Texas and Texas A&M played football against one another most recently—and perhaps for the final time?—in November 2011, before the Aggies decamped the Big 12 and found the greener pastures of the SEC.
Despite the incessant message-board bickering and lobbying from fans of the schools for the rivalry to be restored, Texas A&M athletic director Jason Cook said in November 2013 that he had no desire to play the Longhorns unless it's in "a BCS bowl or playoff," according to Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com.
On Tuesday, first-year Longhorns AD Steve Patterson confirmed that the feeling was mutual—at least at this current juncture.
Patterson's exact words, per Max Olson of ESPN.com:
There's a lot of great tradition with Texas A&M. At some point in time, does it make some business sense, some branding sense to play again? I don't know. It's not at the top of my list. I'm really more focused on how we grow the footprint of the department.
When he says "grow the footprint of the department," Patterson is likely referring to global expansion. Texas has not been shy in its attempt to build an international brand, Patterson himself having already scheduled a men's basketball game against Washington in China during 2015.
According to Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman, Patterson has also shown interest in scheduling football games in Mexico City, among other cross-border locales:
UT's Patterson didn't say he wants a game specifically in Mexico City, just wants to explore neutral sites there, elsewhere.— kbohls (@kbohls) January 29, 2014
The Aggies and Longhorns played 118 games between the first on Oct. 19, 1884, and the last on Nov. 24, 2011. Since leaving the Big 12, Texas A&M has seen Johnny Manziel win the Heisman, scored 71 points in two games against Alabama, won the 2013 Cotton Bowl and slowly but surely begun to dominate recruiting in the Lone Star State.
Texas, it would reasonably seem, could stand to benefit from getting a shot to stunt the Aggies' momentum on the field.
Texas A&M, meanwhile, would definitely love to kick the Longhorns when they're down—something that rarely happens in the sport of football.
It seems like there should be an obvious solution between the teams: Just suck up your pride and play.
Unfortunately, as usual, it appears things are a little more complicated than they appear.