Texas AD makes laughable statement about huge SEC rivalry games

It's not taking long for Texas AD Chris Del Conte to become a walking, talking meme as the Longhorns embark on their SEC journey.
TCU v Texas
TCU v Texas / Tim Warner/GettyImages

Texas and longtime rival Oklahoma are newcomers to the SEC in 2024, so some chest-thumping is to be expected as they find their footing in new surroundings.

The two programs who dominated the Big 12 for so many years in football are now walking into the best conference in the nation, and they want to be sure they aren't perceived as timid or weak.

While touting your past excellence and even talking a little smack might be overlooked or even expected, the one thing you don't want to do is walk through the door and begin slighting traditions and rivalries in your new home.

And that's exactly what Texas AD Chirs Del Conte did in his appearance on the Paul Finebaum Show during the SEC spring meetings in Destin, Florida this week.

While on set with Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione, Del Conte launched into rhetoric about how the Red River Shootout...Showdown...Rivalry...or whatever they're calling it this year stands head and shoulders above games like the Iron Bowl or the Cocktail Party.

“Have you been to the Red River Rivalry yet? It’s ridiculous. It’s the greatest thing ever. You may talk about the Cocktail Party, the Iron Bowl, it’s nothing like this game. At the state fair. Because you have 300,000 people, 300,000 people outside."

Because, certainly the number of people OUTSIDE the stadium (even if it's an artificially inflated number) are what really matters in a rivalry game, right?

Listen, everyone thinks their rivalry game is the biggest and baddest in the land. Michigan and Ohio State fans will tell you The Game is the most incredible event in all of sports. Folks up in the Pacific Northwest will tell you there's nothing like the Apple Cup. And of course, here in the SEC, we all know the sheer magnitude of both the Cocktail Party and the Iron Bowl.

And let us not overlook a certain Army-Navy game in terms of rivalry greatness and fan interest.

Bottom line, Del Conte was out of his depth with this statement and probably should actually attend not only the Iron Bowl and Cocktail Party games but the week of unbridled insanity leading up to the actual games as well.

Just for comparison:


First Year Played

Total Meetings

Red River



Iron Bowl



Cocktail Party



So all three games are well over 100 years old and have a long history. Likewise, all three games are between perennial contenders within the conference and usually end up playing a big part in conference championships

It's also safe to assume that all three rivalries have a healthy amount of bloodlust between fanbases, as well as some on-field animosity that's been seen from time to time.

To tout the idea that the Red River Something-or-Other is an entirely different beast than those long-standing SEC rivalries is akin to certain Missouri players in 2012 calling the SEC style "Old man football" before promptly being stomped by said old men.

To an Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, or Florida fan, the Red River We-Can't-Decide is about as interesting as two prepubescent kids trying to call shotgun for the ride down to the crick or a couple of alpacas fighting over a bail of hay. Yeah, someone's gotta win. Hooray.

Thanks for joining the rivalry party Texas, now get in line with everybody else for your time to dance.

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