FANS

Maybe the NFL official who missed the pass interference call in the Rams-Saints game is in charge of renewing the Texas A&M-Texas football rivalry.

How else can you explain the two schools can’t make it happen, especially after the presidents of both schools told the Austin American-Statesman last week they are in favor of renewing the rivalry?

I mean, how hard can it be?

If Texas A&M and Texas really wanted to play in football again they would, plain and simple. I mean, come on, how many schools are more powerful than A&M and UT? They can just about make anything happen, except schedule a football game that most Texans want. There’s been nothing but lame excuses why they can’t play since the teams last played in 2011.

At first, A&M didn’t need Texas, which is why it joined the Southeastern Conference, and Texas didn’t need the Aggies because they left. Then after that, it’s really been he said, she said. Even lawmakers have gotten involved, but no football game has been scheduled. 

A&M in August turned down a home-and-home offer from Texas for 2022 and ’23, according to the Houston Chronicle. A&M didn't have an opening. Now, six months later, the school presidents told the Statesman they’ve told their ADs to get together and bring them a plan. Did something change? Big 12 Conference added two schools to get to 12? The SEC stopped scheduling Little Sisters of the Poor in nonconference?

Nope.

That's why, I’m expecting absolutely nothing to happen, because that’s what’s happened so far, which I’m thinking is by design.

I said before when the right television contract is put on the table, the rivalry will be back. Well, now I’m not so sure. Do fans outside the state really care if A&M and Texas play again on a regular basis?

And while an A&M-UT contract for four, six, eight or 10 years seemingly would bring a nice chunk of change, wouldn’t it take some glitter off Texas playing Oklahoma and its Big 12 games along with UT’s other nonconference games against LSU, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and Michigan? And the same goes for A&M and the SEC. Heck, the SEC makes the most money and it plays only eight league games annually. Less is more. The SEC will do nicely next year promoting that A&M will play Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Georgia and Clemson. That’ll help each SEC school bring in another $30 million to $40 million without A&M playing Texas.

So maybe renewing the A&M-UT rivalry wouldn’t be as big as we think. Neither needs another loss. A&M hasn’t won a conference title in 20 years. Texas won 10 games this past season for the first time since 2009 when it lost in the BCS National Championship Game.

Maybe when both schools establish themselves as Top 10 programs a TV network – with the Big 12’s and SEC’s blessing - makes the two schools an offer no one can or would want to refuse.

Until then, I think it will be status quo. The A&M-UT school presidents, ADs, chancellors and head coaches when asked will say they’d love to continue the rivalry but only when it is right for all parties involved.

Wait a minute, isn’t that what they have been saying?

I need to remind myself to post this as news every three months.

Man, I wonder if my IT department can do that?

(4) comments

rahennessy

I have zero interest in such a game. I was happy to see A&M leave the Big 12. A&M has, or will, have much better rivalries in LSU, Alabama and Auburn. I can understand why Texas wants the game because of the conference it is in. If the game is scheduled, I will have no more interest in it than another non-conference game and I certainly don't want to see my season ticket price increase because of it. Instead of citing what percentage of Texans want to see the game, perhaps it would be revealing to cite what percentage of A&M season ticket buyers would want it to replace another major conference team on the non-conference schedule.

KS80537

I'm a little more optimistic about bringing the game back. Having both school presidents, at the same time, saying they want the game is a new development.

The game used to be counted among the top rivalry games in the nation. My concern is that the longer we go, the less people remember what was lost, and the less people care.

As an Aggie, I am very unhappy that we refused UT's offer. If the tables were turned - as in a few years earlier - there would be plenty of well-deserved ridicule for Texas.

bbfan22

To play or not to play. That is the question. We have lived in College Station for almost 24 years and have strong ties to A&M. Our daughters are grads and my wife and I both worked for the University for a total of 29 years. So, we are Aggies even though neither of us graduated from A&M. Now, for a non-Aggie/Longhorn opinion on continuing the rivalry. As a KSU grad, I always watched the A&M/Texas game, as it was featured each year on Thanksgiving Day. I watched because I love football and it was another good game added to the weekend of games. I knew very little about the rivalry, but I looked at it as similar to the KSU/KU rivalry. Even so, I never thought that game was as big as the Texas/OU game, as that rivalry was always featured more than the A&M game by the networks. Even after the Big 12 was formed, it seemed that the OU game was more important to Texas than the A&M game. It appeared, to this outsider, that Texas had always considered A&M as a Big Brother (Texas)/Little Brother (A&M) rivalry, while OU was the more important rivalry in all aspects. You know, the big guys playing for all the marbles. Marbles being bragging rights and first dibs to coveted Texas high school recruits. That game is still one of the biggest rivalries going, and from the perspective of an outsider, it has always been bigger than the A&M rivalry. Renewing the game will certainly energize many on both sides, and that could be good for football. It could also bring back the ugly things that have always happened between the two schools, and that would serve no purpose at all. And everyone knows that will happen. I would like to see them play from time to time, as scheduling permits, but not every year. Breaking up the rivalry game has set the two schools on different paths that are more important to each one now, and I think that should be their focus.

ChasB

My reasons for not ever having an A&M vs. tu football game again follows:

• First of all, A&M doesn’t need another high pressure game on its football schedule. The SEC West schedule is tough enough as it is. And, A&M has no problem filling its stadium even when playing lower division schools and helping support those lower division athletic programs.

• Second, A&M and its SEC influence have the upper hand in recruiting in Texas. A loss to tu in a rivalry game would probably change all that. Thus, an annual game between the two premier universities in Texas would certainly not benefit Texas A&M.

• Third, Texas A&M is rated #1 in the nation with regard to profits from its football program - nearly doubling the profits enjoyed by tu which is rated #2 in the nation. Sharing profits in an annual home/away schedule would negatively impact A&M’s profit margin. A&M schedules two or more second or third division football teams annually to play at Kyle Field. Even so, Kyle Field is generally full, or nearly full, generating plenty of profit, even after giving the participating universities a quarter million dollars or more just for showing up. To schedule a game with tu, means that one of those economically viable lower division games will be cancelled and the rivalry game profits shared with tu.

• Fourth, I don’t think the Texas Legislature should ever be involved in the management of either university’s athletic program. The athletic programs in both universities are not publicly funded, yet large sums of money are generated by the athletic programs which go to support other university needs.

• Fifth, the move to the SEC has greatly benefited Texas A&M in more ways than just athletics. It moved A&M out from under the shadow of tu and introduced Texas A&M to universities and research programs all over the Eastern Seaboard. As a reminder, because of the move to the SEC, tu unilaterally cancelled the annual rivalry game. Not only was the annual football game cancelled, but ALL athletic contests between the two schools were prohibited by tu. I was initially incensed by these unilateral actions and regretted the demise of the annual Thanksgiving Day game. However, for the reasons am citing, I have definitely changed my mind and I will not support any action to resume the rivalry football game.

• Lastly, there was a reason the University of Arkansas left the Southwest Conference - tu dominance over that conference. There was a reason that The University of Colorado and the University of Nebraska left the Big 12 - again tu dominance over that conference. And there was a reason Texas A&M left the Big 12 for the SEC - again tu dominance. By dominance, I don’t mean just football dominance, but economic unfairness. Texas A&M now has its foot on tu’s neck. I see no reason to let it up. There is no reason to allow even a chance for tu to regain dominance in the State of Texas - football or otherwise.

Rather than wasting time on a rivalry football issue, I think it much more important that the Texas Legislature use its limited legislative time toward insuring adequate funding for Texas A&M’s growing infrastructure, not to mention its growing educational and research program needs. And, it would be nice if the Legislature would insure that the PUF fund is EQUALLY shared between the two universities.

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