A couple of weeks ago, we confirmed that Texas A&M and USC never finalized their 2015-16 home-and-home football series.
A spokesman for the USC athletic department told us that there were “very preliminary discussions between the schools, but nothing ever came of it.” Later, Texas A&M told us that former Director of Athletics Bill Byrne started the discussions with USC but they had heard “nothing more about this series.”
Although Texas A&M officially announced the series with USC, Byrne had apparently “jumped the gun” according to the Trojans.
Included with that official announcement was a 2018-19 home-and-home series between Texas A&M and Oregon. Two weeks ago, an Oregon official confirmed that there was a signed contract and that the games were scheduled for Sept. 15, 2018 in Eugene and Sept. 14, 2019 in College Station.
However, current A&M athletic director Eric Hyman told the Houston Chronicle yesterday that those games are no longer part of their plans because “having switched from the Big 12 to the SEC, we’ve had to scrub our whole schedule – throw it almost out. Going forward, we’ve had conversations with people, but we really can’t be contractually (obligated) until the conference says you’ve got the green light.”
So it appears that Texas A&M has or will back out of that future series with Oregon. That move essentially “scrubs” the Aggies future schedules after 2014.
Hyman went on to say that the Aggies want “balance” in their future schedules with likely an FCS team and a “lower-level BCS game, and then you have a game from a national standpoint.”
Currently, Texas A&M has three games scheduled in 2014: vs. Lamar, at SMU, and vs. ULM. That schedule is ripe for the addition of a “national” game against a BCS program.
There are no games currently scheduled for the 2015 season. Louisiana Tech, originally schedule to visit in 2012, will play at Kyle Field in 2016. The only other future game scheduled is New Mexico in 2017.
With Oregon and USC no longer on Texas A&M’s future football schedules, some writers believe that this is evidence that the SEC will move to a nine-game football schedule.
That may be true, but there is also a lot of uncertainty in future scheduling due to the upcoming College Football Playoff. In addition, SEC commissioner Mike Slive said at the Spring meetings this week that he wants to set dates for conference games first and then have schools schedule non-conference games around that.
“That’s going to change, and that’s why these few years are sort of steps towards the point where we’re going to do the conference schedule and then fill in with the non-conference schedule” Slive said.
With so many changes in college football lately, future schedules will continue to be in flux.
Update (2:25pm ET)
Alan Cannon, Texas A&M Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations, told us in an email that the Oregon series is still on.
Due to the transition of the new athletic staff, A&M athletics director Eric Hyman “was unaware of the signed contract and he is sorry for any confusion.”
Dave Williford, Executive Assistant Athletic Director, Football Communications at Oregon also told us that TAMU’s AD “misspoke” and lumped the USC and Oregon games together. “They assured us UO-A&M games are still on from their point – we have always considered them on.”
With all of that being said, 2018-19 is still a long ways away. If the SEC moves to a nine-game schedule, or due to other factors, the series could still be mutually canceled.
Update (Oct. 23, 2014)
It’s been over a year since news of the possible cancellation broke. Today, the series was officially canceled.