Ryan Guillen, a Democratic representative from House District 31 in Texas, introduced a house bill on Monday to require an annual football game between the Texas Longhorns and the Texas A&M Aggies.
Texas and Texas A&M did not play in 2012 due to the Aggies’ move to the SEC from the Big 12. Before the series came to an end, the two bitter in-state rivals had played every season since 1915. The long-standing series, which began in 1894, is led by the Longhorns 76-37-5.
“[Texas A&M] did leave,” Texas athletics director DeLoss Dodds said in 2011. “We didn’t want them to. We still don’t want them to but they did. That was their choice. That leaves us with an opportunity to make choices, and we will make them on our time and on our own grounds.”
DeLoss has also stated that the Longhorns have a full non-conference schedule through 2018 and don’t have any room for a game against the Aggies. But Texas’ future schedules currently show one opening in 2018, although UT could have a game set that has not yet been made public.
Texas does have two openings each year from 2019 through 2023. And there’s always the option of postponing or canceling other games to create an opening.
Guillen, a Texas A&M alumnus, introduced the bill in part to get the two schools moving towards a resolution.
“This game is as much a Texas tradition as cowboy boots and barbeque,” Guillen told the Texas Tribune. “The purpose of the bill is to put the eyes of Texas upon our two greatest universities to restore this sacred Texas tradition.”
“I think the people of Texas want a game, and we’re trying to get them one.”
This type of legislative technique has been used effectively in the past. State legislatures have inserted themselves into disputes and helped restore rivalries such as Alabama-Auburn, Florida-Florida State, Clemson-South Carolina, and Louisville-Kentucky (basketball).