Oklahoma St. football: The 5 best non-conference rivalries to revive

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5. Texas A&M

Texas A&M and Oklahoma State have met 28 times in a series that stretches back to 1913, including a 16-year run between 1996 and 2011 when the two schools were Big 12 conference rivals. The two teams have met only once since the Aggies departed to the SEC, a 24-21 OSU loss in the 2019 Texas Bowl.

There are several reasons why Texas A&M makes sense as a good regional rival for OSU. Southeast Texas and the Houston metro area provide a fertile recruiting ground for many schools, including the Pokes. Way back in the day, OSU sports teams were known as the Oklahoma A&M Aggies — giving a deeper connection to the “Aggie Bowl” that was waged annually during the first 16 seasons of the Big 12 Conference.

Lastly, it’s a series between two cross-state rivals who each have a more highly regarded rival on their home turf. That’s justified in Oklahoma, where the Sooners have owned the Bedlam series recently and for basically any time period in the history of mankind, but not as much in the Lone Star state, where the Texas football program has notoriously struggled over the past decade despite all of its advantages.

One of the series’ best games was 1997, when the No. 19-ranked Cowboys under Bob Simmons carried a squandered a 22-7 lead late in the game before losing in overtime at Kyle Field to the Aggies. OSU would go on to make the Alamo Bowl a month later, its first postseason appearance in a decade.

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