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Conference Realignment: Texas Vs. Texas A&M First Major Casualty

Texas and Texas A&M won't see each other again on a football field after this Thanksgiving until sometime after 2018. With the Aggies leaving for the Southeastern Conference in 2012 and the Longhorns' administration stating they're full-up on non-conference opponents for the next six seasons, a series that's been played uninterrupted since 1915 is the first major causality of conference realignment. 

Exactly who's to blame for the annulment will be the cause of great debate in the coming months and years: Who was more impertinent? Texas, for trying to lord above its other Big 12 members with a specialized revenue deal and television network, or A&M, who packed up and left a century of history and tradition seemingly just to spite the 'Horns? 

ESPN's David Ubben says there's plenty of blame, and it has to be shared by both schools:

Sorry, guys. This one must be shared. 

And drink it in, Lone Star State rivals, because it might be the last time you share anything for awhile, save a mutual disdain for one another. 

This may return at some point in the future. In time, I'm betting it does. But the loss of this heated, annual rivalry is the most disheartening consequence of any in recent college football realignment move. 

As much as fans were clamoring to see Wyoming and New Mexico come to Austin in 2012, I'm betting all sides would have understood if those contracts had to be broken to make room for the Aggies. Pay to get out of those contracts? No, Texas shouldn't have to because of the Aggies' choice, but I'm also betting Texas A&M might have been willing to chip in on the cost to keep the rivalry going. 

If nothing else, it would have forced A&M to quite literally put its money where its mouth is. 

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.