The Longhorn-Aggie (or is it Aggie-Longhorn) divorce has gotten past the point where either side is serious about getting back together and now they’re just litigating who’s fault the whole thing was.
Earlier this week, Texas A&M AD Scott Woodward told the Houston Chronicle that his counterpart at Texas, Chris Del Conte, contacted him with an offer for a home-and-home in 2022-23.
“We were already booked,” Woodward told the paper. “We’re booked 10 years out. He had an opening at the time, and it suited him, but it didn’t suit us.”
When Ohio State shifted around its scheduled home-and-home with Texas so the Buckeyes could play Notre Dame, Del Conte technically gave Texas A&M the right of first refusal to fill the newly-created opening, but A&M already has a home-and-home with Miami on the books for those years. (The Aggies actually have two openings for those seasons according to the FB Schedules database, but it goes without saying neither team is going to play the other, plus another Power 5 non-conference opponent, plus a full Big 12 or SEC schedule after that.)
When A&M turned him down, Del Conte scheduled Alabama instead.
Both teams are booked up through 2027, but there’s technically nothing stoping either side from renewing the rivalry in 2028 and beyond. Right?
However, Chip Brown reported for Horns247 this week that Texas is working on lining up home-and-homes with Georgia, Penn State and Clemson. From his report:
Currently, Texas has marquee non-conference opponents lined up through 2027. The source said a home-and-home with Georgia would be after that — most likely 2028 and 2029.
Texas has also been in talks with Clemson and Penn State about a possible home-and-home series in 2030 and 2031, said the source, adding that a series with Penn State might be more likely for 2030 and 2031.
If the Georgia and Penn State series come to pass, the earliest UT-A&M would get back on the docket is 2032. The Longhorns and Aggies last played in 2011. This means the majority of the players in a hypothetical 2032 reunion wouldn’t have even been born the last time the two sides met on the field.
Frustrating as it seems, the current arrangement works for both sides. Del Conte can turn around and tell the Texas faithful he made a good-faith offer to play A&M in 2022-23 but they turned him down. Woodward can tell the A&M faithful that Texas lined up games against other opponents when the Aggies had openings for 2028 and beyond.
“With the right circumstances at the right time, but not right now,” Woodward said on renewing the series. “We already have some very good home-and-away nonconference games for our fans. It’s something coach (Jimbo) Fisher and I will talk about and consider, but it has to be at the right time and the right opportunity, when it works for both (schools).”
At this point, it seems like the rivalry’s next renewal will be a forced one in a high-profile bowl game. Texas has appeared in the Texas Bowl opposite SEC teams twice since the divorce — against Arkansas in 2014, the “borderline erotic” game, and versus Missouri last December — but A&M went to the Liberty Bowl to play West Virginia in 2014 and to the Belk Bowl to face Wake Forest in 2017 instead. (Totally against the their will, I’m sure. It was the SEC that kept them apart, not A&M. Obviously.)
When and if Texas and Texas A&M play again, it’ll be when both teams are good, most likely in a College Football Playoff game, the Sugar Bowl or the Cotton Bowl. For the record, the Cotton Bowl would be just fine with that.
Sounds good to us! pic.twitter.com/2wY4eI1Pp8
— Cotton Bowl Classic (@CottonBowlGame) August 21, 2018
Maybe at that point these two old rivals will remember how much they loved to hate each other and get serious about getting back together. Then again, Texas and A&M have finished in the same AP Top 10 once, ever, and it was in 1941, so it’s entirely possible we’re going to have to live with these two waging a passive-aggressive Facebook status proxy war for the rest of our lives.
Dear God help us.