Reports last week emerged that Texas A&M was rethinking their commitment to the Big XII Conference in the aftermath of ESPN's plan to shift an ABC telecast away from broadcast television in order to broadcast a second game on the Longhorn Network. The SEC remains interested in A&M and potentially Clemson to trigger the next round of conference realignment.
Why is the SEC still interested in A&M and Clemson? First of all, A&M opens the doors into the lucrative Texas television market. Granted, that didn't necessarily mean much when Nebraska jumped to the Big Ten, but that didn't invalidate the proposal either. More importantly, conference expansion would trigger a renegotiation of the SEC's arrangements with CBS and ESPN. The money that the Big 12 and Pac 12 recently received raised eyebrows in the SEC, and they now feel that there's still money on the table.
Interesting to note that the A&M Board of Regents is scheduled to meet on Thursday, and on the agenda is an "executive sesson" at 10:30 a.m. regarding "Consultation with System Attorneys Regarding Legal Matters or Pending and/or Contemplated Litigation or Settlement Offers" with the Big XII Conference. (See page 2). Over at SB Nation's "I am the 12th Man", Beergut seems to think that A&M is already leaning out of the Big XII, with the main question being whether Oklahoma will stay or go. Would Oklahoma be willing to jump to the SEC? Even Sooner fans see the writing on the wall from Austin.
In any event, the Big XII is safe for the next two seasons. The deadline for schools to leave after this upcoming season was July 1st, so 2013 is the soonest anybody would likely leave. But one thing is clear, despite what some people want you to believe, the Big XII is no more solid than it was last spring.