When earlier this year the SEC elected to stick with permanent cross-divisional rivalry games and break up its longtime Arkansas-South Carolina pairing to create a more geographically sensible Arkansas-Missouri series, it created a new annual "rivalry" with scarcely any history at all: Texas A&M vs. the newly available Gamecocks.
But where there's a will to create extracurricular motivation for an annual college football game, there's a way. Columbia, S.C. newspaper The State reported this week that a South Carolina political official has worked with Texas governor Rick Perry and Palmetto State governor Nikki Haley to introduce a victory trophy for Gamecocks-Aggies, a bronze sculpture of South Carolina-educated Alamo hero James Butler Bonham.
According to former South Carolina Republican and Perry state capmaign chair Katon Dawson, Perry discussed the trophy with Haley, at Dawson's suggestion, when the two met in 2013. Dawson told the State the trophy would be unveiled at a party the night before the teams meet for their season openers in Columbia on Aug. 28.
The schools did not issue comment.
With or without the trophy -- which shouldn't be considered a sure thing until the schools have weighed in -- the Thursday night game will mark a bit of league history as the first game broadcast live on the SEC Network.