Texas A&M football: Governor Abbott latest to rekindle rivalry game

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

More and more Texans are being outspoke about bringing back the Texas vs. Texas A&M football game; should politicians get involved?

The return of one of the most storied rivalries in college football gained even more momentum this week. Texas and Texas A&M football have not faced off since 2011, and the past couple of months have had the most signs of the game getting back on the schedule since Texas A&M left for the SEC.

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Since that date, each side has accused the other of not wanting the game to play. A&M athletic director (at the time) Bill Byrne never wanted the game to go away, but Texas AD DeLoss Dodds insisted if A&M left the Big 12 they were not willing to accommodate the Aggies as non-conference opponents. They had scheduled their non-conference for the next several years.

The same situation came about when current Texas AD claims he approached A&M AD Scott Woodward about playing a home-and-home in 2022-23 when Ohio State decided to reschedule on Texas. A&M already has Miami that year, on top of a brutal conference schedule, so we politely said no thanks (to this laughable request in the first place).

The goal should be to get the game back permanently, of which A&M has never wavered on its willingness to do so. Given the two teams’ reluctance to change non-conference schedules which already include Power 5 opponents for the next decade, it would appear the ADs need an extra push.

They apparently got one. The two university presidents told the Austin-American Statesmen they instructed their ADs to make it work. Prior to that, in November, State representative Lyle Larson introduced a bill in the Texas House that would force the schools to bring the game back. The latest politician to announce his support for the game was none other than Texas Governor Greg Abbott during his State of the State address.

"“I am inspired by the camaraderie and the collaboration that has already infused this session. It seems unprecedented, and I’ve got to tell you, I’m feeling it myself,” Abbott said, according to the Texas Tribune. “I’m feeling moved. And I want to set the example. For example, I’m willing to step up and put aside past differences and work with [state Rep.] Lyle Larson to reinstate the rivalry game between the Aggies and the Longhorns.”"

This begs the question: Should politicians get involved with matters such as college football? Even as they all seem to want the same thing as I, which is to get the game back, they should probably focus all of their attention on serving the public. There are people in place at each university whose job it is to make these kind of decisions.

I know these politicians are human, and they have interests outside of politics, and people who probably write them all the time about getting this game back, but it should be low on their priorities. But I digress.

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The university presidents clearly made it a priority, and that’s all that should be needed for it to come back. Hopefully those that do get an answer on this sooner rather than later.