Blog Entry

Texas A&M to withdraw from Big XII on Tuesday?

Posted on: August 30, 2011 12:59 am
Edited on: August 30, 2011 3:48 am

Posted by Adam Jacobi

On Monday afternoon, Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin said in a statement that "it is not our intent to prolong our conference exploration for an extended period of time." If the multiple media reports from Monday evening are to be believed, Mr. Loftin was certainly not exaggerating.

Late Monday night, the New York Times published a report that Texas A&M had indeed filed its formal withdrawal from the conference, most likely to officially take place on Tuesday:

Texas A&M’s departure from the Big 12 drew closer to reality on Monday when the university president, R. Bowen Loftin, sent a letter to the Big 12 board chairman, Missouri President Brady Deaton, notifying the league it will formally withdraw — very likely on Tuesday — according to two college officials with direct knowledge of the decision.

Sources at the school have since confirmed that report to, and the Associated Press is reporting this move now as well. This would likely be the latest and most decisive step in Texas A&M's ongoing campaign to join the SEC for the 2012 football season; only a formal application to the SEC is all that remains.

Earlier on Monday, the Big 12 sent a letter to Texas A&M spelling out the terms necessary for the Aggies' departure from the conference, including the "mutual waivers of legal claims" that would essentially clear a legal path for withdrawal from the Big 12. That letter fulfilled a request from Texas A&M on Monday morning asking for all the necessary terms for withdrawal.

If that all sounds like extra-dry legalese, it sort of is; in short, all this means is that there are legal steps to be followed for Texas A&M to leave the Big 12 as soon as possible without any added repercussions for the school past the Big 12 conference by-laws -- and no repercussions for the SEC whatsoever, who could otherwise be open for litigation if the Big 12 thought the SEC was "recruiting" schools while they were current members of the Big 12.

More on Texas A&M

Undermining that idea, however, is the fact that the SEC has stayed quiet throughout these proceedings, only releasing a statement a couple weeks ago that it was happy at 12 teams and had no plans to expand unless the conference landscape changed significantly. Evidently, Texas A&M's formal withdrawal is enough to qualify; there's virtually zero chance this process would have gotten as far as it has without the SEC's (private) approval.

This departure would be the third that the Big 12 would suffer in the last two years; Nebraska left for the Big Ten effective this season, and Colorado has also joined the Pac-12 on the same timeline. Without these three schools, the "Big 12" would have just nine schools committed to the conference for the 2012 football season and beyond at this point.

The Aggies' reasons for seeking greener pastures are varied and nebulous, but the near-universal underlying theme to the reasons is A&M's relationship with Texas. Texas has caused a great deal of consternation in College Station recently with not only the advent of the ESPN-affiliated Longhorn Network, but the concessions granted to the channel thereafter. Before the NCAA intervened with a ban on collegiate networks showing high school athletics, the Longhorn Network was poised to air HS games involving key recruits. The network also planned to air a conference football game, a plan to which Texas A&M took special offense, even after the Big 12 put the kibosh on that idea as well. 

Conference commissioner Dan Beebe has already indicated that Texas A&M's departure would not be a deathblow to the conference, however. Beebe told his constituents in a letter two weeks ago that the Big 12 would survive the loss of A&M, and the names of schools like Houston and SMU have been bandied about as possible local replacements for the Aggies -- though the ratio of schools mentioned as Big Ten expansion candidates to actual expansion schools (roughly 20:1) should be something of a damper on Houston and SMU talk.

Furthermore, the commissioner said in a later letter that the conference was "poised to move aggressively" to rebuild its ranks, and that type of language could indicate some mutual interest from an independent football program -- namely BYU, since Notre Dame has already shot down any talk of the Big 12. Otherwise, if the Big 12 publicly states it's "poised to move aggressively" at colleges that are still active conference members elsewhere, it opens itself up to the type of litigation the SEC had specifically avoided above. 

As usual, the Aggie football program itself has been somewhat taciturn in its response to the potential move, though that's not a sign of reluctance. As head coach Mike Sherman pointed out, it's a move that isn't even going to affect the program's most important class.

"We have a bunch of seniors on this team that will never play in that conference," Sherman said in a Monday conference call, ostensibly referring to the SEC. "They, at this point, could care less. They're concerned with winning this season."

Senior safety Trent Hunter agreed with that sentiment in an earlier interview, saying the realignment talk is "not anything that's going to affect us playing SMU in that first week."

While it'd be easy to dismiss Sherman and Hunter as just using typical deflection techniques that are endemic in just about every athlete or coach interview, it's a fact that the move affects nothing about the coming season, and this season is all anybody for A&M -- coaches, assistants, seniors, on down to the true freshmen -- ought to be focusing on, because it's all that every other opponent of the Aggies is going to be focusing on. To start looking ahead to future years in Week 1 is to lose focus on the task at hand from the word "go," and that is a recipe for unmitigated disaster. Kudos to the A&M program for not falling into that trap thus far.


Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: August 30, 2011 2:43 pm

Texas A&M to withdraw from Big XII on Tuesday?

The big 12 may or may not disentagrate but whatever happens the remaining teams are stillbetter than all but 2 conferences, so I doubt they will take the automatic qulifier away from them.  If teams are added, say BYU and or TCU, at least they have a chance to win a college football title, something A&M hasnt competed for since 1939, I mean did they even wear helets back then or just leather hats?  Go talk to someone else about your proud football tradition with yur 1939 national title and we will talk about our 7 national titles total and 7 Big 12 titles out of 15 years.  Good luck looking up at Auburn, Alabama, and LSU, but dont forget to look over your shoulder at Miss St, Ol Miss and Arkansas because you have to play all of them every year.  I doubt youll be kissing your fat girlfriends too much in the years to come.

Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: August 30, 2011 10:20 am

Texas A&M to withdraw from Big XII on Tuesday?

 "They will go to the Big 10 and be in the top 2 or 3 every year"

If Texas was in the Big Ten right now, they would start the season 5th best in the Big Ten and depending on what other team they added to balance it out, that could be 6th.


Since: Jan 24, 2007
Posted on: August 30, 2011 10:15 am

Welcome A&M to the SEC

NCAA titles in track-women and men and women's basketball last year. How many national championships did Texas win? NONE! Texas will not win in their best sports-football and baseball-2 sports that SEC dominates. SEC like NCAA titles-A&M in,Texas-petition Pac10-SEC does not want you!

Since: Jan 20, 2009
Posted on: August 30, 2011 10:00 am

Texas A&M to withdraw from Big XII on Tuesday?

 If Texas does join another conference, the SEC will look like it got the consolation prize with A&M.  Say what you will about the arrogance of UT (I guess tea sipper is an insult???), but they bring a whole lot more to the table than A&M.
UT's arrogance is exactly why they would never go to the SEC.  Texas won't go to a conference where they would instantly be 4th or 5th on the list.  Behind the likes of Bama, Auburn, LSU and Florida on a consistant basis is too much for the ego.  They will go to the Big 10 and be in the top 2 or 3 every year...or the Pac 10 where they can be top 2 every year.  But what does this do of A&M?  Well it helps the SEC get into the Texas recruiting game some what because now some of the talent in Texas might go to A&M because they can stay in their howe state and play in a much better conference.  Will it over throw UT?  No but it will come into play with some recruits?  Yeah I think it could.  Adding A&M will be good for the SEC and them in the long us another team that is likely to be in a bowl game.  Last year the conference shared something like 220 million dollars....will certainly go up as they add more teams.  THE football conference for years to come.

Since: Jan 3, 2010
Posted on: August 30, 2011 9:35 am

Texas A&M to withdraw from Big XII on Tuesday?

This is very likely exactly what Texas wanted.  Could you imagine the uproar in the Texas Legislature had Texas pulled out of the Big XII conference without A&M taggiing along? No such problem now. Texas can now go independent or join the Pac 12 or the Big 10.  The Big 10 was NOT going to invite A&M.  It does not fit the academic profile of the Big 10.  UT does. If Texas does join another conference, the SEC will look like it got the consolation prize with A&M.  Say what you will about the arrogance of UT (I guess tea sipper is an insult???), but they bring a whole lot more to the table than A&M.

Since: Sep 23, 2006
Posted on: August 30, 2011 9:31 am

Texas A&M to withdraw from Big XII on Tuesday?

You know that embarrasing feeling you get when you are watching someone make a complete fool of themselves, well thats how I feel for TA&M for the last few weeks.

I think the majority of college football fans feel exactly the same way about the Big 12 (BigTex) conference. Accept the fact that your days as a BCS level conference are limited and disband so that the movement to superconferences and a national playoff can be expedited! A&M sees the handwriting on the wall and are doing what is best for them. Kudos to A&M for being so courageous!

Since: May 13, 2010
Posted on: August 30, 2011 9:27 am

Texas A&M to withdraw from Big XII on Tuesday?

Texas did this.  Not A&M.  It shouldn't surprise anyone to see A&M leave as long as one team is raking in the lions share of the money.  A&M may not be a top SEC team.  But their potential will grow with increased revenue.  Win or lose early on will not matter.  It is what they will do with the additional revenue that will give them an edge over their current position.  

Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: August 30, 2011 9:25 am

Texas A&M to withdraw from Big XII on Tuesday?

I kind of understand Colorado leaving, they got alot of recruits from the west and it is the second most left wing school in the nation next to Cal.  Nebraska, they had a chance to win the North and play for a title. all they had to do is beat KU, KSU, CU, IST, MU and roll the dice with some south teams.  Now they get Wiscy, Ohio St, Mich, and Mich St every year,, good luck!  Oh and TA&M,,, good luck in the SEC West going 6 - 7 every year, pride is a terrible thing.

Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: August 30, 2011 9:24 am

Texas A&M to withdraw from Big XII on Tuesday?

Way to go Aggies. We got your back. 

Since: Sep 17, 2009
Posted on: August 30, 2011 9:15 am

Texas A&M to withdraw from Big XII on Tuesday?

Well jacevs1,

Let's just look at that all-time win list first, Nebraska is 4th with 837 wins, only 13 wins behind Texas and 26 wins ahead of Oklahoma.  I would not call that middle of the pack.  As for National Championships, since NU and Texas split the National Chamionship in 1970 (only because the UPI did not vote after the bowls), Nebraska has won four National Titles comparesd to one for Texas.  I wonder who does not know what they are talking about.

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