Texas A&M-to-the-SEC has been rumored about since June of 2010, when the Pac-10 was looking to expand by trying to make a dent in the coveted Texas market. The SEC countered with a rumored offer to the Aggies to join the best conference in college football, and then the Pac-10 quickly moved on by adding Colorado and Utah. Texas A&M foolishly took no action … and in the meantime, Texas joined forces with ESPN to create its own network. Loyalty gets you nowhere. A&M had no choice but to look for an exit strategy.
There’s been plenty of Texas A&M-to-the-SEC chatter since January, and once the Aggies officially raised a stink about the Longhorn Network in July, it was obvious the End of the Big 12 Was Near.
Earlier this week, one blog claimed A&M-to-the-SEC was done; a series of denials from various media outlets followed, and then last night, supposedly, some sort of deal was struck. But nothing’s been confirmed – not even the SEC’s original offer.
But assuming it is true, one of two scenarios will unfold: The Big 12 will attempt to press onward, with a mere nine teams – and nobody possessing any leverage to prevent the Longhorn Network from doing … whatever it wants – or other conferences will pick at the Big 12’s remains like buzzards.
As we guessed here last month, perhaps this is how things shake out:
* Missouri to the SEC as the 14th team?
* Kansas to the Big East to form a filthy basketball conference
* The Oklahomas … to the Big Ten? That’d give the conference 14 teams … like the SEC
* Baylor, Iowa State, Texas Tech, and Kansas State … get in where you fit in (Conference USA, MAC, WAC, whatever)
And Texas would be an independent like Notre Dame.
I’m not buying the Florida State-to-the-SEC rumors. Why would the SEC want to add another team from Florida – and one from a crappy TV market (Jacksonville)? The Gators would be against it, and Auburn and Alabama and Georgia – all geographically close to Tallahassee – probably would be, too. If the SEC felt like dipping into the ACC, Clemson or North Carolina would make more sense, but I still think Missouri is a better fit.