Charlie Strong, Kevin Sumlin want to renew Texas-Texas A&M rivalry
Charlie Strong and Kevin Sumlin both have a desire to renew the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry on the football field after taking the last three years off.
The schools first played against each other in football in 1894 and competed every year from 1915-2011, but they took a break after A&M left the Big 12 for the SEC in 2012. At the time, reps from both sides did not seem too concerned about not playing the game. Now things have changed.
“Now, moving into Year 4 and listening to our former students and our alumni base and knowing a lot of Texas alums, it’s important that we play again,” Sumlin said via ESPN.com. “I think it will happen somewhere down the road. The tough part for both parties, when we moved, was scheduling. The first two years we scrambled just to get anybody to play, and the SEC hadn’t solidified their schedule until last year. We were at the mercy of whoever would play us.”
Sumlin says that now they’ve figured out their scheduling in the new conference, he thinks the series will resume again.
Strong, who just completed his first season as head coach of the Longhorns, would like to play the series, too.
“That game is so much a part of this state,” said Strong. “Over 100 years, we’ve played that game. Why stop it now because we’re in different conferences? At some point, when it’s right for everybody with the different schedules, I would love to play Texas A&M again.”
It’s understandable why after moving to a more difficult conference A&M did not want to have another tough non-conference team on their schedule, but both sides probably have changed their viewpoints thanks in part to the playoff. With the playoff system, teams with one loss still have a chance of making the national championship game. That combined with the pride factor among both fanbases probably are the biggest reasons for the change. The only issue is because of scheduling, it might take a few years before they’re able to get the game going again.