Legislating It

Texas and Texas A&M could be forced to renew their football rivalry and play every year again

Texas and Texas A&M could be forced to renew their football rivalry and play every year again

As if the Texas Legislature didn't have enough important on its plate during the 83rd biennial session, what with across-the-board budget shortfalls and statewide water shortages, a state representative filed a bill on Monday that would revive a football rivalry. 

The Texas Tribune details that House Bill 778, filed by Rio Grande City Democratic Rep. Ryan Guillen, would require the University of Texas and Texas A&M University football teams to renew their storied, more than 100-year-old rivalry and start playing each other every year again.

 "I think the people of Texas want a game, and we're trying to get them one." 

That rivalry — the third longest in college football history — first began in 1894 and lasted until this season, when the Aggies moved from the Big 12 to the Southeastern Conference and UT administrators refused to make room on its schedule for the annual game. 

I, for one, counted the absence of "House Divided" jokes as something to be thankful for at this year's Thanksgiving table (and tailgate). But Guillen, a '00 A&M grad, disagrees. 

"This game is as much a Texas tradition as cowboy boots and barbeque," he told the Texas Tribune. "The purpose of the bill is to put the eyes of Texas upon our two greatest universities to restore this sacred Texas tradition."

Provisions in the bill would penalize the team that refused to participate with restrictions on athletic scholarships. 

"I think the people of Texas want a game, and we're trying to get them one," said Guillen.

University of Texas, UT, Texas A&M, football
House Bill 778 seeks to revive the age-old pigskin rivalry between Texas A&M and the University of Texas.  Sports Media
Texas Rep. Ryan Guillen, University of Texas, Texas A&M, bill to play again, January 2013
State Rep. Ryan Guillen, who filed the bill on Monday, graduated from Texas A&M in '00.  Media.caller.com