UT, A&M students, alumni discuss yearslong feud, fun in teasing each other


Sofia Treviño, Life and Arts reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the October 29 flipbook.

Surrounded by his burnt orange and maroon-wearing family, UT alumnus Kyle Umlang watched in suspense as the two teams played their last game. Ending at a close 27-25 in UT’s favor, Umlang’s Aggie brother ran upstairs in a huff, loudly slamming his bedroom door. Pictures fell off the wall. Frames shattered on the hardwood floor. The scene made for a tense Thanksgiving celebration.

Now a 106-year-old tradition, UT and A&M’s rivalry stands as one of Texas’ biggest feuds. Though the opponents last played each other in 2011, their competitiveness still stands strong as many students and alumni feel a strong connection to one of the two schools. When the Longhorns join the Southeastern Conference in 2025, it will reignite the age-old battle, strengthening each university’s  pride and friendly teasing.

As a Longhorn football fanatic, Umlang knows how to deal with Aggies like his brother. In 2019, he began posting fun UT football facts on his Twitter. After Aggies flooded his direct messages in defiance, Umlang started a weekly “#AggieFactThursday,” which he recently put together in his book, “101 Aggie Facts: Things Every Longhorn Should Know.”

“It’s all in good fun,” Umlang said. “A lot of people take it too seriously. … (The book) is for Texas people to enjoy and to send to Aggies to tease them.”

Nose tackle for A&M from 1986-1990, alumnus John Edge remembers his years of playing the rivalry as some of his best games. Even though A&M lost in 1990, Edge said the constant stream of Aggie support shows why he still loves the school and follows an “Aggies-against-the-world mentality.”

“We have this really loyal fanbase at A&M,” Edge said. “They were just going crazy. … To be in the middle of that was really a lot of fun.”

Edge said he can’t wait until 2025 to see the revival of the feud he grew up watching every Thanksgiving.

A&M alumna Rita Hernandez graduated feeling extremely grateful for her Aggie community. She now leads A&M’s Brownsville chapter for The Association of Former Students, an organization focused on helping kids prepare for college.

“We’re called former students, not alumni, because you never leave A&M,” Hernandez said. 

Even as a proud Aggie, Hernandez married a Longhorn alumnus and said, in their vows, the two joked about cheering for each other’s team with as much sincerity as possible. Their house, a true representation of their pairing, has both large UT and A&M flags waving on their porch.

“The rivalry is still there,” Hernandez said. “I do it behind his back as he does it behind mine.”

Luis Peña, son of a die-hard UT alumnus, attends A&M and said the banter between the schools connects Texans everywhere. When UT loses, the general studies sophomore said he loves to call his dad and UT friends to “give them smack.”

“We’re like magnets,” Peña said. “We want to fight each other. UT loves to see A&M lose, and we love to see UT lose. It’s the law of attraction — we love to hate each other.”