If DeLoss Dodds Gets to Decide When Texas Plays Texas A&M, It Better Be Soon

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterMarch 19, 2013

Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds is never at a loss for words when discussing intrastate rival Texas A&M.

The head Longhorn is in the power position in the state and has nearly made a sport out of taking shots at the Aggies. Just last year, he said that Texas A&M's inclusion in the SEC will give the conference "a sliver down the East side (of the state)."

Monday saw Dodds take another shot across the bow.

In an interview with the The Daily Texan, Dodds says that he holds the keys to renewing the rivalry with Texas A&M, a rivalry that has been discontinued after the Aggies jumped from the Big 12 to the SEC prior to the 2012 season.

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.

Dodds and the Longhorn fanbase better get over those hard feelings in a hurry, because its power in the state of Texas is being threatened by Texas A&M, whether they see it or not.

The Aggies joined the SEC with low expectations last season. After all, a team with a new coach, new coordinators, new quarterback and an affinity for throwing games away in the second half couldn't possibly make waves in the nation's toughest football conference, could it?

A win at national champ Alabama, an 11-2 record and a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback later, the Aggies are one of the hottest college football programs in America and will likely find themselves in the preseason top five when the polls come out this summer.

Meanwhile, Texas has been scuffling.

Since losing the 2010 BCS National Championship Game 37-21 following the 2009 season, the Longhorns have gone 22-16 and have been remarkably inconsistent despite talent that has been rated in the top three nationally in the 247Sports.com composite index in three of the last four seasons. 

That's not good, and it's one of the primary reasons why head coach Mack Brown should be concerned about his job, whether it's legitimately in jeopardy now or not.

Texas A&M has something going for it that Texas simply can't sell—the letters "SEC" on the jersey. That's a big deal, and something that's only going to be ingrained further in the minds of high school football players in the talent-rich state of Texas as time goes on.

Texas A&M isn't the "little brother" anymore. It has stepped out on its own and is carving its own path. That path is leading in a different direction than where the Longhorns are headed.

If Dodds holds the keys to the rivalry, he needs to take steps to ensure that those paths cross on the gridiron once per season. At least that way, there will be no doubt which program is the more dominant program during any given season.

That's not to say that Texas A&M will surpass Texas as the most prominent program in the state.

That may never happen.

But the gap is shrinking, and if Dodds' stubbornness gets in the way of re-scheduling the rivalry, that will only continue.