Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin may be stepping down in January 2014, but he isn’t riding silently into the night. Earlier this week, in an interview with Brent Zwerneman, Loftin said that he still wants A&M to play Texas in football.
The Aggies and Longhorns have played 118 football games against each other and, until 2012, had played every year since 1914. When Texas A&M departed the Big 12 for the SEC the schools discontinued their rivalry. If it were solely up to Loftin, the teams would still play each other.
“I’ve always said ‘anytime, anywhere,’ although others (in the A&M administration) are not saying it that way anymore,” Loftin reiterated. “I still think that, left to ourselves, we will find a way to get together. We’ve already played them in other NCAA sports – swimming and diving had a meet with them (this October).”
Loftin also believes that the rivalry will continue at some point in the future.
“Some of the feelings and passions (from the Aggies’ 2012 shift to the SEC) are now beginning to get a little bit moderated,” said Loftin, who’s stepping down as A&M president in January to return to the classroom. “I think over time there will be an engagement … that will allow us to appropriately play each other as nonconference rivals in a variety of sports.”
It’s almost cruelly ironic that Texas A&M, long the little brother of the rivalry, hasn’t faced fizzling Texas during the Johnny Manziel era. Hopefully Loftin is correct, and the schools eventually agree to an out-of-conference rivalry, as rivalries like theirs make college sports special.