Texas A&M no longer wants to play Texas in regular season
Two years after a messy divorce, the Austin American-Statesman’s Kirk Bohls tweeted Wednesday that he was “told by a higher-up Longhorn that the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry ‘perhaps’ could resume.” Hope for the series resuming only lasted a few hours. Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express-News reports Texas A&M unofficially nixed that idea later on Wednesday, saying it won't play Texas during the regular season.
The possibility that the Aggies and Longhorns might meet again in the regular season was raised upon UT's hiring of Arizona State athletic director Steve Patterson to replace Dodds, who will retire in 2014. The Aggies' new position on continuing the rivalry is a complete 180-degree change from its previous stance on the series played since 1915.
From the Express-News:
“We hope to play them again in a BCS or playoff game at some point,” A&M senior associate athletic director Jason Cook told me this afternoon.
Since (the series ended), A&M has enjoyed early success and loads of national exposure in the SEC, and plenty of its fans have shifted from believing they’d like to see the Thanksgiving tradition continue versus the Longhorns to simply, “No thanks.” The Aggies, too, are set to start playing new SEC rival LSU on Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving weekend starting next year.
As Texas A&M transitioned from Big 12 member to SEC rookie in 2012, the university's administration -- led by Chancellor John Sharp -- requested that Texas maintain their annual game, be it on Thanksgiving or any time, anywhere.
"We want to make it abundantly clear we will play the game anywhere, any time," the new Texas A&M chancellor told Bohls in 2011. "If that game dies, it will not be on us. That game is bigger than Texas and bigger than A&M. That game belongs to the people of Texas, and if it goes away, it's not going to be on our watch."
Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds rejected the notion, saying the Aggies had done damage to the Big 12 and that the Longhorns' schedule was full.