If a Texas vs. Texas A&M bowl matchup does or doesn't happen, it's not because Texas A&M controlled the matchup, according to A&M athletic director Eric Hyman.
With Texas now bowl eligible and the Aggies with four losses, it's been fun to speculate if the two rivals and former Big 12 and Southwestern conference mates would meet in a bowl like the Texas Bowl in Houston. The matchup would instantly sell the game out and reignite a football rivalry that's gone dormant since A&M went to the SEC.
However, Hyman said Wednesday that the pairing was "out of our control."
“Quite frankly, that’s a decision made by the conference,” Hyman told the Houston Chronicle on Wednesday evening. “The configuration is so different than it’s been in the past. They ask us to rank the bowls, and they ask the bowls to rank us. The (SEC) then ranks all the different teams from that, and that’s how the selection will be made.
“It doesn’t matter if I speculate about playing this team or that team in a bowl. It’s out of our control. … Wherever they tee us up, we’ll play.”
The SEC has tweaked its bowl selection process for 2014. No longer will offers be extended to teams on a ranking basis. Instead, after any College Football Playoff and New Year's Bowl spots are filled, the league office is then filling the next six bowl tie-ins for the conference. The six bowls aren't tiered in any specific way.
“We’ll certainly have discussions with the bowls on which teams they have interest in,” SEC executive associate commissioner Mark Womack said via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’ll certainly have discussions with our institutions about which bowls they would have an interest in. But at the end of the day, the conference will make the decision as to how those teams would be placed in those six bowls.”
After those two bowls, the Birmingham and Independence Bowls will then get to pick from remaining bowl-eligible SEC teams.
It's unlikely that Texas A&M would make it to either of the latter two bowls given its strong travel contingent.
Will the SEC place A&M for a possible matchup against Texas? That's the big question. And given the myriad of bowl options, the odds, at least on the surface, are one in six, assuming Texas would head to the Texas Bowl. Missouri played Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl last season, but those two weren't major Big 12 rivals.
Is the desire for a renewal of the rivalry strong enough to match the two teams up in the Texas Bowl, which featured Minnesota and Syracuse last season? Possibly. But maybe the first post-Big 12 matchup should be on a bigger stage.
For more Texas A&M news, visit AggieYell.com.
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