HOUSTON, TX -- Rice will open its 2013 season in football against Texas A&M in College Station.
"We're going to play a football game with A&M," said Rick Greenspan, Rice's athletics director, in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. "We're going to open the 2013 season up in College Station.
'It will be the first time Rice has played A&M in a number of years. Obviously, while we're both in different conferences, it is a bit of a renewal of a Southwest Conference rivalry. For us it makes a lot of since geographically. Our fans are able to travel to College Station. For Texas A&M fans who live in Houston to head up there. So we're enthusiastic about it. We're appreciative of having this opportunity."
Greenspan said the two schools will explore future games against each other.
"Right now it's just one game up there, but we'll certainly have discussions with them about future games," Greenspan said.
The last time the Owls played the Aggies was in 1995 when Texas A&M won 17-10 at Rice Stadium.
The year before the two schools played in College Station, with the Aggies winning 7-0.
Greenspan was not ready to disclose which game he is moving off of the 2013 schedule to make room for the Aggies.
"We're doing what everybody else in college football is doing right now, and that's trying to re-invent their schedule based upon conference realignment and some different priorities that some conferences have now in terms of the number of conference games they are going to play," Greenspan said. "Some leagues are going to play nine games, which means they have to let go of a non-conference game. In our case with Houston going to the Big East, that changed our dynamics a little bit.
"For us to continue to play Houston means it has to be a non-conference game. So we worked that way through a change to move somebody off the schedule and there'lll be probably be some more shifts and adjustments in the next couple of years also for a lot of reasons. Some of them based on our priorities. Some of them based upon our revenue-generation needs, television. So it's a very dynamic situation now."
The Owls and Cougars will play the next two years at Reliant Stadium.
Greenspan said that matchup could continue beyond that.
"What we're really looking at is what we consider is a model that we think works and when I say it works, I really want to emphasize that it's fluid and it's fluid for a number of reasons," Greenspan said. "Some of them because there's considerable talk now about bowl and bowl eligibility, and there's a little bit of movement (for) bowl eligibility to be a winning record which is 7-5 versus 6-6. That could have real implications on our schedule as well as others.
"To the degree that we can we'd like to play a guarantee game that generates considerable revenue for us each year. We would like to play an FCS team at home each year. If we can work out the dates and the arrangements we would like to play Houston every year and then the fourth non-conference game, assuming we're going to have eight conference games, we would like to have a home-and-home. To get there is going to require some real moving around and some real negotiating."
Greenspan is taking part in a conference in Hollywood, Fla. with the commissioners of the BCS, commissioners from many of the major conferences, along with about a dozen athletics directors.
"I was asked to attend these two-day meetings with a select handful of other athletics directors, to meet with the commissioners, to meet with the major bowl partners, the Rose, the Sugar, the Orange, the Fiesta, ESPN, a couple of other folks strongly identified as partners in regular season and postseason football," Greenspan said.
"Most of the discussion is about the future of postseason football and where it should go. Everybody feels change is necessary and change is likely, but what the change looks like and how it gets implented, how the revenue gets distributed, right now there is still a lot of sausage being made. The commissioners are taking input and advice from the bowl folks and the athletics directors and others, but it's been a good meeting.
"It's obviously been a chance for me to, not only represent the conference, but some of the things that are probably Rice-centric."
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