The coaches of the SEC's "current" 12 teams will no doubt tell you that they're delighted to have prestigious programs like Texas A&M and Missouri join the conference fold for 2012 and beyond, that the additions have strengthened the league and opened recruiting doors and that everything was swell but now is even more swell and etc.
But if they're really that excited for the additions, they've had a funny way of showing it.
First Les Miles offered that the Aggies and Tigers would "really not enjoy their welcoming" into the SEC. And then Tuesday night, Florida's Will Muschamp flashed back to his days as Texas's defensive coordinator during an appearance at the Polk County Gator Club by taking a shot at Texas A&M's College Station home.
"It will be a very SEC-like atmosphere," Muschamp began. "It's one of the few places in the Big 12 that I would say that about."
But the complimentary tone* didn't continue.
"You ever been to College Station?" Muschamp said. "It'll be the only time you go."
Our first response to this was a single word: Damn. The second one was to double-check the Gators' and Aggies' 2012 schedules, and sure enough, there we are: Sept. 8, Week 2, Florida at Texas A&M.
The Gators were no doubt already expecting a rude reception at Kyle Field, considering this will be the Aggies' first-ever SEC game and also considering that a program with Florida's record of success tends to wear a bullseye wherever it goes. And we don't want to make too much of a comment that was said at an informal meet-and-greet session and was clearly intended somewhat in jest.
All the same, taking an unprovoked (and arguably even below-the-belt) jab not at an opposing team but at the opposing team's home city is a quick and easy way to get the opposing crowd's fury up to absolute maximum levels. Muschamp's ties to the Longhorns and the role of those ties in his comment won't help matters, either.
Muschamp didn't make what was already a highly difficult road game that much more difficult ... but we have to wonder if scoring a few easy laughs on the rubber-chicken circuit was reason enough to make it any more difficult.
*Well, not very complimentary towards the Big 12, of course.
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