It’s summertime, it’s hot and people are eager for college football to start. At Big 12 media days, the breadth of questioning covers everything from on-the-field predictions to gambling and everything in between. And in between lies the continuing discussion around whether or not Texas and Texas A&M will ever again play each other in football.
While I thought Tom may shy away from it, he actually gave an answer that I thought was pretty interesting saying “I would love to see the rivalry renewed. I think it’s great for college football. It’s great for Texas. There’s plenty of other instate rivals that are in different conferences that find a way to play each other, Clemson-South Carolina, Georgia-Georgia Tech, Florida-Florida State, Iowa-Iowa State, the list goes on. I don’t know what needs to happen because I don’t know what needs to happen because I don’t know what happened in 2011. I wasn’t in those meetings, but I do think that we have got some smart people in both universities’ administration. We could find a way to make that game happen. I think that it would be great for Texas fans. We don’t play a historic rival at home anymore ever. We have to drive to Dallas to play our lone remaining historic rival and for our players I would much rather know that every other year our longest non-conference road game is going to be two hours down the road instead of getting on a plane to play in Las Angeles to play a night game in Pacific time or flying to Columbus, Ohio or flying to Gainesville, Florida.”
Herman seemed to be interested in renewing the rivalry which surprised me because we can all remember just a few years ago when both schools had no interest in each other. When I went and looked at the future schedules for both schools, each school has an opening for the 2022 season. Now, I wouldn’t expect that to happen because, first off, no true discussions have been had (although someone tried to make it happen through the Texas State Congress). Also, the fact the A&M and Texas both already have a premium Power Five opponent on the schedule with the Aggies playing Miami and the Longhorns taking on Nick Satan, I mean Saban, and the Crimson Tide, if he is still there by then.
While A&M has some room to add some games, Texas has years where there is just room for one more, although they are already booked for the 2024 season. Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher opined on this as well, and said, “If it is beneficial for Texas A&M.”
You know who it benefits? The fans, a.k.a. the customers. And that is what is supposed to matter, at least in large part, in the world of sports. I know that both sides were unhappy with one another years ago and things grew stale, to put it politely, but it’s time to let bygones be bygones. Also, another thing to think about is the possibility of conference realignments coming in the next few years with all these conference TV rights contracts coming up. Maybe it is best for both sides to wait until all these deals are done but whatever it is, it needs to happen. I don’t care if the game comes back in two years or in eight years, just do the right thing and bring back this game permanently. The fans deserve it.
**We now have FREE Big 12 Forums here at Heartland College Sports. Go sign up here and join our conversation! **