Texas A&M-Texas Tech Rivalry Starts in Dallas

Many of you may have heard that Texas A&M and Texas Tech are close to finalizing a deal that would setup a neutral site game that would be played in Dallas every year. The reactions I have seen are very mixed. I am very much a fan of the idea. Tech fans seem to have mixed reactions towards the idea with the majority in favor of it. Texas A&M fans are mixed too but the majority of their fan base seems opposed to the idea. Basically what it boils down to is Tech loves beating the Aggies in Lubbock so they would lose that, but they would more clearly establish a rival and the neutral site game could turn into a big event. The Aggies like the idea of not having to go to play in Lubbock, but they are not onboard with the idea of losing a home game at Kyle nor do they like the idea that they are imitating their daddy UT by creating a pseudo-Red River Shootout.

First, I am in favor of this game from a Longhorn perspective. This is a budding rivalry and there have been great games in the past (2 OT games in the past 3 years). But the fact is the game does not get any TV coverage. The 1 pt overtime game 3 years ago wasn't even available pay per view and the game in Lubbock was on FSN at like 9 o'clock Saturday night. No TV coverage means 1. no exposure nationally to some real good Texas Football 2. No TV revenues that are shared amongst the Big 12. Texas and OU do a lot of damage pulling down TV money and Bowl money but those monies are distributed amongst the schools in the Big 12. So a school like Baylor who has never contributed to either Bowl or TV money sits back and gets a fat paycheck every year. If the Big 12 has an opportunity to increase exposure to its brand of football they should do so and a game at Texas Stadium would do just that. I am also in favor of this from a UT point of view in that it redirects A&M's focus toward their primary rivalry with Tech. The fact is the Texas-Texas A&M was always a one sided rivalry and in the past decade it is a dieing rivalry. This is a totally different Texas A&M athletic program that has no history with UT. Since Bill Byrne became their Athletic Director a couple of years ago they have new football, basketball, and as of this week baseball coaching staffs that have no history with Texas. This is a good breaking point for the scene to evolve into Texas-OU and Texas A&M-Texas Tech. Texas-Texas A&M will always be a big game and it was always be a rivalry of some sort but it will not be THE rivalry for either school.

Second, I think it is good for both of schools involved. The game would be played in Texas Stadium and then most likely moved to the new Cowboy stadium later. Both schools are paid $5 million a year. Texas Tech will gladly take that raise not to mention the added convenience of playing in the backyard of the city with their #1 alumni base. However, I have heard some Aggies try to flatter themselves claiming this game would not make sense economically. Last year 82, 278, I being one of them, came through the gates at Kyle Field to watch this game. Let's say a little over 20,000 of them were students so 60,000 paid a face value of $75. That's $4.5 million. So when you add in concessions and whatever else the revenue does come in over $5 million. But then I started to think about it. This is Aggie math. They are forgetting the $5 million check that comes the year the game would have been in Lubbock. So the pay the receive for moving the game from Kyle is actually $10 million and there is no way they make more than that in one home game.

Another plus for both schools is that they establish a foothold in the Dallas area recruiting base which has produced more D-1A recruits than any city in Texas in the past few years. This is actually bad news to Texas fans but it is much WORSE news for OU fans who makes a living recruiting Dallas so I think it actually helps Texas in the end. If Texas loses a couple, OU loses several, and all those lost stay in Texas and go to A&M and Tech I will be happy.
One exciting feature about this game is that if OU and Texas can consistently prove to be BCS Bowl bound(which is a BIG IF) the winner of the Tech-A&M game 9 times out of 10 will get a bid to play in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas with the loser having to travel to play in the Holiday Bowl. This was the case last year when A&M beat Tech in overtime and got the bid to the Cotton and Tech went west to the Holiday.

But for all this to work Texas A&M needs to accept that Tech is their rival and that is not going to be easy. A&M loves to compare themselves with Texas and think of themselves as superior to Tech. The fact is the Texas-Texas A&M all time series is at 72-35-4 in favor of Texas while Texas A&M hold a slight lead 34-28-1 over Texas Tech. It doesn't take a math major to see that the A&M-Tech rivalry is much more competitive. And the A&M-Tech all time series record is even misleading because Tech has the advantage if you just look at the past 50 years. Some more facts for you. Texas A&M has only won 1 more game in the past decade than Texas Tech. Texas A&M has won only 1 BOWL GAME in the past decade(and that was a win over TCU in the GalleryFurniture.com Bowl) while Texas Tech has won 3 straight. Head to head Texas Tech has beaten Texas A&M 3 of the last 4 years and 7 of the last 10 times they have played. Tech has finished with a better record 3 years in a row. Enough already. You can throw this A&M superiority out the window.

Last, I think Dallas wins big time. The plan I hear most commonly is to have the game the night of the Texas-OU game. I am not sure that this is the best way to do it but if that was the case that would be the most football rich day in one city during the entire football season. Dallas would be crawling with thousands and thousands of college kids partying and it would be a lot of fun. For a metroplex dominated by pro football and lacking big time college football, sorry UNT, SMU, and TCU but it's true, this would change Dallas from being a historical site for the Texas-OU game to the hub of Texas Football for all levels.

I have expressed my displeasure many times with new NFL stadiums, or new stadiums in general, and I am 100% against the new Cowboy stadium especially considering its public tax payer money going towards private pockets. But the political and economic issues a side what I dislike most is the lack of character in these new stadiums partly because there is no historical significance to the stadium and partly because ticket prices are too expensive for Average Joe rabid fan to attend. Reliant Stadium is 100 times nicer than Texas Stadium or the Cotton Bowl but there is no question which stadium is the least significant to the fans/players/schools, etc. My point in all this is if they A&M-Tech game moved into the new "JerryDome" the college flavor would add some character.

I am completely sold that moving this game to Dallas would be a great idea. The only cost I think I left out would be the cost to the Aggies to hire a new songwriter to rewrite their Fight Song or as they like to refer to it Nazi style, War Hymn.

hj

PS- Chalk up one more championship for Texas. 3 Super Bowls, 5 NBA World Championships, and a Stanley Cup Trophy in the past 15 years.

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