COLLEGE STATION -- The Big 12 Conference and its television partners announced the 2008 Texas A&M vs. Texas football game will be televised by ESPN and the game will be played on Thanksgiving night. This marks the first time for the game to return to Thanksgiving since the 1993 game, which is also the last time ESPN televised the rivalry game.
“When I arrived in Aggieland, one of the first questions I was asked was when would we get the Texas football game back on Thanksgiving?” Aggie Director of Athletics Bill Byrne said. “I knew the Big 12 contract called for the game to be played the day after Thanksgiving on ABC, but that didn’t stop the questions or desire to move the game back to Thanksgiving. I am thrilled that ESPN has offered to move the game back to that traditional date of Thanksgiving. I applaud the Big 12 Conference and our television partners in making this happen.”
The current contract calls for the 2008 and 2009 Aggie and Longhorn gridiron battles to take place on Thanksgiving.
The Aggies are 9-0 against Texas when the game has been televised by ESPN. The first meeting televised by ESPN was in Austin in 1984 when the Aggies upset the Longhorns, 37-12. Texas A&M won six straight meetings through the 1989 season before the 1990 contest in Austin was televised by CBS and Texas won, 28-27. The 1991 through 1993 seasons, all Aggie victories, were televised by ESPN.
“I am very excited about playing our Texas game on Thanksgiving night,” Aggie head football coach Mike Sherman said. “This tradition-rich rivalry between two great universities deserves this type of exposure. I am hopeful we can keep this date for this game in years to come.”
After the 1994 game was not televised, the final Southwest Conference match up between the two schools was televised by ABC in 1995. With the formation of the Big 12 Conference, the A&M and Texas football contest has been played on the day after Thanksgiving and has been televised by ABC.
The two schools have played 114 times in football, the third-most played game in college football. Texas holds a 73-36-5 advantage overall, but Texas A&M is 14-11 in the last 25 meetings including this past year’s 38-30 win in College Station.
ESPN will continue to televise regular-season Big 12 Conference football games through a two-year agreement with Fox Sports Net. As part of the new pact, seven Big 12-controlled contests will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2 each year, with games being played on a Thursday or Saturday.
Two selections have been finalized for the 2008 season, Texas A&M at Texas on Thanksgiving, as well as West Virginia at Colorado on Thursday, Sept. 18. Additional selections will be determined throughout the season.
With the addition of the Big 12 home contests last season, ESPN became the first network to televise home games from 10 Division I conferences and was the only network to offer coverage of all six BCS conferences.
“Big 12 football was a great addition to our schedule last year and we look forward to continuing our coverage,” Dave Brown, ESPN vice president for programming and acquisitions, said. “The addition of games to our Thursday primetime schedule will make a big impact to the popular series. With the cooperation of Fox Sports Net and the Big 12, fans will be able to see even more action from this premier conference for two more years.”
2008 TEXAS A&M FOOTBALL SCHEDULE (As of Monday, Feb. 25, 2008)
Aug. 30 ARKANSAS STATE
Sept. 6 at New Mexico
Sept. 20 MIAMI
Sept. 27 ARMY
Oct. 4 at Oklahoma State
Oct. 11 KANSAS STATE
Oct. 18 TEXAS TECH
Oct. 25 at Iowa State
Nov. 1 COLORADO
Nov. 8 OKLAHOMA
Nov. 15 at Baylor
Nov. 27 at Texas