When Texas surprisingly hired Chris Del Conte to be its next athletic director this week, the Longhorns may have taken the first steps toward restarting their rivalry with Texas A&M.
The Aggies haven’t faced Texas on the gridiron since A&M joined the SEC after the 2011 season.
“I think we’ll look at [restarting the rivalry],” Del Conte told reporters at his introductory press conference on Monday. “I don’t have any comment on that today, but I’ll say this. I listened to Coach [Mack] Brown talk one time on what college athletics is about. It’s about rivalries.”
Del Conte comes to Austin by way of TCU — one of A&M’s replacements in the Big 12 when the Aggies bolted for the SEC in 2011.
If Del Conte is able to reignite one of the sports’ most passionate rivalries, it would be a win for college football fans everywhere.
“Rivalries in college athletics are so important,” Del Conte added. “The water cooler conversations on Mondays are awesome. I love the Red River Shootout, all that goes on with that [Oklahoma]-Texas game. It is fantastic. Those things are what galvanize. When we stayed in the Big 12, it’s because football and regional rivalries are so important to the community. I know that. I know that it’s important to everybody.”
Texas currently holds bragging rights in the series. The Longhorns defeated Texas A&M 27-25 in College Station in 2011. UT also holds the all-time series advantage with a record of 76-37-5.