Growing up in the state of Texas you did two things. On Thanksgiving, you watched the Cowboys play NFL football. On the night after Thanksgiving you watched Texas play Texas A&M. It was a tradition.
Everything changed when the Aggies decided to leave their home in the BIG 12 and head to the SEC. The tradition was over. Both schools no longer wanted to play each other anymore. Texas A&M was arrogant, they’d been accepted into what most people believe to be the best football conference in America. Texas was even more arrogant than the Aggies. They were two years removed from a BCS National championship game appearance. 5 years removed from a BCS national championship.
Their profile was so big ESPN came to them with a lucrative opportunity to create their own network. They didn’t need to play A&M. There was talk of Texas possibly splitting off by themselves and becoming an independent like Notre Dame. Six years later that has all changed.
The Texas Longhorn program is still considered one of the elite in the nation. They haven’t shown that elite status since 2009. Years of mediocrity under Mack Brown followed by three straight years of being under .500 with Charlie Strong. If Tom Herman can’t figure out a way to win games in the second half of the year the Longhorns may not make it to a bowl game for the third straight year.
That’s something unheard of and unthinkable in Austin.
For Texas A&M they started off great after the split. Thanks to the outstanding two-year career of Johnny Manziel the Aggies entered the SEC with a splash. In their first year, they were 11-2 and won the Cotton Bowl. Since that time, they have become exactly what they were in the BIG 12. A middle of the conference team who will always find a way to win 7 or 8 games go to a bowl and nothing more.
That mediocrity has even put one time darling coach Kevin Sumlin squarely on the hot seat.
When I read that the Texas Governor Greg Abbott wanted to renew the Texas vs. Texas A&M rivalry I was all for it. I think it would be great. It would be something football in the state of Texas needs. It would be something that both programs need also.
The SEC hasn’t yielded Texas A&M any real rivalry games. They play LSU but the Tigers aren’t a rival.
Texas still has its rivalry with Oklahoma which is great but it’s not Texas vs. Texas A&M. That rivalry is for bragging rights in the state of Texas. As good as Baylor was under Briles they were never the school you thought of when it comes to football. As good as Gary Patterson has made TCU they aren’t the school you think of when it comes to football.
People think of the Texas Longhorns or they think of the Texas A&M Aggies. Those two teams need to play each other every year.
Both schools haven’t been the same since the rivalry stopped playing. That is no coincidence. It’s time to renew the rivalry. It’s time to do it again.
I don’t know if Greg Abbott our Governor here in Texas can get this done. If he can I think it would be a crowning achievement in his term as Governor. Everyone loves football and everyone in this state will love Greg Abbott if he gets this done. I know he’ll have my vote for re-election.