Texas A&M, South Carolina did not know they are playing for trophy
When South Carolina hosts Texas A&M on Saturday, the two teams will be playing for more than just positioning in their respective SEC conferences — they just didn’t know it prior to this week.
Since 2014, the Gamecocks and Aggies have been playing for a piece of hardware called the Bonham Trophy. As Alex Miller of the Dallas Morning News explained, the trophy is named after James Bonham, a South Carolina native who attended the University of South Carolina before he died fighting in the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. The trophy is held by the governor of the state that wins the annual South Carolina-Texas A&M game, though the Aggies have won every year since the award originated four years ago.
Yet, even Texas A&M players were unaware they had won it.
“I had no clue there was a trophy,” senior linebacker Otaro Alaka said Thursday. “There’s a trophy for who wins? There is no trophy for who wins. I’ve never seen a trophy.”
The Bonham Trophy does, in fact, exist. While it may not be a big deal to the players, one Texas A&M assistant coach posted a photo of it on social media several years ago.
Since the exchanging of the trophy is more of a tradition for the states’ governors, it makes sense that players don’t know much about it. The same can be said for South Carolina coach Will Muschamp, though he has yet to beat Texas A&M during his time with the program.
“That’s the first I’ve heard of it,” Muschamp told reporters on Wednesday. “What’s the name of the trophy? … Well, hell, we ain’t won, so we ain’t got it over here. I can tell you that.”
These mini-rivalries have become more popular across college football over the years, and we saw one instance years ago where a trophy meant a lot to one program but absolutely nothing to the other. In this case, it appears the Bonham Trophy holds very little significance with Texas A&M or South Carolina.