Texas A&M joins the Southeastern Conference this season, kicking off its first taste of the conference this Saturday against Florida.
There has already been some back-and-forth between the two programs, with coaches Will Muschamp and Kevin Sumlin exchanging friendly barbs through the media during the summer. At a Gator club meeting, Muschamp talked about the atmosphere at Kyle Field and the experience of playing a road game against the Aggies before dropping this nugget: "You ever been to College Station? It’ll be the only time you go.”
The mayor of College Station, Texas, Nancy Berry responded with a video to Muschamp and a gift basket, which he received, Muschamp confirmed Monday. "It was wonderful," he said. "There were some koozies and things, it was nice. Very appreciative."
Now, a billboard has found its way to Gainesville, chock full of "Texas talk." Check it out:
Pretty funny, right? Not so fast, as Lee Corso would say.
This "news" was originally reported by @GatorZoneChris (Chris Harry), a writer who works for the University of Florida and is paid by the University Athletic Association. Since Harry blogged about the billboard, Texas A&M vice president of marketing and communications Jason Cook has taken to Twitter to defend his school, saying that the Aggies had nothing to do with the billboard. The school is investigating and I will update this post if any more news surfaces.
So what say you? Who's behind it? Is it rogue Aggies fans with money to burn trying to stir the pot? Did the UF athletic association make this happen to drive interest in the program as ticket sales have dwindled and fans aren't showing up en masse? Does it matter? Is it even funny?
UPDATE: The billboard has been taken down due to a trademark concern over the use of the word "Whoop!" The USA Today's Rachel George is reporting that a Houston-based agency representing a fan group paid for the billboard.
Texas A&M distanced itself further from the ordeal with this statement: "This billboard was not placed by Texas A&M University, and it is certainly not reflective of how we have handled our transition into the SEC. We are investigating aggressively, as we believe that our institutional trademarks have been infringed upon. Texas A&M has tremendous respect for the University of Florida, and we look forward to hosting the Gators in our first SEC football game this weekend."