Perhaps the saddest part of conference realignment is the end of historic rivalries. In the SEC alone, Texas A&M vs. Texas and Kansas vs. Mizzou fell prey to conference realignment. But that's OK! Enjoy the storied tradition of Texas A&M vs. South Carolina!
The SEC's new scheduling arrangement includes one cross-division rival for each team. While the eight-game system can create imbalance among teams and cause absurdly long breaks between when conference foes see each other, the rivalries worked out pretty well.
Except for the brand new "historic annual rivalry" between Texas A&M and South Carolina, two schools separated by thousands of miles that have never met in football. So what's the best way to make a fake rivalry seem real? A trophy, of course! And it looks like that might be happening. The trophy could reportedly depict James Bonham, Alamo hero and former SC student.
Ever the conversationalist, Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier gave his thoughts on the "Alamo rivalry" branding at SEC Media Days:
I heard about that. Read about it. Didn't know it's official yet. I'm actually from Tennessee, and I always was taught the hero of the Alamo was Davy Crockett. Bonham, it's a good story, and he did some good things. I always thought Crockett and those 33 Tennessee guys was the hero. Him and those Tennessee guys that came in and got killed and so forth.
If they wanna do a trophy for it, that's fine. We've got a little trophy with Missouri, cause they're Columbia and we're Columbia. We've been fortunate enough to keep that one at home. I don't know that you can have a trophy for every game. Up in the Big Ten, they got a bunch of 'em. Don't know how many games you can have a trophy for, as you go through the season.
Officials are facing a similar problem with Bonham: "Everybody in Texas knows him, but no one does in South Carolina," one historian said.
That's fitting for two teams whose fans are going to need to learn a lot about each other before this game becomes a rivalry in more than name only.
Bonus material: Steve Spurrier's best Spurrier Zingers from SEC Media Days 2014
Spurrier: "He's the only QB in the country to beat UCF." Baylor smack talk has started early this morning.— Hypno-Toad (@HypnoToad03) July 15, 2014
This is in reference to the 1984 SEC title that Florida won and then had stripped due to NCAA violations. https://t.co/mnTrED63Ab— David Wunderlich (@Year2) July 15, 2014
Spurrier: "big donors (in college) are similar to an owner of an NFL team. Best part they don’t tell you what to do."— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 15, 2014
Spurrier: "I thought I was going to coach in the NFL for 5 or 6 years, retire to the beach and play some golf. That was a bad idea."— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) July 15, 2014
Spurrier: "We've got a pretty good team, I think. Most of the magazines have us at 9, 10, 11, something like that."— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) July 15, 2014
Steve Spurrier says Stephen Garcia "might be good in the media. ... Heck, you guys made it."— Josh Kendall (@JoshatTheState) July 15, 2014
"After two years with... the team I was with..." - Spurrier, still working through some breakup issues— Hypno-Toad (@HypnoToad03) July 15, 2014
Spurrier: "Gus Malzahn is one of the best coaches in the country. They don’t win that national championship (2010) unless he is there."— Josh Kendall (@JoshatTheState) July 15, 2014
Spurrier on Stephen Garcia - "I thought he'd be real good at that arena ball."— Derek (@DerekAggie06) July 15, 2014
Spurrier - I can assure you our fans would rather beat Clemson than winning the SEC. Personally, I'd rather win the SEC— Derek (@DerekAggie06) July 15, 2014
On how to win the SEC trophy: "Well we need one of those eastern division teams to lose a game." Mizzou pisses us all off, coach.— Hypno-Toad (@HypnoToad03) July 15, 2014
Spurrier: "Kevin Sumlin is a good coach. ... He's a good negotiator, too, we know that. He's got a good deal."— Josh Kendall (@JoshatTheState) July 15, 2014
Spurrier: "Playing in the south has to help us a little bit." Talks about the Big 10's struggles and bad weather.— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) July 15, 2014
Spurrier - I think it's a shame Texas and Texas A&M aren't playing each other. One of 'em changes conferences and they get mad.— Derek (@DerekAggie06) July 15, 2014
Spurrier: "When a coach tries to talk his player into staying (rather than NFL), it's just not smart."— Josh Kendall (@JoshatTheState) July 15, 2014
The amazing thing is not that Steve Spurrier was asked about his USFL history. It’s that he remembered his record and Bham’s #SECMD14— Brandon Larrabee (@TeamSpeedKills) July 15, 2014
Spurrier: "Only time will tell if Vanderbilt can do it. I know Wake Forest won an ACC one year, but it'll be interesting." #SECMD14— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) July 15, 2014
Spurrier: "Remember when coaches used to retire? They don't retire. They get fired. One goal is to not get fired. I'm going to make it."— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) July 15, 2014
Because internet, here's Spurrier as Davy Crockett pic.twitter.com/YQ7uNUXDzG— Jorge (@JorgeBrosada) July 15, 2014