You’ve got to hand it to DeLoss Dodds. His lies give credence to the old line that “everything’s bigger in Texas.”
The Longhorn athletic director said in an interview with the student newspaper at UT — the Big XII’s UT, not the SEC’s — that it’s Texas A&M who brought the football rivalry between the two schools to a halt, not the other way around. This in spite of the fact that everyone outside the Lone Star State and half the people in it know full well that A&M has said it wants to continue playing the series and that Dodds’ school is the one that balked:
“I’m think we’ll play sometime. I don’t know when it will happen or how it will happen, but I’m sure it will happen…
They left. They’re the ones that decided not to play us. We get to decide when we play again. I think that’s fair. If you did a survey of our fans about playing A&M, they don’t want to. It’s overwhelming. I know. I hear it. Our fans are important to us. I think there’s got to be a period where things get different. I think there’s too many hard feelings.”
“They’re the ones that decided not to play us,” is a complete fallacy, a canard, an untruth. Georgia Tech once left the SEC. Their arch-rival, Georgia, didn’t take their ball and run home. South Carolina left the ACC in 1971. Their hated cross-state neighbor, Clemson, didn’t pout and cancel the South’s uninterrupted football series.
While Dodds flat-out lied about which school said it wouldn’t play the other, he simply put his own personal spin on the ongoing conference realignment story. It’s been pretty well reported by now that Texas is the the biggest opponent to Big XII expansion. If the league can’t add Notre Dame — Dodds’ personal dream — then the Horns don’t want the conference to grow at all as expansion would cost UT even more of its influence and power within the league. Better to be a loud voice among 10 than a slightly quieter voice among 12… or 16. For that reason, Texas’ AD seems to be a fan of the possible Big XII/ACC scheduling alliance that ACC commish John Swofford has been angling for:
“It you walk through it, the Pac-12 truthfully has not place to go to pick up teams, except the Big XII. The SEC and the Big Ten can pick up teams but it’s only probably the ACC teams, maybe the Big East. So they’re the conference that could be under attack. And the alliance between the Big XII and the ACC, I think, strengthens them. I think that the Notre Dames of the world, it would unite them a little bit, toughen them a little bit. Then I think it would be less likely that anyone could pick one of their schools up.”
That’s the first public admission from anyone inside the Big XII — that we’ve seen at least — saying that if the Pac-12 expands again, it’ll likely do so by trying to nab a Big XII school or two. Or six.
Whether a Big XII/ACC scheduling partnership comes to fruition will depend on whether or not the other nine schools in the league see the future in the same way that Dodds does. If so, an alliance may become a reality. If not, an ACC school or two might wind up in a league with Iowa State, Texas Tech, and Kansas State.