SANTA FE -- They still play football at Cumberland University, a school that lost to Georgia Tech in 1916 by the record-breaking score of 222-0.
Cumberland, with an enrollment of 1,400, has a schedule this fall that includes Faulkner University and Bluefield College. Playing mighty Georgia Tech is only a bad memory.
None of Cumberland's games this fall will generate much publicity, but they will still consume the players and provide a diversion for the student body.
Cumberland administrators learned long ago that their school in central Tennessee could not be a football powerhouse so they scaled back the program.
New Mexico State Sen. Howie Morales envisions a similar change on the border.
Morales, D-Silver City, says the New Mexico State Aggies can compete at the highest level in basketball but not in football. He says NMSU should maintain an intercollegiate football program, but scale it down to Division II or the Football Championship Subdivision.
"The reality of it is that you've got to be competitive if you're going to keep playing football," said Morales, who received his Ph.D. from New Mexico State.
His argument against NMSU remaining at the highest level in football will be clear to all by late summer.
NMSU opens its season at the University of Texas, which is shameless enough to schedule a patsy or three every fall. Texas will edge NMSU 66-2.
The Aggies then return home to face Minnesota of the Big Ten, where they will see how tenacous a Golden Gopher can be in a 41-18 nail-biter.
NMSU will get a moral victory in week three when it loses 11-9 to UTEP, proving that nobody on the border is a football machine. After that the Aggies go to UCLA, where they will drop another squeaker, 49-9.
October will not have hit the calendar but already the NMSU alumni will be turning full attention to basketball.
Other than being prideful, what reason exists for NMSU to try to stay at the highest level in football?
"I don't believe that it's beneficial to what we are trying to produce," Morales said. "Dropping down a division makes more sense."
At a legislative hearing in the spring, Morales tried to talk to NMSU's new president, Garrey Carruthers, about making football less important by moving it to Division II. Carruthers himself had broached a similar idea at a campus forum. The reaction was sufficiently negative for him to tell Morales that he was through talking about football.
Like it or not, Carruthers and NMSU's regents will have to decide what level of football, if any, makes sense for the Aggies.
Morales already has the right blueprint for the school's administration. NMSU has an excellent tradition in basketball and it has had recent success in reaching the NCAA tournament. Hoops, for men and women, can be the marquee sport for the Aggies.
Keeping football but scaling it down would not be popular in the beginning, but people would get over it. Even members of the Aggie team that went 11-0 in that glorious season of 1960 realize the world of college football has changed.
Pete Smolanovich was an end and kicker on that great club. He said the Aggies were in the thick of the college football world back then.
Raised in Poland, Ohio, Smolanovich played at a junior college in San Diego. He said in an interview that Southern Cal and Washington offered him scholarships, but he chose the Aggies. It is impossible to imagine that a highly recruited player today would make the same decision.
That 1960 NMSU team was loaded with talent and with characters.
Nobody was more gifted than quarterback Charley Johnson, who played in the NFL and received a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. Running back Pervis Atkins is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Lineman Don Yannessa became a storied high school coach in Pennsylvania and had a part in the Tom Cruise football movie "All the Right Moves." Another lineman, Lou Zivkovich, played in the Canadian Football League but became famous as a centerfold in Playgirl magazine.
But the world has changed since 1960. That was the last year NMSU qualified for a bowl game.
It is time to put the Morales plan in place. Like the Georgetown Hoyas, NMSU should play at a lower level in football but shoot for the stars in basketball.
Milan Simonich is the Santa Fe bureau chief for Texas-New Mexico Newspapers. He can be reached at 505-820-6898. His blog is at nmcapitolreport.com.