As with everything in life, if you want to see someone’s true priorities, look past their public statements and examine their actions. And in the case of the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry, the writing has been on the wall for a long time.
Go to each team’s respective pages on FBSchedules.com and you’ll find both schools have been hard at work planning their futures without the other. The Longhorns’ non-conference schedules are filled up through the next decade with the likes of LSU, Arkansas, Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State and Georgia all lined up for home-and-homes. A&M, meanwhile, has home-and-homes with Colorado, Miami, Notre Dame and Arizona State slated for 2020 through 2027.
This means the earliest the UT-A&M rivalry could be revived would be 2030, at which point none of the players participating in the game would remember a world where Texas’ two most prominent football programs played each other.
So, both sides actions are speaking pretty darn loudly. But in case that isn’t enough, we now have the private thoughts of Texas A&M president Michael Young. In emails to A&M supporters angry over Young’s public statements in support of reviving the game, the Dallas Morning News found the A&M president issued this form response each time:
We have no plans to renew the rivalry game at this time for very practical reasons,” Young wrote on Jan. 22.
The topic is of interest to many for or against and we’re open to the discussion in line with what is best for the schools,” Young [wrote]. “There are a variety of reasons that this will be unlikely to happen, including separate conference schedules and scheduling many years out.
The implication here is clear: “Yeah, I have to say that stuff for the papers but, c’mon man, we both know there’s a million reasons why a revival isn’t happening.”
The “what is best for the schools” line means, in this case, what’s best for A&M. Even if UT and A&M were to agree to the concept of playing again, the practicality of scheduling such a game would kill it. Texas would like the game in its traditional spot of Thanksgiving weekend, while A&M — who now faces LSU each Thanksgiving weekend — would want it in September.
Both campuses have held votes that found each student body is overwhelmingly in favor of playing the other, but as enough time passes the schools will be filled with students have no memory of the game whatsoever.
This isn’t to say the Longhorns and Aggies will never share a field again — it would just need to happen under the right circumstances, most likely a New Year’s Six or College Football Playoff game. But the prospect of Texas and Texas A&M playing on an annual or even a regular basis is effectively done.
One of college football’s oldest rivalries died in 2011, but it took until 2019 for us to realize it.
Well, at least we can all share a laugh over this topic….