The rivalry between the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners is one of the most storied in all collegiate athletics.
And despite rumors to the contrary, it seems that if there is one thing that will remain unaffected by their move to the SEC, it will be the annual Red River Rivalry in Dallas.
During a recent interview with the Austin-American Statesman, Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione was asked about the upcoming SEC schedule, and whether the Longhorns and Sooners would remain annual opponents.
Castiglione was emphatic that nothing would change on that front.
“It just depends on the format,” Castiglione said. “There’s some discussion about that, but I don’t know if that would be possible. But the Red River rivalry, that will continue. Neither one of us would let anything happen to that. There’s not even a question about it.”
The SEC is in active discussions regarding future scheduling due to the expansion.
And one suggestion put forward has been a nine-team conference schedule. But in either case, Texas and Oklahoma would remain each other's chief rivals.
“Regardless of the format of eight or nine conference-game schedules, we will always play Texas,” Castiglione told the Statesman. “If the SEC sticks with its current model of just eight league games, the format will be one permanent rival (OU-Texas) and seven rotating teams.”
Of course, however unlikely it might be, this could mean that the Longhorns and the Texas A&M Aggies could conceivably not be annual opponents.
Longhorns Would Be Game-Changing Offer For Fast Rising WR Ja'Kobi Lane
2023 wide receiver Ja'Kobi Lane is a faster riser, and a big fan of what the Longhorns are building
Longhorns In Final 3 for Top Corner Malik Muhammad
Texas Longhorns Recruiting Tracker: Check back often as we keep you up-to-date on Longhorns news as Texas looks to improve on an already impressive class
However, Texas athletics director Chris Del Conte wants the Lonestar Showdown, as well as a yearly matchup with Arkansas, to both return on an annual basis as well.
“I wasn’t a part of it (rivalry), but I grew up watching it on Thanksgiving,” Del Conte said. “It was ingrained in both fan bases’ psyches for hundreds of years. To me, OU not playing Nebraska is crazy. For us to go to the SEC with a chance to play Arkansas and A&M and continue our rivalry with OU is icing on the cake.”
But why is Del Conte so adamant about the return of those games? As well as the conservation of the Red River Rivalry?
To put it simply, because of the fans. And that is also why they made the move to the SEC, with Oklahoma as part of the deal.
“We wanted to rekindle old rivalries, whether it’s Arkansas or A&M or Oklahoma," Those matter to all of us. Fans cherish those games. It’s important for us to play Oklahoma in Dallas at the State Fair. That’s what makes college athletics so great generation after generation.”
You can follow Matt Galatzan on Twitter @MattGalatzan
Want the latest in breaking news and insider information on the Longhorns? Click Here
Want to join in on the discussion? Click here to become a member of the Longhorns Country message board community today!