A&M AD: We want ‘Horns as non conference game
by Jerry Hinnen
Long before Texas A&M’s move the SEC became official (as it did Sunday afternoon), fans on both sides have wondered what would become of the Aggies longtime — and at 117 years, we do mean longtime — rivalry with the University of Texas.
While the traditional Thanksgiving series’ ultimate fate is yet to be determined, what we do know is that things were left solely up to the Aggies, the rivalry would remain intact. That’s the word from Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne, who per CBSSports.com RapidReporter Brent Zwerneman said Tuesday that “we would like that to continue.”
“We’ve been competing 117 years,” Byrne said. “It’s such a storied tradition.”
Byrne’s support (and A&M’s) give the rivalry a shot at survivial. But since it naturally takes that support from both sides to work, it remains unlikely the two teams will continue playing. Just six days ago, Longhorn athletic director DeLoss Dodds forecasted an end to the rivalry if the Aggies completed their jump to the SEC, saying “I think it will be hard to schedule that game.”
And it would be. particularly if the Big 12 expands into a 10-team league with a nine-game true round robin schedule. In addition to denying the Longhorns a lucrative annual home game (one they would have the rights to show on the Longhorn Network), it’s hard to argue the ‘Horns owe the Aggies much of anything after A&M’s decision destabilized Texas’s preferred conference home and may have driven them into the “Pac-16,” if the Pac-12 had been willing to expand.
Agges fans (and administrators) would no doubt respond that it was Texas’s unwillingness to share revenue equally and their forging ahead with the LHN that destabilized the Big 12 first, before A&M even considered leaving.
Frankly, there’s no winners on either side of the argument. But unless Texas is willing to back down and scheudule the game, it won’t much matter how A&M feels about it–there aren’t going to be any winners between the two schools on the football field, either.