Texas A&M Doesn't Need Texas on Its Schedule, but Longhorns Need the Aggies

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Texas A&M Doesn't Need Texas on Its Schedule, but Longhorns Need the Aggies
Erich Schlegel/Getty Images
Texas AD Steve Patterson

Remember when Texas toppled Texas A&M on a 40-yard field goal as time expired to beat the Aggies 27-25 on Thanksgiving night in 2011?

That memory is going to have to last a while.

According to ESPN.com's Max Olson, a rekindling of the rivalry with Texas A&M isn't at the top of new Texas athletic director Steve Patterson's priority list. That list apparently includes international games, including a football game in Mexico City and a sporting event in Dubai.

"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," Patterson told Olson.

"It's not at the top of my list. I'm really more focused on how we grow the footprint of the department."

Erich Schlegel/Getty Images
Texas president Bill Powers (left), HC Charlie Strong (center) and AD Steve Patterson (right)

It wasn't due to lack of effort from the Aggies.

Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle noted that former Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin famously reiterated, "anytime, anywhere" in regards to playing the Longhorns, but conceded last year that not everybody in A&M's administration shared the same feelings.

Maybe it's time for Patterson to rewrite his list and make the effort, because Texas needs Texas A&M now—not the other way around.

While it's understandable that Texas—or any high-profile program—would want to expand its visibility to an international audience, refusing to play Texas A&M has allowed the Aggies to gain a chunk of the market in its own country and state.

The last play of the Texas/Texas A&M rivalry...for now

Four anonymous Texas high school coaches told William Wilkerson of LonghornDigest.com last month that Texas was not only behind A&M in the state pecking order, but behind Baylor.

A&M will have a new-look Kyle Field to play in once a $450 million renovation is complete prior to the 2015 season, has been in the national spotlight ever since it officially made the jump to the SEC prior to the 2012 season and has stayed in the spotlight thanks to the electric play of former quarterback Johnny Manziel, the most polarizing player in college football.

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All Texas has been doing during that crucial time in the landscape of college football in the state is spinning its wheels.

Texas A&M has successfully rebranded itself to the state, regional and national audience. As I wrote in March, even in down years, that's not going to change.

Texas A&M will still be the SEC program in the talent-rich state, and that's only going to resonate further with high school and middle school kids who become more familiar with A&M's conference affiliation.

Because of that, Texas has to get Texas A&M back on the schedule. 

The Longhorns will always be a national brand and the most visible program in the state of Texas, but that hasn't been abundantly clear over the last few years. A game against A&M would give the state and nation a tangible result between two national powers to gauge the strength of the two programs.

A&M isn't the "little brother" anymore. It could be Texas' cousin, but it's not the "little brother." The only way to prevent that cousin from achieving success is to knock him down every once in a while. 

Do you think this picture Manziel posted to Instagram over the weekend—which was accompanied by "Sorry Charlie...you're not part of the regime"was a harmless joke?

Think again.

It was yet another sign that Texas A&M isn't going to take it anymore. Of course, that's not exactly breaking news. That was apparent from the moment Texas A&M announced it was jumping to the SEC.

You'd think that Patterson, a Texas grad who had worked outside of college athletics with the NBA's Portland Trailblazers and the NFL's Houston Texans, would have brought a little perspective to Austin.

Apparently, he missed that memo.

 

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer for Bleacher Report.


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