Since 1992, the LSU Tigers have traditionally taken to the gridiron to face SEC West rivals the Arkansas Razorbacks every Thanksgiving night. Since what seems like the dawn of time, the Texas A&M Aggies did the same against former(?) rival the Texas Longhorns.
With the addition of the Aggies to the SEC this summer, reports have suggested members from both LSU and Texas A&M are in talks with conference commissioner Mike Silve about a future Thanksgiving-night series.
From several perspectives, this series makes sense.
While the Aggies’ conflict with the Razorbacks has drawn some relative regional interest– especially since being played at the new Texas Stadium– replacing Arkansas with LSU would finally ignite a rivalry which A&M has desired for some time.
Prior to A&M’s departure from the Big 12 for the SEC, LSU basically refused to play the Aggies. Now that the two are conference– and more importantly, divisional– foes, both institutions might as well make the most out of their meetings by making it a holiday tilt.
Thanksgiving day draws a ton of eyeballs to television sets across the country to watch not only professional football, but also to college games which have become as much a part of family tradition for many folks around the country as turkey and stuffing.
A border battle between the Tigers and Aggies would be ratings gold for whichever network is lucky enough to grab the game, regardless of how well each team is doing during the first part of its season.
In the same respect, releasing Arkansas from their traditional meeting with the Aggies on Thanksgiving would allow the SEC to work at building another new rivalry between the Razorbacks and its newest entrant, the Missouri Tigers.
Many, especially in basketball circles, are bemoaning the end of the Kansas-Missouri rivalry, but a new rivalry with Arkansas could be just the quick fix to keep that moaning to a low pitch, and interest a new generation of fans in a border battle that could have just as much intrigue and be just as exciting in the long-run.
Sure, there will be plenty of detractors to the notion of LSU and Texas A&M doing battle on Thanksgiving, and scheduling obstacles are sure to abound, but it looks like a solid bet to happen at some point.
Texas A&M has wanted these games for years.
LSU will be holding most of the cards.