If you’re a fan of the old Texas versus Texas A&M football rivalry and are hoping to see it renewed, don’t hold your breath. In fact, if you’re a fan of any Big 12 football program and you’re hoping to see the Aggies on a future schedule, you may not get your wish.
John Talty of AL.com wrote a pretty in-depth feature recently exploring how conference realignment has impacted rivalries in college football. He mainly looked at the rivalries between Kansas and Missouri and Texas and Texas A&M, which were both crushed when the Aggies and Tigers decided to bolt for the SEC. Talty reported that the two SEC teams wanted to keep the rivalries going for the sake of rivalry, but the Big 12 schools weren’t as happy to do so.
Former Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne remembered that struggle, per Talty:
“Their AD (DeLoss Dodds) at the time came out and said we will never play Texas A&M again, and they worked along with Baylor and the conference to have no one in the (Big 12) schedule us,” Byrne says. “There were other forces at work to make sure we didn’t play.”
Though it’s not wise to say never in college football, it seems that Texas A&M, in particular, may be getting the cold shoulder from the Big 12 and one prominent school. Speaking with Paul Finebaum on the SEC network, Talty relayed that Texas has asked other Big 12 schools to join them in a boycott of sorts against the Aggies. The Longhorns have reportedly asked their Big 12 companions to join them in not scheduling Texas A&M.
While this may keep A&M out of the Big 12 crosshairs, for now, doesn’t this kind of feel like something that could be used to stoke a huge rivalry in the future? Imagine the headlines if and when Texas and Texas A&M ever cross paths again on the gridiron. They’d almost certainly center on the Longhorns stonewalling the Aggies out of Big 12 land and the Aggies coming back for revenge. It would be the perfect way to ignite that rivalry anew in a few years. That is, of course, if the Longhorns and the rest of the Big 12 can get over the bitterness of watching A&M leave for the greener pastures of the SEC.
It also hinges on Texas A&M accepting that kind of game, and by the way Byrne spoke about the Longhorns, that may be easier said than done.
“We don’t need them anymore,” he said, per Talty.
Texas A&M may not need Texas to gain both attention on the gridiron and revenue, but remember this: College football is ultimately a money business, and there’s a ton of money in renewing that rivalry or perhaps creating some new ones between A&M and any Big 12 schools that stonewall the Aggies to appease Texas.
A&M may be off the Big 12 list for now, but ultimately, there’s too much money to be made to keep them off the Big 12 schedule forever.