Blog Entry

Texas A&M officially seeking to leave Big 12

Posted on: August 31, 2011 11:20 am
Edited on: August 31, 2011 1:14 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen and Tom Fornelli

The opening paragraph of Wednesday's official press release from Texas A&M will tell you pretty much everything you need to know:
Texas A&M University today officially notified the Big 12 Conference that the institution will submit an application to join another athletic conference. Should this application be accepted, Texas A&M will end its membership in the Big 12 Conference effective June 30, 2012.
The odds that the Aggies don't already know the outcome of their "application" to "another athletic conference": 47 billion to one. Texas A&M has officially left the Big 12, and the only thing truly remaining between the Aggies and the SEC is the Aggies' introductory press conference. The deal, as they say, is done.

A&M president R. Bowen Loftin:
"I have determined it is in the best interest of Texas A&M to make application to join another athletic conference ... We appreciate the Big 12's willingness to engage in a dialogue to end our relationship through a mutually agreeable settlement. We, too, desire that this process be as amicable and prompt as possible and result in a resolution of all outstanding issues, including mutual waivers by Texas A&M and the conference on behalf of all the remaining members."
The main sticking point on that "mutually agreeable settlement" is expected to be the exit fee paid by the Aggies to the Big 12, a fee's Dennis Dodd reported Wednesday should fall somewhere between the $9.2 million paid by Nebraska to leave in 2010 and the $28 million owed according to the Big 12 bylaws.

Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe released a statement following Texas A&M's press release.

“Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin has notified the Conference of his decision to withdraw the university from the Big 12 effective June 30, 2012,” Beebe said. “The presidents and chancellors of the nine remaining member institutions are steadfast in their commitment to the Big 12. As previously stated, the Conference will move forward aggressively exploring its membership options.”

Whatever tiny, insignificant shreds of doubt might have existed about A&M's move to the SEC exist no more; in 2012, Texas A&M will be the 13th member of the Southeastern Conference.

Since: Dec 7, 2008
Posted on: September 6, 2011 11:28 pm

Texas A&M officially seeking to leave Big 12

Don't think that will happen, but I always did think that Kentucky fit better in the Big 10 than the SEC...If the Pac-12, SEC, and Big 10 all look to go to 16, it wouldn't be a bad time for Kentucky to make the move if there was any interest.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: September 1, 2011 9:18 am

Texas A&M officially seeking to leave Big 12

If the SEC decides not to expand at this time, an unlikely occurance, then A&M will turn to the Pac 12, a conference always looking to expand.  I think the SEC has done their homework, and already has a team from the Eastern part of the nation lined up.  I doubt that the SEC will stay with a 13 team conference.  I also doubt that the SEC takes two teams from the West, forcing either Alabama or, most likely Auburn, to move to the SEC East.  The SEC could expand to 16 teams, by taking Missouri, and BOTH Virginia schools, as well as A&M.  Stay tuned.

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: August 31, 2011 9:02 pm

Texas A&M officially seeking to leave Big 12

Good luck to A&M but they are not joining the SEC until the SEC finds a 14th team which may take a lot longer than anyone expects.

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: August 31, 2011 6:13 pm

Texas A&M officially seeking to leave Big 12

Vandy should leave the conference, but they won't as they get too much free money.  But, even if they did leave, it would not help with the A&M situation as Vandy is in the East and the Aggies would have to be in the West.  As there is no team that could really move from the West to the East without upsetting too much from a rivalry standpoint, we are stuck with Vandy.  From a sports standpoint, I still like WVU as the 14th team, but they do not have much of a TV market, so I don't know if the SEC would even consider them. 

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: August 31, 2011 6:05 pm

Texas A&M officially seeking to leave Big 12

Nobody's leaving the SEC and the ACC schools aren't going to leave. N.C. State doesn't want to leave Duke and Carolina, and probably wouldn't be allowed to by the North Carolina legislature anyway. Virginia Tech is wedded to the ACC and has no desire to leave. Same applies to Maryland.

So I think it has to be Missouri. Kind of ironic that a year after nearly engineering its own destruction, Missouri now holds all the cards.

Since: Mar 28, 2007
Posted on: August 31, 2011 4:22 pm

14th Member ...

I like NC State as the dark horse candidate.  The Raleigh-Piedmont Triad market is preferable to the SW Virginia market that Va.Tech would bring to the table.  It would allow the SEC to add one team to the West Division (TxAM) & one to the East Division (NCSU) to maintain geographic balance. Surely NC State wouldn't mind getting out from under the long shadows of Duke & UNC for basketball purposes & a chance to upgrade its football recruiting by recruiting prospects to the SEC.

Obviously the addition of Fla St or the up & coming S.Florida program would make a lot of sense for the SEC but Florida would fight the addition of any other Florida school ... much like UGA would oppose Ga.Tech & S.Carolina would oppose Clemson.  That leaves NCSU, Va.Tech & maybe Maryland on the eastern side of things if the Mason-Dixon Line is to be respected.  Their relative attractiveness to the SEC in my mind would be the following order:  NCSU, Maryland & Va.Tech.

If the SEC elects to go with 2 former Big XII - II programs, I suppose Mizzou would be the most likely suspect.

Since: May 5, 2008
Posted on: August 31, 2011 2:00 pm

Texas A&M officially seeking to leave Big 12

what if...

why do all assume a 14th team must be added?

maybe a team is leaving the SEC

Just saying...

Since: Sep 25, 2007
Posted on: August 31, 2011 1:41 pm

Texas A&M officially seeking to leave Big 12

Wherever A&M goes they will be missed greatly in the Big XII. They have a very loyal fan base. They travel well and are generally not a bunch of loudmouthed jerks when visiting other schools. I get the whole get away from UT's giant shadow thing. Wherever A&M lands they will be a plus for the new conference.   

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: August 31, 2011 12:51 pm

Texas A&M officially seeking to leave Big 12

Actually, there still is a bit of doubt. The SEC still has to find a 14th team. Otherwise, where does A&M go, Conference USA?

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: August 31, 2011 12:49 pm

Texas A&M officially seeking to leave Big 12

I really do not like this.  The whole landscape of college football may be changing, and I am not sure it is for the good.  We all know that the SEC will not play with 13 teams, so someone else has to follow.  Maybe the Big East has been working on the side and A&M will join TCU there.  One can only hope, even though it sure looks like the SEC is going the megaconference route.  Frown

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