Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Four downs: Texas-Texas A&M rivalry
By Sean Adams
AUSTIN, Texas -- Each week Sean Adams looks at a few topics around the Texas Longhorns and college football.
First down: Texas vs. Texas A&M
It could be a long time before we see Texas and Texas A&M play in football again.
Yes, Texas should play Texas A&M in football. Though I did not go to either school, I’m a huge college football fan, I love my adopted state of Texas and the Longhorns and the Aggies are the two largest and most tradition-rich schools in the state. All of that points to that fact that I am a fan. As a fan I want to see the rivalry, the house divided and the pomp and circumstance surrounding the game on Thanksgiving Day.
As a fan I want to see the game. As a logical person with opposable thumbs that breathes air, I totally understand why Texas A&M wanted to get away from Texas and why Texas is in no hurry to schedule the Aggies.
There was a time when Auburn and Alabama did not play from 1908-1947 and it finally took a resolution from the Alabama House of Representatives to reinstate the rivalry. The schools were fighting over $34.
While the Texas legislature has bigger fish to fry than its two flagship universities playing each other in football, it should be noted that movement in these two schools playing each other will not come easy.
While the strictest of college football fans want to see the rivalry renewed, pride and ego will probably take precedent and it might be a while before we see burnt orange and maroon on the same field unless it is a sport that does not involve individual scheduling.
Second down: Does the success of Texas A&M matter to Texas?
Texas A&M won 11 games in 2012. The Aggies won the Cotton Bowl in grand fashion, 41-13, over an Oklahoma team that blistered the Texas Longhorns 63-21. Their freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy. Their recruiting is off the charts and the trajectory of the program is nothing but up.
None of that matters to Texas. Regardless of what the jealous soft hearts say to you, none of it matters. Texas has a job to do and it has not been doing it. Texas needs to play winning football and nothing else matters. If Texas wins it will get 25 great recruits every year regardless of what Texas A&M does. The Aggies could win the Super Bowl and it would not matter.
Texas is in charge of its own destiny and perception. Winning is the only thing that can hurt or change it. There is plenty of room in the state of Texas for a few powerful programs. Texas A&M is not taking anything from Texas, the Aggies are just at their rightful spot where honestly, three or four schools should be from a state that deems high school football a religion.
It is no different than saying that Texas A&M won this year and it had nothing to do with Texas. The Aggies won because they were good. The two programs are mutually exclusive if we are to believe in football in the state as we profess to.
This is the shortest down of the day. The only thing that Texas needs is to be in a conference where it can play for the national championship should it win all of its games and the conference. Everything else is window dressing.
For all of the banter back and forth, the Big 12 Conference is and will remain the second best conference in the country. Texas has still gone out and scheduled the likes of Notre Dame, USC, Ohio State, Cal and UCLA over the next several years so its schedule will be fine.
Is it the SEC? No. Does it deliver great games week in and week out for fans? No. Does it have to be the SEC? No. Enough said!
Fourth down: The only goal for Texas
Texas is like Notre Dame in some ways. Both fan bases share a sense of entitlement although Texas has answered the bell with better seasons and championships as of late. Both fan bases have huge expectations.
The tradition is rich and the alumni are richer. Texas wants to win. Texas needs to win. Texans like to have something to pound their chest about. Ten wins do not matter. Championships matter at Texas and Notre Dame. Texas is expected to win conference championships, bowl championships and yes national championships.
Texas fans want bragging rights and, in the end, it is the only thing that matters. Championships, championships and more championships.