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Jackie Sherrill: A&M-LSU Turkey Day game has ‘already been discussed’

John McCain, Jackie Sherrill AP

As those with a vested interest surely know by now, the SEC released its 2012 schedule yesterday. And just as they have since 1992, Arkansas and LSU will end the regular season against one another.

That could change soon.

Appearing on Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly on Wednesday, former Texas A&M and Mississippi State head coach Jackie Sherrill said it will be the Aggies, not the Razorbacks, playing LSU during future Thanksgiving weekends.

You can listen to the full audio interview with Sherrill HEREbut here’s the money quote:

“It’s already been discussed. It’s been talked about. Commissioner Slive, they all have talked about it, and LSU and A&M is are going to play on prime time on Thanksgiving night, because that game will draw more people than the Arkansas-LSU, or Arkansas-A&M.”

Sherrill (pictured, right) coached A&M from 1982-88 and MSU from 1991-2003, so he has deep ties to the SEC West and would presumably know what’s going on with the rumors regarding the game. However, Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said no such discussions of moving the rivalry game with LSU had taken place as of Sunday.


Mattingly later tweeted that the A&M-LSU match was far from a “done deal.” 

The SEC has yet to finalize a schedule past 2012 and the 6-1-1 conference model was adopted at least in part to preserve rivalries such as Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-Georgia.

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37 Responses to “Jackie Sherrill: A&M-LSU Turkey Day game has ‘already been discussed’”
  1. woebegong says: Jun 7, 2012 10:33 AM

    Sure glad to get a heads up, from one of the more reputable coaches ever involved with the college football world. Isn’t he selling life insurance or used cars now?

  2. foreverlsu says: Jun 7, 2012 10:45 AM

    Looking forward to renewing the series with the Aggies and seeing their wonderful band play in Tiger Stadium every other year! The SEC tried to make Arkansas a rival for 20 years with no luck but I think Texas A&M could end up being a true rival for LSU.

    Love the sound of a primetime Thanksgiving day game …in College Station; hopefully, the games played in Baton Rouge will remain on Saturday night.

  3. foreverlsu says: Jun 7, 2012 10:48 AM

    Jeff Long sounds like Baghdad Bob. Get a clue Jeff and get used to playing Missouri on ESPNU on Turkey Day every year.

  4. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Jun 7, 2012 10:53 AM

    Damn… Would hate to not be able to play Arkansas at the end of the year. But I would welcome TAMU, only wish my buddy could be around to see this, he was a huge TAMU fan and an alumni.. God Bless..RIP

  5. kdbroom says: Jun 7, 2012 10:55 AM

    I’d love to see this game happen. IMHO, the LSU-A&M game would be a much better rivalry for LSU fans than the Arkansas game. It should also adequately replace the UT-A&M rivalry for A&M fans.

  6. bertenheim says: Jun 7, 2012 11:03 AM

    Any prime time arrangement is going to be contingent on the TV deal in place. Sherrill’s word is just more snakeoil from the master.

  7. bertenheim says: Jun 7, 2012 11:28 AM

    In-state rivalries are generally better than the cross-border kind. And “rivalry” implies an approximate balance between the teams involved.

  8. kdbroom says: Jun 7, 2012 11:51 AM


    That’s not necessarily true. We’ve seen many great cross-border (or at least not in-state) rivalries. Just to name a handful:

    Michigan-Ohio State

  9. bertenheim says: Jun 7, 2012 11:59 AM

    So by extension, a non-traditional game between schools from adjacent states is a rivalry.

  10. weavergm says: Jun 7, 2012 12:56 PM

    A&M and LSU have played fifty times without ever being in the same conference (LSU leads 27-20-3 if you’re keeping score). Both schools have large passionate fan bases. This is already a good rivalry, and showcasing it like this could turn it into a great one.

  11. bertenheim says: Jun 7, 2012 12:57 PM

    My above statement was qualified. Mich-OSU is an exception. Army-Navy is a special case. NU-OU and MO-KU are defunct. Each of the other games mentioned involve teams with a more-hated in-state rival.

    LSU has been a perennial top-5 team for the last decade. Arkansas has been respectable. A&M has been an also-ran in the Big 12 and a lower-tier team in the SEC. “Rivalry” aside, LSU-Ark is a better game.

  12. weavergm says: Jun 7, 2012 1:18 PM

    Bertenheim, you mention Ohio State’s rivalry with Michigan as an exception. Ohio State is a state school with no natural in state rival of similar caliber. Rather like LSU.

    You mention that Arkansas has been respectable, which is certainly true. The Razorbacks and the Gamecocks both stepped up their game after joining the SEC. The Aggies will also. They sit in the midst of rich recruiting grounds, which combined with SEC membership will allow them to compete for blue chip recruits. Yes, LSU will probably win this year, maybe next year too, but over the long term these will be evenly matched teams.

  13. foreverlsu says: Jun 7, 2012 1:51 PM

    LSU-Ark has been a better game recently but not after Bobby Pigtrino leaves.

    Fayetteville is 10 hours from Baton Rouge; College Station is less than 5. Obviously, LSU -Texas A&M will be bigger than LSU – Arkansas.

  14. kdbroom says: Jun 7, 2012 2:30 PM

    Recruiting will make the LSU-A&M game a much bigger rivalry over time than the LSU-Arkansas game. The LSU and Arkansas recruiting areas overlap in North Louisiana, which LSU mostly ignores (and I know this because I’m from that area). However, LSU does get whoever they want from up there, most notably in West Monroe. For the most part, LSU focuses their recruiting on the I-10 corridor from East Texas, through Louisiana, and across to the panhandle of Florida. This puts LSU right into direct competition with A&M much more so than Arkansas. A&M even tries to dip over into Louisiana as well.

    Given the proximity of the schools, and the much larger overlap in competing for players, I think the LSU-A&M rivalry is ripe for becoming something big…as long as A&M does their part and gets their program rolling again. The LSU-Arkansas series has had 20 years now, and it hasn’t taken off.

  15. Deb says: Jun 7, 2012 2:55 PM

    Thanksgiving night? Hope that game won’t conflict with an NFL game. We had enough trouble last Thanksgiving when Alabama was playing in some basketball invitational during Sunday Night Football. I mean … it was basketball for crying out loud. Who knew?

    One should never have to choose between football games. Although this year I’ll know to set my DVR regardless.

  16. burntorangehorn says: Jun 7, 2012 3:34 PM

    Deb–there have been college football games on Thanksgiving for a while, and they’ve almost always conflicted with NFL games. Specifically, aggie has been one of the two teams involved in many such conflicting games. It’d just be a different opponent for aggie now.

    weavergm–aggie’s membership in the SEC is unlikely to yield much, if any, boost in recruiting. While some players will undoubtedly be drawn to the cachet of playing in the SEC, others will be turned away from it for a few compelling reasons, not the least of which is that they are more drawn to playing the vast majority of their games within shouting distance of their families. aggie might make inroads outside of Texas, specifically in SEC territories, but probably not make much progress in-state. If anything, they’re now going to be facing stiffer competition from TCU than ever before.

  17. Deb says: Jun 7, 2012 4:37 PM

    @burntorangehorn …

    I know, but as long as they weren’t SEC games, it wasn’t an issue for me. I prefer the NFL. But if the NFL is up against a big SEC matchup, that would cause me some consternation.

  18. weavergm says: Jun 7, 2012 4:38 PM

    Burntorangehorn, the majority of A&M’s games are played in College Station, which is within easy shouting distance of Houston and DFW. For Texas based recruit, playing in the best football conference without leaving the state is the best of both worlds. And judging by A&M’s 2013 Rivals ranking I’d say it’s already boosted recruiting.

  19. frug says: Jun 7, 2012 4:39 PM

    The Razorbacks and the Gamecocks both stepped up their game after joining the SEC. The Aggies will also.

    You need to keep in mind that it may take awhile. Back in the SWC days Arkansas’ national profile was similar to that of Auburn, Georgia and even a pre-Spurrier Florida. However, after they moved to the SEC they struggled against the tougher competition. It has only been since Petrino took over that the Razorbacks have started to return to the level they were at before joining the SEC.

    Maybe the Aggies will step up their game, but it could take years.

  20. kdbroom says: Jun 7, 2012 4:44 PM


    They are “more drawn to playing the vast majority of their games within shouting distance of their families”? Certainly families aren’t so easily swayed. It’s only a difference of ~2 games per year being played outside of Texas. A&M will always get half of their SEC games at home (4), plus whatever non-conference games they establish (3 out of 4 this upcoming year are also in Texas). Plus, going to Baton Rouge and/or Fayetteville is really no different (if not easier) than going to Lubbock. I think this argument is nothing but sour grapes for the other Texas schools.

  21. weavergm says: Jun 7, 2012 5:03 PM

    Frug, you’re absolutely right. Arkansas and South Carolina are SEC contenders because of Petrino and Spurrier. Sumlin may or may not be the man to build A&M to that level. If he’s not, Aggies will become impatient and hire someone else. Sooner or later (yes, it could take years), the right guy will come along.

  22. burntorangehorn says: Jun 7, 2012 5:25 PM

    Sour grapes? Texas beat aggie for virtually every recruit they both offered prior to aggie’s announced departure to the SEC, it remained the same for 2012, and it’s has been the same for 2013 so far–and that’s despite the worst two-year stretch for UT in decades. TCU is also beating them out for some recruits now.

    If you guys think TCU’s rise to major conference status and aggie’s departure for an out-of-region conference aren’t going to at least partially offset, if not outright negate, the SEC move (whatever subjective benefit one thinks that might have) in recruiting, then you don’t know Texas football recruiting.

  23. rcbn says: Jun 7, 2012 5:36 PM

    Live in Houston and there has been no uproar as to the Aggies leaving the conference. They made their decision and it will be interesting to see if they do well. I think the proposed SEC-Big Twelve partnership is great for college Football. It will be interesting to see if the Aggies can get to the top of their conference. Seldom did if ever in the Big Twelve. Life goes on for all.

  24. weavergm says: Jun 7, 2012 6:14 PM

    Burnt, you keep mentioning TCU… The Rivals rankings for 2013 have Texas 4th (congratulations on that), A&M 7th, and TCU nowhere near the top 25. If TCU stole a recruit, good for them.

  25. thefiesty1 says: Jun 7, 2012 7:16 PM

    It’s going to be a one sided rivalry with LSU dominating for years to come.

  26. coolhorn says: Jun 7, 2012 7:31 PM

    I don’t have a dog in this hunt, since as a Longhorn fan, my favorite team doesn’t play agricultural any longer.

    If TAMU goes to the SEC and somehow turns things around, good on them. However, I wouldn’t bet the farm on them becoming some football powerhouse JUST because of their new conference affiliation. That program needs to learn how to get out of their own way first, and as recently as a few weeks ago, the lesson doesn’t seem to have taken. The most successful athletic director at TAMU in decades was just fired, mostly because he refused to be a cheerleader for the move to the SEC.

    The only way a move to the SEC will prove to be a recruiting bonanza for TAMU in football is if they win. Sooner, rather than later. Anything less and they’ll be a middle of the pack to worse SEC team, just like they were in the Big XII. Their talent level will be no better than it is now, and I think most SEC fans would concede that talent level right now makes them a middle of the conference team at best. This isn’t sour grapes…most UT fans I’ve talked to genuinely don’t care one way or the other what happens to TAMU now that they’ve played their last Big XII game.

    Reference the conversation about a regular Thanksgiving primetime game between TAMU and LSU, it makes sense. I expect it to happen, and I expect LSU to run up about the same winning percentage against agricultural that UT did. If I’m proven wrong, I’ll be the first to come back and dine on crow…assuming I live long enough to be proven wrong. I wouldn’t bet the farm on that one either.

  27. normtide says: Jun 7, 2012 8:14 PM

    Sherrill and joe lee dunn (as dc) had MSU more relevant then they have ever been. They won the west, and were a tough game every year.

  28. sterryfam says: Jun 7, 2012 8:14 PM

    LSU and A&M have enjoyed a long-standing friendly rivalry. This would be a great annual game.

    Things have always been cyclical in college football. Remember, it was LSU who cancelled the series in the ’90s because they were tired of getting kicked around the field by A&M – and they actually cited that as the reason.

    As far as the comparisons between A&M’s and Arkansas’ entries into the SEC, there is quite a difference. When Arkansas joined, it wasn’t a problem of their competetiveness. It was the fact that they dropped WAY OFF for several years in recruiting. When they were members of the SWC they were like Oklahoma – mostly made up of players from Texas and they lost that when they first joined the SEC.

  29. normtide says: Jun 7, 2012 8:20 PM

    Agree sterry. No team stays in the elite forever. The ability to return to elite play is what makes the upper echelon.

  30. frug says: Jun 7, 2012 8:25 PM


    That’s a legitimate point about the recruiting, but that is countered by the fact that Arkansas’ football program was ahead of A&M’s when they made their move.

    I’m not saying the Aggies made a mistake by moving to the SEC (they didn’t) but I think they are making a mistake if they believe the move is going to turn them into a power anytime soon.

  31. florida727 says: Jun 8, 2012 9:06 AM

    Scrolled through the posts. Was hoping one of them would be from “southernpatriots”. They’re usually very plugged in to whatever is happening relative to LSU. I know in the past they’ve mentioned being connected to the AD or Asst. AD directly.

    Long’s comment made me laugh. Odd man out is always the last to find out he’s actually the odd man out :)

  32. oldarmyag says: Jun 8, 2012 5:08 PM

    All you tu tshirt fans out there refuse to understand deLOSS is no longer the tail that wags the dog. You play in an irrelevant conference now. Golly you had to reach all the way out east to replace Mizzou and you replace A&M with a school whose reach barely makes it out of the DFW area. Yeah cant wait for that big tu-TCU game Thanksgiving weekend!

    LSU-A&M will be on the level of great Turkey day rivalries in a short time. tu -TCU? Don’t think so. Wonder how much it cost deLOSS to keep OU in the conference. Without them he wouldn’t have a conference.

    As for recruiting, see #1 recruit in the state DEcommitting from tu and considering A&M and LSU.

    Lastly you can run down our move to the SEC all you want, but I think a trip to Baton Rouge, Knoxville or Gainesville (for all you tshirts out there thats Florida not Texas) will be FAR preferable than a trip to Waco or Lubbock for gosh sakes!

  33. coolhorn says: Jun 8, 2012 6:40 PM

    Been hittin’ the Shiner Bock hard today have you old army??? You might wanna go back to the maroon Kool-Aid…that’s the drink that goes down best in Collie Station.

  34. txagg86 says: Jun 8, 2012 10:44 PM

    I find it interesting all the t-sips that post on here swearing they couldn’t care less about Texas A&M, yet I see nowhere in the title of the article anything relevant to t.u. Sounds more like a bunch of whining.

  35. oldarmyag says: Jun 9, 2012 10:44 AM

    Coolhorn, while I enjoy my trip to the Smokey Mountains to watch my Ags play in historic Neyland Stadium hope you enjoy that trip to Jones Stadium in Lubbock!!

  36. alligatorsnapper says: Jun 10, 2012 1:10 AM

    florida727: I know southernpatriots will enjoy hearing you asking about them…I think that the good doctor and his family of nurses and teachers and one former UGA football player and other professionals are all in Appalachia with the children there and some are traveling to various hospitals where some of the children are receiving medical care for cancer, MS, cystic fibrosis, and other very serious illnesses. I spent a week of my vacation helping them in Central Appalachia in the winter and I have to admit…it changed my life.

    Before leaving this last trip I spoke with the dr. and another member of the family who do have a hand on the pulse of some things happening at LSU, said there has been some growing support over the past several years to make some changes. Now with the SEC expansion and the schedule this year only being for this year, there is a chance for a change at Thanksgiving.

    There is some discussion about some changes with out of division opponents as well (e.g. Florida). I personally have not heard if anything is definite, and I have been working some double shifts and when I do that I work, eat, and sleep and just about nothing else.

  37. c0nference0fchampi0ns says: Jun 14, 2012 8:31 PM

    “Been hittin’ the Shiner Bock hard today have you old army??? You might wanna go back to the maroon Kool-Aid…that’s the drink that goes down best in Collie Station.”

    ^^ @ coolhorn you are an imbecile .. the above comment proves it..

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