for some of the best gridiron contests in the SEC. The Deep South’s oldest rivalry and the Third Saturday in October produce classic contests that will last throughout the ages.

USC lacks the tradition that the SEC’s core schools have. Most of them have been in the SEC decades longer than South Carolina. For 21 years, the Gamecocks faced Arkansas annually in a cross-divisional rivalry. It made sense; both schools entered the SEC in 1992. With the addition of Texas A&M and Missouri, Carolina dropped the Razorbacks for the Aggies.

Broaching this subject may make some think I want Carolina to cut and run. The Aggies sit upon a 4-0 streak against the Cocks. True, the first contest ended in a route for South Carolina. The more recent three have been far closer, however.

I’m merely pointing out that there may be a more compatible cross-divisional rival for USC. Carolina and TAMU fans have to travel farther for the game than any other schools. In other words, one cannot get much further and still be in the SEC than to travel from Columbia to College Station.

Alright, so who would make for a better cross-divisional opponent? Obviously, Auburn and Alabama sit out of question. The Alabama-Tennessee and Georgia-Auburn rivalries possess nearly sacred attributes to SEC fans. To come between these schools and their game would amount to heresy. Besides, do we really want to play Auburn or Bama every year? Didn’t think so (yes, I’m aware the Gamecocks are the last SEC East program to take down the Tide.)

Ole Miss appears too compatible with Vanderbilt to change. Both possess relatively small student bodies. Both institutions are well-known for their preppy, Ivy League-esqe cultures.

The LSU-Florida rivalry may lack the tradition of some of the older rivalries. However, Columbia to Baton Rouge still seems a fair distance to travel. Also, just as with the Alabama schools, Carolina’s record against the Bayou Bengals leaves a lot to be desired.

The most sensible answer appears as the Bulldogs of Mississippi State. Rabid fans call both schools home. Both schools claim  roughly similar feats in program history (I.E. several very respectable seasons, but never quite making the top of the pile.)

What say you? Would you enjoy a change from the Aggies to the Bulldogs? Should the rivalry change at all?