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Texas vs. Texas Tech: Non-rivalry game is a poor choice for Rivalry Week

The Red Raiders aren't really a rival and fans don't like playing on Thanksgiving any more. End the madness!

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

For the rest of college football, this is Rivalry Week.

For the Texas Longhorns, it's just another week, with a game that happens to inconveniently fall on a holiday during which fans would now rather spend time at home with their family than make the trek to Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

The unfortunate reality is that the Texas Tech Red Raiders simply aren't a rival in any true sense of the word -- sure, the loss in 2008 still stings and Texas Tech fans are often obnoxious and uncouth enough to raise some hackles, but Texas fans feel much more condescension towards the school on the South Plains than actual hate.

In the overall series, Texas leads 49-15, having won all but two games since 1999 -- hardly the makings of an intense rivalry. The Red Raiders aren't even little brother, they're just the annoying distant cousin you kinda try to avoid at family gatherings who likes to do weird, creepy things underneath that silly bell they're always ringing for seemingly no reason. Seriously, that's so weird.

Why did you just throw a tortilla at me?! So. Weird. Just... go back to Lubbock already and stay there.

And without hate to fuel Rivalry Week, there's just an empty void where that hatred of the Texas A&M Aggies used to live.

Fans are speaking with their wallets about this game, with poor attendance each of the last two years. There's the strain of having the game at home every year instead of every other year. There's increased competition from the NFL and from better college football match ups like Texas A&M and LSU.

Playing Texas A&M on Thanksgiving was the tradition, not just playing on Thanksgiving.

So simply move the game if the administration insists on having the rivalry game at home every year, as Texas fans overwhelmingly prefer:

thanksgiving poll

Ultimately, the ideal scenario would be to resume the series against the Aggies, but despite interest from both head coaches, there isn't any real impetus on that front with much of the non-conference schedule set for years to come and Texas A&M currently having so much more to lose than Texas by playing the annual grudge match again.

If there's something about the tradition of playing on Thanksgiving that should keep it going, Texas needs to play an actual rival. Of all the Big 12 foes that could fit that description, Baylor stands out head and shoulders above Texas Tech and TCU -- Texas players don't like Baylor players, the fan bases don't care for each other as Baylor fans have become increasingly arrogant and entitled, and even though the series has been one-sided for some time for the last few years, that game would likely draw much better attendance.

But even Baylor would be a poor replacement for Texas A&M on Thanksgiving and merely slot in as a more compelling Rivalry Week match up.

If Texas can't have a real Rivalry Week, the administration should at least stop acting like Texas Tech and TCU are suitable replacements for the Thanksgiving game and let that "tradition" go the way of A&M.