Remember those Mac vs PC commercials from the mid-2000s? Justin Long played the hip, cool, and versatile Mac. Meanwhile, John Hodgman played the unreliable and boring PC. Fun fact: there were 66 of these short spots that aired from 2006 to 2009. This fantastic ad campaign came to mind when I was trying to come up with a unique perspective in preparation of the showdown between the Miami Hurricanes and Texas A&M Aggies this Saturday night.
Let’s break it down!
City name: Coral Gables vs College Station
This is an easy one. I mean, which sounds cooler to you, Coral Gables or College Station? Coral Gables sounds like an exotic wonderland with sunshine and beaches. College Station sounds like a place in the middle of nowhere that serves food, sells beer, and will change your oil in under an hour. Coral Gables is 37.31 square miles, with a population of 49,937 (2020). One of the city’s biggest attractions is the 1920s Venetian Pool, with its grottos, towers, and bridge, which was carved from a rock quarry. Beautiful! Some other lovely attractions include Deering Estate, an ornate mansion from the early 20th century, and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, where kids can learn about botany and the importance of the environment. Oh yeah, plus the one-of-a-kind South Florida beaches, shopping, restaurants, and nightlife.
College Station is 51.3 square miles, with a population of 115,802 (2020). That is A LOT more people crammed into not much more space. Number one in the Top 15 Things To Do In College Station, Texas video below is a place called Messina Hof Resort & Winery. Texas wine? No thanks. Not with that crazy climate. California reds please. I have a ton of respect for our military and there are some great tributes in the town. That said, number seven on the list is Kyle Field. While it does have some history as it was fully constructed in 1927, it’s still just a football stadium. Not all that interesting, especially with zero National Championships. Oh wait, they have three claimed national championships: 1919, 1927, 1939. Hashtag meaningless. I couldn’t watch the video until the end. If there’s anything funny, please let me know.
Team name: Hurricanes vs Aggies
This is another lay-up. While hurricanes can be devastating with serious consequences, it suits the football team from the University of Miami perfectly. Starting in the early 80s, the Canes swarmed opponents on both sides of the ball with top-flight speed and ferociousness rarely seen before. The Canes were an unstoppable force on the field and transformed college sports forever off the field. If you don’t believe me, check out this brilliant piece from earlier this year by the talented and handsome Mike Schiffman (wink).
Meanwhile, up in exciting College Station, the football team is known as the Aggies. What is an Aggie you ask? It’s a Texas A&M student. That’s it. They were called Farmers in the early 1900s, before Aggie was adopted in the 1920s. I almost fell asleep typing that last sentence. I didn’t know this mind-bending fact before looking it up. It has to be the most boring nickname in college sports. Bring on the Canes! We’re the Students! I mean Aggies! Pfft. Lame.
Mascot: Sebastian the Ibis vs Reveille the Dog
This is turning into a blowout. Sebastian is one of the most recognizable mascots in all of college sports. He is beloved by Canes fans as he truly embraces what it is to be a Miami Hurricane. Whether he’s sneaking a fire extinguisher on the field to have the smoke effect while running out of the tunnel before the 1992 Orange Bowl vs Nebraska, where they were the home team and asked the Canes not to do it, getting a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty in the 2001 Sugar Bowl vs Florida after a fourth quarter Najeh Davenport touchdown, causing Head Coach Butch Davis to lose his effing mind, or almost getting arrested in 1989 when he wanted to put out Chief Osceola’s flaming spear at midfield in Doak Campbell Stadium. As then-freshman wide receiver Lamar Thomas said years after the near arrest, “He’s one of us! He was all about this culture.”
On the other hand, A&M has Reveille the dog. The first Reveille was adopted by students and made her initial appearance in 1931. Reveille X is the current mascot. The first Reveille was a mixed-breed dog; possibly even a mutt. The more recent versions have been Collies. It’s a cool-looking dog with an A&M vest who stands by the cadets on the sideline. I’m sorry, but that is pretty boring. She is the highest-ranking member of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. That’s something I guess.
Team colors: Orange, Green, and White vs Maroon and White
Miami has played in some awesome looking uniforms over the years. I have a preference for the early 2000s Nike kits. Seeing the Canes get away from the box numbers was a change for the better. I will admit it’s possible I like these jerseys the most as those early 2000s Canes teams were my favorite. The white on white kits were particularly choice. Miami wore them on a few occasions on the road, and I loved them every time. Match that with the iconic white helmet with the U logo, and A&M doesn’t stand a chance. To be fair, most other schools don’t either.
Maroon and white. I am not sure what else to say. I did find the history of the colors for the school in College Station. Get ready to have your mind blown. There is a story that the colors were supposed to be red and white, but the uniform company messed up the order and sent maroon instead, which A&M then adopted. Sorry Aggie fans, but they should’ve returned the maroon and waited for the red. At least A&M isn’t the only big-time Texas university with an ugly color paired with white.
Home field crowd: Big game frontrunners vs The 12th Man
This is the closest matchup of the day. Let’s start with A&M. The 12th Man comes from the idea of being the next man up. I admit, that’s pretty cool. It does get a little corny when the ENTIRE STUDENT BODY is considered the 12th Man. Oh, and there’s a gigantic Home of the 12th Man sign in the stadium just in case you forget and want to sit down at some point during the game. That’s the thing about the 12th Man: they always stand, they never sit. That must’ve been tough in 2008 when the Canes came to town put a whooping on the Students, er Aggies. To be fair, A&M football definitely gets a boost when The 12th Man is rocking. Kyle Field holds over 102,000 people. That’s..a lot.
Current home crowds for Miami Hurricanes football games are feast or famine. Back in the day, the Orange Bowl was rocking every game as the Canes were playing their unforgiving schedule as an independent in the 1980s. I was lucky enough to go to the OB for a few games in the early 2000s. While it was severely outdated, (there was no replay screen!) all Miami fans were sad to see it go. Hard Rock Stadium, or Joe Robbie Stadium to me and many others, has been the home of the Canes since 2008. There have been some bleak crowds over the years. Not Marlins-level bad, but pretty bad. But you know what? I’ll take the frontrunner, fair-weather jabs all day if it means Miami gets the crowd they did against Notre Dame in 2017. Kirk Herbstreit said it best on the broadcast after a Malik Rosier rushing touchdown set up by a Jaquan Johnson interception: “We go to a lot of great stadiums, and a lot of great scenes. But right now I don’t think I’ve heard anything louder than this.” Fast-forward to the 41-minute mark to hear it for yourself.
For fairness’ sake, I’ll call this last one a tie. That means Miami still has the edge over Texas A&M in city name, team name, mascot, and team colors. These should not be forgotten come this Saturday as they could make the difference in what should be a tightly contested game. Not really, but it’s fun to think about.
Tell us what you think Miami’s biggest advantage is over Texas A&M.
What’s Miami’s biggest advantage over Texas A&M?
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Home field crowd