If you are a college football fan, then you know that tonight could be the end of one of the game's great rivalries -- Texas and Texas A&M.
With Texas A&M leaving the Big 12
Conference and heading to the SEC, Texas has determined that there is no
room on its non-conference schedule to play the Aggies. Until 2019 at
Yes, it is easy (and convenient) to bash
Texas, suggesting that the Longhorns are displaying that all-too-typical
arrogance that is regularly on display in Austin. The criticism of
Texas can be summarized in one sentence -- the Longhorns are denying
Texas A&M a consistent game to punish the Aggies for leaving the Big
A good argument. But insufficient.
I am aware that Texas A&M's athletic department leaders made it
clear they wanted to continue the rivalry. Yes, I am aware that if the
roles had been reversed that Texas' athletic department would be crying
foul very publicly and loudly.
But let's also admit to
reality here -- Texas A&M doesn't deserve a place on any team's
non-conference schedule. By leaving the Big 12 for what they believe
will be greener pastures, the Aggies thumbed their nose at the long-term
relationships involving (among others) Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and
Oklahoma State. It will begin making new rivalries with Mississippi,
Mississippi State, Alabama and others.
Once the heat-of-the-moment tensions are over, there will be an
opportunity for both schools to sit down and reconsider whether the
rivalry should continue. Whether they take advantage of that opportunity
remains to be seen.
Will that happen in time for a game in 2012? I doubt it. But once
the conversations begin (if they do), we'll see whether Texas or Texas
A&M is committed to playing an annual game.
For now, blame both the Longhorns and the Aggies for what what has happened.