Facebook Rivalry Heats Up Between Texas A&M and Louisiana State U.

When it comes to rivalries, colleges and universities are up for the challenge. In football, there’s Georgia Tech vs. Clemson and on the basketball court, it’s North Carolina against Duke. And the latest competition among universities is between Texas A&M University and Louisiana State University.

Well, at least on Facebook.

In recent weeks, the two institutions have vied to score the most fans on their official Facebook pages. As of Thursday, the scoreboard has Texas’ Aggies besting Louisiana’s Tigers by just over 800 fans on the social-networking site. And Texas sure is rubbing it in.

In a news release posted online today, Texas A&M said that since its last announcement 10 days ago, the university system gained more than 16,000 new fans on its Facebook profile, compared with a meager 4,000 added by Louisiana State University, the former reigning champions.

“Being the No. 1 university on Facebook showcases our Aggie traditions and network — with a contemporary twist,” said Diane McDonald, associate director of marketing and communications at Texas A&M, in the announcement.

Sarah Evans, an expert on social-networking use by colleges who is watching all this from the sidelines, called the contest “a fun way to build community.” Ms. Evans is director of public relations at Elgin Community College, which has 2,340 fans of its Facebook account. (“Pretty darn impressive for a community college,” she adds.)

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