Texas A&M students on Friday overwhelmingly voted to revive the school’s dormant rivalry with Texas.
The referendum passed with 88.71 percent of the vote. A similar vote among the UT student body is planned for later this spring.
“The reason we’re doing this is because we feel responsible for the tradition and the spirit of A&M,” Chipper Adams, co-director of the A&M student group Reinstate the Rivalry, told A&M’s student paper The Battalion.
The issue momentarily gained momentum when both school presidents went on the record with the Austin American-Statesman last month saying they’d like to see the Longhorns and Aggies play again. However, A&M president Michael Young‘s true thoughts were revealed earlier this week when email correspondence with Aggie fans, irate over his on-the-record desire to play their arch-rivals, showed Young said the game’s revival was “unlikely.”
The UT-A&M series was the third-oldest FBS rivalry game during life, with 118 meetings between 1894 and 2011, but it has since been passed by Cincinnati-Miami (Ohio), Virginia-North Carolina, Auburn-Georgia, Oregon-Oregon State, Indiana-Purdue, Cal-Stanford and Army-Navy. If the two sides were to reach agreement to revive the game, it could not happen on an annual basis again until 2030 unless one or both schools are willing to cancel on-the-books games with the likes of Alabama, Ohio State (both future Texas opponents), Notre Dame and Miami (A&M).
In the meantime, there are two ways to view the 88.71 percent of the vote that the game’s rebirth drew. On the one hand, it’s impressive that the game drew that much support among a student body that was in elementary school the last time their school played Texas. On the other, a similar vote in the fall of 2017 drew 97 percent of the vote.
One has to figure the number of revivalists will only continue to shrink as one of college football’s oldest rivalries is now a stone sinking deeper and deeper in the river of time.
(Edit: The original version of this story was incorrect. It was actually a Texas student vote that drew a 97 percent majority in favor of reviving the rivalry. Considering UT students were 10 percent more in favor than A&M’s, that will become the latest bullet in the you-need-us-more-than-we-need-you culture war that the UT-A&M rivalry has now become.)