Texas AD Chris Del Conte wants to see Texas A&M rivalry returned: 'I do believe the game should be played'
Ever since Texas A&M and Texas ceased playing on the football field, the renewal of the series has been a popular talking point every offseason.
The Aggies and Longhorns have not faced either other since the 2011 season as Texas A&M left the Big 12 for the SEC heading into the 2012 season and with the way scheduling is done around college football these days, with non-conference games sometimes announced decades out, it doesn’t appear the drought will be ending anytime soon.
Be that as it may, Texas AD Chris Del Conte recently expressed his desire to see the rivalry renewed during an appearance on 247Sports’ Texas Tailgate show.
During the broadcast, Del Conte was asked about the possibility of Texas renewing rivalries against the school’s former opponents like Texas A&M, Arkansas and LSU.
“I think I had the conversation, a year ago, two years ago, when we had an opening and I asked [Texas A&M], ‘Hey, we have an opening in ’22, ’23,’ and I reached out and asked if they’d be interested in doing that rivalry game at the time,” Del Conte said. “And A&M said, ‘Hey we have no – we’re booked right now.’ And I said okay and I looked at where we were and I promptly looked at, why we have to create great games at home and add incredible value to our season ticket package.”
Del Conte then went on to discuss that Texas lined up series with Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Ohio State and Michigan, as he recognizes the value of adding games against this caliber of opponent adds value to season-ticket holders in Austin.
While he didn’t mention the College Football Playoff, having these games on the schedule could help the school in that department, as well.
However, Del Conte quickly turned the conversation back to Texas A&M and how much he wants to see that series returned and what value the Texas A&M-Texas series brings to college football.
“As far as playing A&M, and I will tell you this, I was not here and I don’t have the history and the angst of what transpired, but those type of games that make you visceral hate each other, are what makes college football, great, great,” Del Conte continued. “And I do believe the game should be played. I really do. Not because of history but I know Alabama didn’t play Auburn for 40 years. Can you imagine that playing the Iron Bowl? Makes no sense.
“But it is what it is, right? And you have politics involved, you have hurt feelings, you have all kinds of things. But just for the state of Texas or for college football, I cannot believe that OU doesn’t play Nebraska. I grew up on that game. I could not imagine USC not playing UCLA.
“I could not imagine the Backyard Brawl, Pittsburgh and West Virginia, for those fan bases. Clemson and South Carolina figured it out. Florida and Florida State figured it out. And I get it. But these games, when you just when you’re just bubbling over crazy emotion, that’s what makes college great. And why? Because college athletics and football-specific is a college game, founded on college campuses and it’s about our culture, our history, our traditions and what we stand for against you, and your culture, and your history, and your traditions and we settled on the playing field.
“And then we come back and we own you on the water cooler for the next full year we do it over again, and that’s what makes the pomp and circumstance about college awesome.”
Based on those comments, it’s clear one side of the rivalry is eager to return the series to the gridiron, now we wait for the other to feel the same.