Vandalism of a school mascot. Dueling fight song references to each other. The Lone Star Showdown.
The Texas-Texas A&M rivalry that has lain dormant for six seasons now sees regular resurrection attempts, even including the introduction of legislation to mandate its being played. Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte stoked the fire a bit more at the Big 12 spring meetings earlier this year.
“At some point and time we will pick up our rivalry,” said Del Conte. “It’s important to our state and important to our fan base. I’m assuming when it’s appropriate and ready, we’ll play. It’s an opportunity for us to do that. We’d like to do that, it’s just matching up schedules.”
A&M’s athletic director Scott Woodward also expressed interest — though, maybe not to the same level as his counterpart.
“Chris and I go way back and we know each other and we’ve had conversations about it,” Woodward told the Dallas Morning News in May. “But this thing is all about timing. And frankly my focus is on winning the SEC West and the SEC championship. So I have to focus more east in my geography […] And I’ve got more concerns about competing against LSU and Auburn and Alabama and Ole Miss and Mississippi State and Arkansas. And while the rivalry is great and it’s important, there has to be some timing and scheduling issues that have to be met.
“And, you know, at the right time and at the right place, I think it will come to fruition.”
Both sides’ non-league slates are loaded with marquee opponents for the next few years — Texas and Alabama recently scheduled a home-and-home for 2022-23, while A&M has home-and-aways with Miami (FL) and Notre Dame, just to highlight a few — but this seems to be the made-for-television event that most fans and television networks crave.
Fast-forward to Tom Herman’s appearance this week at Big 12 Media Day in Frisco, where he was, predictably, asked again about the possibility of the two facing off on the gridiron.
“To me, there’s a very logical one an hour-and-a-half east of us,” said Herman in an interview with SiriusXM’s ESPNU Radio, in which he stated his desire to play a Power 5 school outside of Big 12 play each season.
Herman also expressed interest in having the Aggies come back to Austin as a regular part of the rivalry.
“The University of Texas does not play a rival at home, ever,” Herman added during the radio interview. “Our only now-true historic rival is Oklahoma. We play them in Dallas at the State Fair.”
If the two teams do renew pleasantries, one thing can be guaranteed: the game will not take its normal place on Thanksgiving evening. TCU and Texas Tech now regularly occupy that slot on Texas’ schedule, on a rotational basis. The four most recent contests between the two took place on the holiday evening, but any future games would more likely be destined for an early-season showcase.
The Longhorns have won 76 of the teams’ 118 meetings, though the clubs have split the six most recent outings.