This weekend marked the first time in school history that UTSA played one of the original eight teams of the old Southwest Conference (SWC).  While not known for its football program now, Rice was once a regional power in the old SWC.  By playing against Rice, UTSA has now officially joined the family of big-time college football programs in Texas. 

It will be interesting to see whether a rivalry develops between UTSA and the school also known as the “Harvard of the South” when UTSA joins Rice in Conference-USA next fall due to their geographic proximity of each other.

After the game, the Marching Owl Band and the Spirit of San Antonio had a friendly battle of the bands that has the potential to become an annual event.  The Roadrunners will be linked to Rice through conference affiliation next season, but another school in Texas had a hand in making that possible.

UTSA is linked to another old Southwest Conference power, the Texas A&M Aggies.  We owe a debt of gratitude for the Aggies deciding to secede from the Big XII and join the Confederate States of America (CSA) 2.0 or the South East Conference (SEC).  Were it not for the Aggies joining a conference across the Sabine, UTSA might be scrambling like Idaho and New Mexico State to find a lifeboat from the sinking WAC.

You’re going to want to hear this.

When the Aggies left the Big XII with Missouri (SEC only lacks a school in Virginia and North Carolina for the CSA 2.0 to be rebooted as a football conference), it opened the door for TCU (another former SWC member) to leave the Big East Conference without ever having played a game there.  TCU leaving the Big East with West Virginia (I hear Morgantown is not too far from here) and coupled with the move of Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the Atlantic Coast Conference next year meant that the Big East needed members.

The Big East found those members in the form of the University of Houston and Southern Methodist University, both former SWC members.  The conference that those two will leave in 2013 is Conference-USA, the future home of the Roadrunners.

It will be a long time before UTSA and Texas A&M meet on the football field but they already have quite a relationship.  After all, it is thanks to A&M chasing more Franklins in the SEC that opened up a tidal wave of movement for other schools in Texas and elsewhere.  So the next time you see an Aggie, tell them thank you for moving; it opened the door for us.

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