Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork came to College Station in 2019 after spending seven years in Oxford with Ole Miss and another two years with Western Kentucky.
Before that, the Dodge City, Kansas native spent another half a decade between UCLA and Miami.
In fact, his only experience with the Big 12 came from 1997-2003, when he worked on the Athletic Development staff at Missouri.
In short, he doesn't have much experience with the sordid past between Texas and Texas A&M.
However, that doesn't mean that Bjork doesn't understand the significance of the rivalry, and why on Wednesday afternoon, he was quick to speak out against the reported interest of the Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners in joining the SEC.
"We love being in the SEC. We love being the only program in the state of Texas, and we're going to maintain that position," Bjork said on the Paul Finebaum show. We're going to maintain that position, but we're also going to make sure that we're a leader in college athletics and we'll see what the future holds."
What Bjork lacks in concrete experience with the rivalry, he makes up for with his understanding of the importance of A&M's position.
As the only university in the state of Texas with a place in the SEC, the Aggies have become their own self-sustaining powerhouse of recruiting.
In fact, since joining the SEC, the Aggies have out-recruited the Longhorns more often than not, thanks in large part to their position within the nation's premier conference.
Former Aggie Alex Caruso Cashes In During NBA Free Agency
The former A&M ball boy joins the Chicago Bulls in NBA free agency.
Texas A&M 2021 Opponent Preview: South Carolina Gamecocks
Texas A&M welcomes a renewed Gamecocks team to Kyle Field led by new head coach Shane Beamer.
And for Bjork and the rest of Aggie Land, that means that protecting the identity that they have forged alongside Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Georgia, and Florida, within that power structure, is critical to their future.
“The SEC has been a perfect fit for us,” said Bjork. “We want to maintain that same identity. Perhaps there’s a reason that Texas and Oklahoma are looking around...if that’s the case. I think Jimbo said it on the podium... of course, they do. Yea they want to be in the SEC, it's the best conference.”
Can Bjork and the Aggies stop the Longhorns and Sooners from making their way into the SEC alone?
No, but they can try.
And with the help of Missouri, who will surely protest the realignment for their own reasons, and the support of just two other schools inside the conference, they can spoil the party.
CONTINUE READING: Texas A&M's Isaiah Spiller Named Doak Walker Award Preseason Candidate
Want to join in on the discussion? Click here to become a member of the All Aggies message board community today!
Want More Aggies News? Check Out The Latest In Texas A&M News Here
Sign up for your premium membership to AllAggies.com today, and get access to the entire Fan Nation premium network!