Texas Longhorns athletics director Steve Patterson is continuing his efforts to expand the school's international brand, saying on Sunday that the Horns could play a football game in Mexico City by 2020.
A Pac-12 team would be the most likely opponent, as Patterson told media members at the Associated Press Sports Editors' Southwest Region meeting that schools from that conference are showing the most interest in that game.
"If we don't leverage it, someone else will," Patterson said. "We shouldn't give up that natural advantage we have."
However, Texas still hasn't found an opponent and is experiencing some logistic issues in scheduling the game. One issue is that the non-conference schedule is set for the next three seasons and 2019 is the only season until 2025 that doesn't feature a road game during that portion of the schedule. Since giving up a second non-conference home game seems unlikely, Texas would have to find an opponent willing and available to play that game in 2019.
Teams from California or Arizona would seem like the most likely candidates. With the Horns playing the Trojans in 2017 and 2018, could the two schools add a neutral-site game in Mexico City for 2019?
The continued pursuit of a game in Mexico City provides further evidence that Patterson is completely serious about expanding the school's international brand. The basketball team will open the 2015-16 season in China against Washington and former head football coach Mack Brown just went on a trip to Dubai to meet with prominent alumni and explore the possibility of future Texas athletics events there. So the three prime areas targeted for brand expansion by Patterson are China, Dubai, and Mexico.