Charlie Strong wants to play the Aggies. Maybe it’s just a way to improve his popularity among fans even before the first game of the season has been played. It’s nice, wishful thinking, but it doesn’t seem like another Texas vs Texas A&M game is likely to happen in the near future, despite the rich history, which includes 118 games between them, including 64 times on Thanksgiving.
Listening to the Texas AD gives us a much better view of where things currently stand when it comes to the renewal of the rivalry.
I think the reality for us is A&M made a choice they felt was best for them to move to the SEC. That’s great for them. They’ve leveraged that well. For us, there has to be a real business or branding case made to play anybody that we play with our football games given the way our schedule is structured, playing Oklahoma every year in Dallas. Unless there really is a compelling business or branding reason, I see a hard time renewing that rivalry in football.
There’s no strong sentiment coming from Texas A&M officials about making it happen. The Aggies don’t have a loaded non-conference schedule, not to mention a very weak one as well. They’re playing Lamar, Rice and Louisiana-Monroe at home, while visiting SMU. Things don’t look that much tougher in the near future. They do have Arizona State in Houston, but there is also another FCS foe, Ball State and Nevada lined up. They will play UCLA in 2016, but have cancelled future series with Oregon and USC once they joined the SEC.
Texas have a much more impressive non-conference schedule, which is pretty much shut until 2018: They have (this season) nonconference games against North Texas and BYU at home and against UCLA at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Longhorns also have future home-and-home contracts with Notre Dame (four games), California (two games), Maryland (two games), Ohio State (two games) and USC (two games). The first available open date on Texas’ schedule wouldn’t occur until 2018, when the Longhorns are already scheduled to play at Maryland and home against USC.