The Florida Gators may be coming to College Station for Texas A&M's first Southeastern Conference game, but there was an Aggie touch in Gainesville that may touch a nerve.
As reported by GatorZone.com, a maroon and white billboard went up Tuesday morning in the home city of the University of Florida.
"Howdy Gainesville: You've been annexed by Aggie Nation," it read. "The Best Academics & Cleanest Program in the SEC. WHOOP! Real Football. Real Tradition."
Later in the day, the billboard's owner, Clear Channel, took the sign down after university officials raised issues over A&M copyrights. Clear Channel said the university was concerned with the terms "Aggie Nation" and "WHOOP!"
A&M spokesperson Jason Cook made it clear throughout Tuesday that the university didn't buy the billboard. Clear Channel says it was bought through a Houston media company by a client called "Aggie Nation."
The billboard was at an intersection on the north side of Gainesville, some three miles north of the UF campus, according to Google Maps.
The Aggies host the Gators Saturday at Kyle Field.
Florida is a founding member of the SEC, which came to be in 1932. The university itself was founded in 1853, and its current student enrollment is more than 50,000.
The billboard further lights up the national radar on the A&M-UF game. Earlier this year, Gators coach Will Muschamp told a group of boosters that Kyle Field provides an SEC atmosphere, but added, "You ever been to College Station? It will be the only time you go.''
College Station Mayor Nancy Berry responded with a YouTube video poking some fun at Muschamp. She and the Bryan/College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau also sent a gift basket to Muschamp with local items.
The coach followed up with a note to Berry thanking her for the gifts and praising her sense of humor.
ESPN's popular College GameDay pregame show will broadcast live from A&M Saturday, putting the national spotlight on the first Aggie SEC game, which also airs on ESPN.
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