OMAHA, Neb. – Sunday’s action in the College World Series offered a great drama with the rivalry between Texas and Texas A&M.
But the Longhorns always have the Oklahoma Souners in mind, whether it’s baseball at the CWS this month or football feud at any time.
Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione has confirmed that Texas and OU will play each other each year at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, no matter what configuration the new, expanded SEC looks like when the two big 12 power brands join.
“Regardless of the schedule of eight or nine conference games, we will always play in Texas,” Castiglione told American-Statesman. “If the SEC adheres to its current model of only eight games in the league, the format will be one permanent rival (OU-Texas) and seven rotating teams.
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And what would that mean for the rivalry between Aggies and Longhorns?
“It just depends on the form,” Castiglione said. “There is some discussion about this, but I don’t know if that would be possible. But the rivalry on the Red River will continue. None of us would let anything happen to that. There’s not even a question about that. “
Texas sporting director Chris Del Conte also said Sunday that the Texas-OU’s annual status will continue, saying the big reason the Longhorns want to join the SEC is “we wanted to resume old rivalries, whether it’s Arkansas , A&M or Oklahoma. They matter to all of us. Fans appreciate these games. It’s important for us to play Oklahoma in Dallas at the State Fair. That’s what makes college athletics so great generation after generation. ”
So is the rivalry between Texas and Texas A&M, which Del Conte would like to see flourish in their new conference.
“I was not part of it (rivalry), but I grew up watching it on Thanksgiving,” Del Conte said. “It was ingrained in the psyche and the fans for hundreds of years. For me, not playing Nebraska is crazy. For us, going to the SEC with a chance to play for Arkansas and A&M and continuing our rivalry with OU is the icing on the cake. “
Speaking of cake, Del Conte celebrated his 54th birthday on Sunday by attending the Texas-A & M elimination match in Omaha.
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Del Conte and Castiglione attended two SEC meetings – one from Zoom and one in person – including the big planning session. The SEC has subgroups for each sport that include administrators and coaches for that sport.
A source told Stateman that he did not think future SEC planning would be decided by this summer. The source also said that the league had encouraged “non-standard thinking” and even rejected the idea of 10 conference games each season, and that “some schools actually prefer this model.”
And when will the two members join their new league?
“July 2025,” Castiglione said, sticking to the script. “We’ll invite you to the party.”
“Defense, defense”: This was the chant of the Longhorns of Charles Schwab Field on Sunday when Aggies’ third baseman Trevor Werner defeated Dylan Campbell.
Fans repeated it when Campbell was apparently out at second base in the theft, while Longhorns’ baserunner on his rink threw the ball out of the glove of A&M’s second baseman Ryan Targac.
Fans of A&M returned the favor when the relief of Texas Jared Southard could not find the plate for a while and loudly canceled each consecutive thrown ball. The census reached six before finally striking to silence them.
Gordon left early. Lucas Gordon, a backbone of the Texas baseball team and one of his MVPs to maintain the starting rotation, had his shortest start of the season. He did not control his fast ball and fired for four runs – all won – only for 1⅔ innings.
His previous fastest hook came against South Carolina in mid-March, when he was drawn after 3⅓ innings.
The same old captain: Oklahoma head coach Skip Johnson says he’s a creature of habit and hasn’t really changed at all since he coached Texas for 10 years.
So, nothing at all?
“Well, I have a new thigh,” Johnson said. “I had hip replacement surgery.”