With Texas A&M departing for the SEC next year, the future of the Thanksgiving game between the Aggies and Texas has been placed in jeopardy. A&M has made it clear that, despite it being an out-of-conference game, they want the series to continue. So far, Texas hasn’t quite reciprocated that level of optimism.
But the Lone Star Showdown may continue yet. Kirk Bohls of the Austin-American Statesman tweets this morning that A&M president R. Bowen Loftin (aka, the apple of Mike Slive‘s eye) authorized school AD Bill Byrne to approach Texas AD DeLoss Dodds about playing the game next season. Exactly when that game would be played, though, remains up in the air.
“We’re open to a date that meets all our needs,” Loftin told Bohls.
It’s unclear how much interest, if any, Texas has in keeping the rivalry going. The general consensus from Austin feels like they believe the proverbial A&M ship has sailed, but if the Aggies show enough interest and flexibility — Slive has supported the Thanksgiving game as well — then the game might still have a chance. Texas, after all, still plans to play on Thanksgiving and interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas has endorsed those plans.
If the two sides can make it work, then there doesn’t seem to be much of a reason to discontinue the game.
As for Big 12/SEC relations on a grander scale, Loftin added he doesn’t “think it’s likely to see another team join SEC and move by July 2012.” Neinas has stated as much, claiming the conference is looking at a 10-team Big 12 for next year. Missouri could make a decision on their conference affiliation late next week, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported, but Neinas says Mizzou essentially has until May of 2012 to make a decision.