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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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New era

FILE
FILE

It really is astounding how far our university has come in regards to football. I’m not even talking about the product on the field. I’m talking about the results of said product.
No, not the media attention, the College Gameday visits or the Heisman trophies — I’m talking about the fact that in the college football arms race, Texas A&M has firmly planted itself at the front of the line. And it couldn’t have happened at a better time.
Though we’ve distanced ourselves from our in-state competitors, namely that school in Austin, we are very much still rivals, regardless of whether or not they’re standing across from us on the sideline. I can’t tell you when we’ll play the Longhorns again, but I can tell you that we’re still in a war against each other. However, ours is a Cold War, where battles are now fought on the recruiting trail and over public perception — two things that are undeniably critical.
The beauty is that there’s no doubt who’s winning this war. It’s not even close.
First came the $9 million Davis Player Development Center, a strength and conditioning facility so high-tech it’s more like a laboratory than a gym. Next were the $16 million renovations to the Bright Football Complex. Two words: barber shop.
And now, the coup de grace, the expanded and fully operational Death Sta…, I mean Kyle Field: 106,000 Aggies in the largest stadium in the SEC, complete with the biggest video board in college football. $450 million well spent.
In a matter of two years, the Aggies went from one of the more dated programs around the country to “all new everything,” and it’s already paid dividends. With two consecutive top-10 recruiting classes in tow and a third well under way, Extreme Makeover A&M edition is resonating in the right places, namely the homes of blue-chip prospects across the state and around the country. So if you’re wondering why it’s necessary to have a locker room with individual LED screens displaying each player’s face in crystal-clear HD and a hot and cold tub with TVs and waterfalls, the answer is, “Because recruits.”
People have made their digs at us, saying our “gadgets” are more style than substance. Oh, but there’s plenty of substance behind the style, which is unfortunate for everyone else. Right now, we’re the kid on the block with the newest videogame, and everyone wants to play.
So in a state where football is king, the Aggies have established their empire. Not only that, we built the biggest castle. And boy is she something.
So when you walk into Kyle Field on Saturday, take a moment and look around. Our stadium is more than a place to watch Aggie football, it’s a statement to our contemporaries: “We Run This State.” I, like many others, will have some nostalgia of the old three-sided, Soviet bloc-evoking version of our hallowed battleground, but I can’t wait for our new coliseum to write a history of its own.
Though the battle for in-state supremacy continues, let us now enjoy our spoils. Our university, our team and our fan base have come together to take us where we are as a program, and the moment is now ours to savor. Let a new era at Kyle Field begin. Let a new era at Texas A&M begin.

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