Legislation Being Introduced to Preserve UT and A&M Rivalry Game
Could the UT/A&M rivalry be legislated into continued existence?
Texas has a long-standing tradition of creating odd laws to fit nearly every circumstance. Hell, we have an official song for our state flower. But one has to wonder if State Senator Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands) may be taking things a bit too far with his proposal to draft legislation that would require the University of Texas and Texas A&M University to play an annual football game every Thanksgiving as they have for many years.
With A&M moving to the Southeastern Conference and the future of the Big 12 very much in doubt, Thompson and State Rep. John Otto, who will sponsor the bill in the House, have decided this is a tradition that must be preserved and the best way to go about doing that is making it law.
It is unclear whether something like this is in the best interests of either school or even if the state could compel them to play a game, but many have questioned how A&M's move to the SEC would impact games between the two institutions and if losing the annual game was bad for college football.
The reality is that scheduling non-conference opponents is a complicated procedure for college football programs and 2012 represents the first time UT and A&M have had to consider something like this. Before they were in the Big 12, they played together in the Southwest Conference for over 80 years.
This also brings into question the Red River Shootout game between UT and Oklahoma held every year in Dallas if those two schools, both still in the Big 12, end up in different conferences after the dust from realignment ultimately settles. Whatever happens, the landscape of college football is sure to change dramatically over the next few years and some rivalries may pay the price.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.