Having a rival is crucial. New conference means new blood. Someone to hate. You need someone to talk about and how lousy their traditions are. Rivalries are not created by fans but should be built organically. That’s what College Station brought us when Texas A&M played host to Florida. A new rival, a new smell of animosity in the Gators. The Aggies lost to the Gators on Saturday but are happy with their new conference.
We won’t know if it’s a true, legitimate rival for some years but we can always predict some things. For example, Missouri’s Shledon Richardson ignited some serious fuel when said that the SEC was “old-man football,” which Georgia took to a raging matter. That’s the stuff where rivalries are rooted from, but even one lone quote doesn’t create it.You need moments. Fights. Talking straight-up trash. They still are trying to welcome their new rivals.
Without even mentioning everything A&M can be berated of their traditions and fans as can Florida, and any other school. You just have to dig deep and get creative. It starts with the players and coaches, and then branches out to the fans and media. It may take a couple years or one game, but you’ll be able to tell when it does happen.