An unfortunate casualty of the latest round of college football realignment was the cancellation—at least for the time being—of the Texas vs. Texas A&M rivalry in football.
But that rivalry may be renewed in the future, according to a bill filed in the Texas House of Representatives by Rep. Ryan Guillen (h/t: Clay Travis of OutkickTheCoverage.com).
Just filed HB 778; it requires UT and A&M to play each other annually in a nonconference, regular season football game bit.ly/T24EvW— Ryan Guillen (@RyanGuillen) January 29, 2013
That bill would require the two football programs to meet on the gridiron every year.
And on cue, critics voice their displeasure.
"Doesn't the government have anything better to do?"
Yes, the government has a laundry list of things that should—and do—take priority over ensuring that football rivalries are played. But as Travis points out, government was needed to keep or restart the Iron Bowl, South Carolina/Clemson and Kentucky/Louisville, to name a few rivalries.
But keeping the rivalry going helps the state economy, encourages state pride and gives casual fans something to identify with.
Plus, it's not necessarily something that takes up a lot of time anyway.
The bottom line: Whether it's something that's agreed upon by the two institutions or mandated by the State of Texas, the two programs need to get the rivalry going again—for college football's sake.
Texas and Texas A&M have played 118 times since 1894, with the Longhorns holding a 76-37-5 advantage over the Aggies. Texas won the last meeting between the two teams in 2011; Justin Tucker hit a 40-yard field goal as time expired to give the Longhorns a 27-25 win in College Station.
Plus, think about how much has changed since then.
The Aggies stepped out of the shadow of the Longhorns in 2012, going 11-2 in their first season in the SEC and producing the first redshirt freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy in quarterback Johnny Manziel.
They've emerged as one of the hot up-and-coming programs in college football and look to continue that momentum this offseason with one of the top recruiting classes in the country.
Meanwhile, Texas is rebuilding, but certainly still playing the "big brother" role in the state.
Why not put state pride on the line on an annual basis? If it's that big of a deal, settle it. Every year. Don't just live off history.
Tradition is the foundation of college football. While several of those traditions are being stripped away as the game evolves into the new era of big bucks and a four-team playoff, some of those traditions need to be preserved.
The Lone Star Showdown is one of them.
Good for Guillen for kick-starting the process. Whether it's accomplished via the institutions themselves or mandated by the state, these two teams need to get back together.