At the 2013 SEC meetings Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin was asked go give a statement about their old arch rival the Texas Longhorns. Bowen responded with, “I don’t have to make it anymore, it’s not relevant to us anymore, that’s the whole point. It’s not an important issue.” (sbnation.com) Now that statement can be interpreted in several ways, and most will probably assume that he basically was saying that Texas isn’t relevant to Texas A&M any longer.
When the Aggies left the Big 12 to move to the SEC and that ultimately ended the rivalry with Texas, many wondered if it would ever be renewed. The comments from Loftin make it appear that any chance of that rivalry resurfacing anytime soon is a longshot, and it’s actually a bad thing for college football. Texas A&M struck gold their first season in the SEC with a Heisman winner and victory over eventual national champion Alabama, but truth be told Texas has dominated the rivalry winning 76 times and only losing 37. For Texas A&M to act like they can’t be bothered to play them is a bit misguided.
The rivalry is still high stakes even though both teams are in different conferences because the are both fighting for many of the same recruits in the fertile Texas talent pool. The Longhorns have been getting a lions share of the best recruits out of Texas for years, and Texas A&M feels that with the SEC behind them they will be able to change that dynamic. Texas A&M is a hot program right now and many are predicting them to win the national championship this coming season, but it remains to be seen if the Aggies will be able to maintain this type of standard for the long haul. Not playing Texas gives A&M the opportunity to make it seem as if they have a better program since they have joined the SEC, but playing rivalries on the field has always been the best way to see if a program is superior.
Texas A&M has opted out of playing it’s biggest rival, and has elected instead to play college football politics. The fact that their president doesn’t think that it’s an important issue anymore shows that the Aggies have taken the mentality of many other college football programs and made it all about the money. Ironically that’s the primary reason A&M wanted to leave the Big 12 was because Texas started making it all about the money, and now they are just following suit. The fact that Texas has their own network still shows who the more relevant program is, and the Aggies can get lost in the SEC shuffle if they aren’t careful.