Wow. Crazy things can happen in a day. I clipped a whole bunch of articles from this morning about the A&M to SEC rumors and was going to put a piece together about it, but most of those links are already out-dated. Hell, this article might be out of date by the time I finish it. Notre Dame, Texas, and Oklahoma may have applied to the B1G by then. Anyway, this morning, I was pretty skeptical of things until it seemed like the "giggem' hit the fan" this afternoon.
In what is apparently a big "EFF YOU" to Texas, A&M appears headed out the door to the SEC next week. There is a board of regents meeting scheduled for next Tuesday to discuss conference affiliation of the A&M athletic teams. The SEC is holding a special expansion meeting this weekend.
There is also a meeting with the Texas "Higher Education Committee" next week that will go over the pros and cons of realignment and how it would affect the Texas schools. Lot's of important people are going to be there.
The committee says Commissioners Dan Beebe of the Big 12 and Mike Slive of the SEC are to testify, as are Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin and A&M system board of regents chairman Richard A.Box.
People have long thought that A&M and UT will always be joined at the hip because their strength helps out the other schools in the state. However, A&M may be able to leave Texas behind for another conference using the reasoning, "Texas schools will be better because A&M and UT will both still be in BCS conferences. As long as UT stays in the Big XII, Baylor and TT will be ok AND they can replace A&M with a school like SMU or Houston. Thus, there will be ANOTHER Texas school in a BCS conference and, thus, more $$$ for the Texas school system.
The Texas State Legislature probably won't be able to get involved in this issue because they are out of session until 2013 (go unicameral go) and the only person that can request a special session is the governor who is an aggie. He is too busy preaching his way to a second-to-last place finish in the presidential race (Even he can beat Sarah Palin right?). This doesn't mean that there won't be serious stuff for A&M to have to deal with come 2013, but by then cooler heads may have prevailed.
To top things off, Austin American Stateman sports columnist Kirk Bohls has been tweeting a conversation he is having with DeLoss Dodds this afternoon about the situation. Some of the highlights include:
Texas AD DeLoss Dodds tells me "it looks to me like they're leaving," says he thinks B12 would be OK with 9 teams, prefers 10.
Dodds expects Big 12 survival, unsure if Texas would keep playing A&M
Texas AD DeLoss Dodds told me the UT staff "is working on 20 names" for possible replacements for Texas A&M.
Asked if Pac-12 could be destination for Texas, AD DeLoss Dodds says, "I'd put that down as an option. I don't know if it's viable option."
Holy cow, this is a wealth of information. DeLoss Dodds, the athletic director of the University of Texas is pretty much throwing in the towel when it concerns A&M. This is a guy that should know what's going down and if he is already "working on 20 names for possible replacements" then I think it's safe to say that this is about as done a deal as it can be without all the papers signed.
This is actually happening people. Texas A&M is going to move to the SEC very soon. The ducks are all lining up in a row and this could be the dawn of the super conference era.
Now for my opinion. I really don't care what Texas A&M does. What changed, though? As far as I can tell, nothing has really changed from last year. Did someone beat a few important Aggies over the head to knock some sense into them? Who knows if they will be competitive in the SEC? It can't be any worse that the Big XII south right? Or can it? Their only conference title was when they upset K-State in 1998. I'm not going to jump on the boat that says they will struggle mightily in the SEC, but it wouldn't shock me to see them become an afterthought. They were making headwinds in the Big XII and will very likely compete for the conference title this year. Their olympic sports may do very well there, though, and it will be interesting to see how their baseball team adjusts. They've been guaranteed a lot of $$$ in the Big XII so they won't see a big monetary gain. Of course, with expansion, Mike Silve (SEC commish) might try to renegotiate the TV contracts that could potentially dwarf the PAC-12's deal from a few months ago.
My personal feelings on this are that A&M is doing this just to give Texas the middle finger. It may be a good move it may not, but emotions are more in control here than rationality. But then again, some people might have said the same thing about Nebraska's move to the B1G.
As for team #14? (You can't have odd division numbers right?) There has been a ton of speculation lately about Florida State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Missouri, or Oklahoma. The Hokies say that they aren't interested. As of this post, only Florida State has been reported to be talking with the SEC. But it's just a report.
So what are your thoughts? Is this good for A&M or not? Who will team #14 be?
EDIT: As more information becomes available, it will be posted here.
Oklahoma officials believe Texas A&M headed to SEC. Options are being discussed.
There is currently no contact between the SEC and Florida State.
From Teddy Greenstein.
Lots of bargining going on.
The SEC official said he wondered if the SEC presidents would vote for A&M only if they were assured that a team from within one of their states — Florida State, Clemson or Georgia Tech, for example — would not be added.