Texas coach Charlie Strong open to rekindling rivalry with Texas A&M

Sam Cooper
Charlie Strong answers questions during an NCAA college football news conference where he was introduced as the new Texas football coach, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Strong acknowledged the historical significance of being the school's first African-American head coach of a men's sport. He takes over for Mack Brown, who stepped down last month after 16 seasons. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

When Texas A&M left the Big 12 to join the SEC in 2011, that signaled the end of the yearly rivalry game between the Aggies and Texas.

Despite A&M leaving the conference, there have been rumblings in the past few years about the possibility of the two schools re-kindling the rivalry and new Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong told CBS that he would be open to the idea.

“It’s all about the two ADs getting together and getting that figured out,” Strong said. "When you look at it, it’s been such a huge rivalry game. I think at some point it will get worked out. When there’s been so much tradition there, you’d like to see it continue on. That’s my feeling on it. I’d love to play it.”

Former Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said last year that the Longhorns would be open to playing the Aggies, but it’d have to be UT’s terms since A&M left the conference.

“They left. They’re the ones that decided not to play us. We get to decide when we play again,” Dodds said last March.

Additionally, in November, former A&M president R. Bowen Loftin told the San Antonio Express-News that he is open to play the Longhorns “anytime, anywhere.”

“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t play each other, if we want to. I think they (Texas) will at some point in time feel like it’s the right thing to do, as well, and we’ll get there,” Loftin, who took a position as chancellor at the University of Missouri in January, said.

The two teams have not played since Texas’ 27-25 win on Thanksgiving in 2011, but with Strong taking over for Mack Brown and Steve Patterson replacing Dodds in Austin, the prospect of getting on the same page could go a little more smoothly moving forward.

If the two sides cannot reach an agreement on location, Strong proposes the teams could play at a neutral location.

“You’d like to play it in a neutral site somewhere, where every year it’s in that spot, whether it’s Houston or Dallas,” Strong said.

A neutral site is better than no game at all, I guess. This is one of the oldest rivalries in college sports and it would be good for both programs to resume the series. 

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