UT A.D. Steve Patterson (right) at Charlie Strong's introduction. (Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports)
The bad blood between the Texas Longhorns and the Texas A&M Aggies continues.
Speaking to Paul Finebaum on ESPN Radio yesterday, UT athletics director Steve Patterson said that their football series with Texas A&M is dead unless there is a “compelling” reason for it to resume.
“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,” Patterson said.
Patterson’s statement yesterday falls in line with one he made earlier this month. On playing the Aggies again he said “It’s not at the top of my list.”
Texas and Texas A&M last met on Nov. 24, 2011, and the Longhorns came out on top 27-25. Texas A&M then left the Big 12 Conference to join the SEC. Ever since that move, athletic directors at the two schools haven’t shied away from taking jabs at each other.
Last year, Texas athletics director DeLoss Dodds made a strong statement about the Aggies’ move.
“They left,” Dodds said. “They’re the ones that decided not to play us. We get to decide when we play again. I think that’s fair. If you did a survey of our fans about playing A&M, they don’t want to. It’s overwhelming. I know. I hear it. Our fans are important to us. I think there’s got to be a period where things get different. I think there’s too many hard feelings.”
Dodds did say, however, that he thinks the two rivals will get back together on the gridiron eventually. “I think we’ll play sometime,” Dodds said. “I don’t know when it will happen or how it will happen, but I’m sure it will happen.”
New Texas head football coach Charlie Strong was asked about the series at his introductory press conference. He wants to play.
“Oh yeah, you would love to because if you look at it, there’s two schools that played a number of years, and you’d like for that to continue.
“But it’s so hard now with the different conferences, and now when you talk about ‘Hey, let’s go play another Texas A&M,’ you’re asking for a lot of big games to be played. And a lot of schools just don’t want to see that happen right now because the number of in-conference games they have to play.”
The Longhorns and Aggies have met 118 times and played every season from 1915 through 2011. Texas leads the overall series 76-37-5.
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