Since the Texas A&M Aggies decided to part ways with the Texas Longhorns and the rest of the Big 12, fans on both sides of the schools’ long-term and bitter rivalry are torn as to whether or not the schools should meet on the field again in the near future.
For many (likely most) Texas fans, the rivalry, which they lead by an overwhelmingly lopsided 76-37-5 record, has been settled on the field throughout the rivalry’s 118-year history.
It’s not that they’re scared, which the Aggies love to claim (who evaded whom in the 2014 Texas Bowl?); rather they believe they’ve already proven themselves on the field, 76 out of 118 times to be exact.
Others, though not as many, believe that the storied history is precisely why it should continue.
The Aggies, for the most part, believe their program still has something to prove against their former in-state rivals.
Either way, the fan bases are torn. However, both of the program’s coaches have recently spoken out about renewing one of the most storied rivalries in college football.
When asked about the possibility of a future meeting, Charlie Strong had this to say to ESPN:
"Can you imagine Florida not playing Florida State or South Carolina not playing Clemson? We all love to see those games. Within the state, it would have such a buildup. It’s a game that needs to be played."
Kevin Sumlin, head coach of the Aggies, shared the same belief. While he admitted that a lot of the reason they haven’t yet played each other since they left for the SEC is due to scheduling difficulties, he feels that the game will be continued at some point:
"Now, moving into Year 4 and listening to our former students and our alumni base and knowing a lot of Texas alums, it’s important that we play again. I think it will happen somewhere down the road…But I think the Texas series will happen. I just don’t know when."
The Longhorns new athletic director Steve Patterson, a graduate of The University of Texas, doesn’t agree.
When asked about rekindling the series, he explained to Orangebloods.com exactly why he doesn’t see the need to play the Aggies again, at least not in the near future:
"Texas A&M made a decision to leave the conference. They felt that was in their best interest? Fine, God bless them. …People make their own business decisions. For us, at the University of Texas, our football games are precious, precious events.For us, we want to maximize what we can do building a brand. If you’re going to schedule the top schools, you want to make sure you schedule the USCs, the Notre Dames, the Ohio States and the Michigans, the kinds of schools we’ve been scheduling. You want to make sure you can recruit certain parts of the country besides Texas. Everybody knows we’re here in Texas."
He then goes on to explain the Longhorns’ place in the state:
"You look at the New York Times article from a couple of months ago, it breaks out every single zip code in the country, and what is the number one, two or three school in every zip code. For virtually most of the state, we’re in the top three. Most of the state, we’re number one."
It’s clear that Patterson believes that the Longhorns already control the State of Texas. He appears to be much more concerned with playing the top programs across the country, a group he clearly believes does not include the Aggies, rather than revisiting the old in-state rivalry.
Whatever side of the fence you’re on, with Patterson against renewing the series between the two programs, it’s not likely not happen any time soon.
He has his sights set on returning the Longhorns to national prominence, because he clearly believes Texas has already secured it’s place in the Lone Star State.
Sorry, Aggies, but it looks like, at least for now, Patterson has bigger fish to fry.