As I'm sure most of our resident Aggies are already aware of, apparently there as been a very large amount of smoke today saying A&M is putting the wheels in motion to leave the Big12 for the SEC. From the SBN Aggie Blog:
Once again the twitterverse has exploded with rumors of Texas A&M moving to the SEC. The latest story is that lawyers representing A&M has sent a letter of intent to the SEC and that all the member schools have already voted to accept the Ags. I was under the impression that A&M would announce their intention to join the Southeastern Conference this spring. The Ags did not want any distractions during football season and definitely did not want to receive the "officiating" that Nebraska got during their farewell tour of the Big 12 last year. It looks like the timeline has been sped up. Billy Liucci is reporting that although the Ags are not going to make a move this week or the next, the wheels are definitely in motion.
With the recent rumors that Tech has been talking to the Pac 12 about moving West (and likely taking OU and OSU with them) we may not have to deal as many issues with the legislature as some had thought. Right now I would guess that Missouri would try to go to the Big 10 again. Kansas and KSU will make a move for the Big East. Baylor will do everything they can to go to the Pac 12 with everyone else.
I think Tech's recent overtures to the Pac 12 are due to ESPN and the LHN offering Tech a deal to televise the Tech-tu game this year. Supposedly ESPN and the LHN offered Tech $5 million to televise the conference game this year, and the promise to televise games against Nevada and New Mexico in future years on the LHN. To his credit, Tech President Kent Hance turned down the offer. It is plain to see from their actions (and Liucci stated as much) that tu and ESPN fully intend to broadcast a second football game on the LHN this year, and intend to go forward with televising high school games
I don't think the Pac12 is interested in Tech, especially without UT or A&M. Maybe they take an OSU if they get OU. And we all know that Berkley is going to stonewall a Baylor addition. Another take from Mr. SEC:
Twitter has blown up today with more rumored reports of a Texas A&M-SEC marriage. Among the rumors:
1. A&M and SEC officials have been working on a membership agreement for the Aggies.
2. Representatives from all 12 SEC schools have voted in favor of accepting A&M into the league.
3. A “letter of intent” has already been sent from A&M to the Southeastern Conference.
As you know, A&M to the SEC is an old standard by now. We wrote last summer that the school and the league have had flirtations going back to the mid-to-late-1980s.
In our Expanding On Expansion series we suggested A&M would be a better fit for the SEC than higher-profile Texas — same TV markets, same recruiting inroads, less ego...
But we still don’t believe that time is now.
We could be wrong, of course, but we would be surprised if an announcement of a planned move is made today or tomorrow. Those doing the rumor-spreading so far have been Twitter-users and hometeam bloggers...So far, this remains a social networking story. And our sources are silent.
And since this all based on source-less rumor, I'm going to fabricate my personal favorite theory for Baylor: The Big East with Kansas and KState.
Skip Holtz, in his second season as coach at South Florida, sees a benefit to emulating the growth of other conferences by moving to 12 teams. He also warned against expanding merely for the sake of expansion.
"I don't think it's all about adding teams. It's adding value," Holtz said. "What are the three teams that add the most value? That is what a lot of people are deliberating."
Central Florida, East Carolina and Houston have been mentioned as possibilities to join TCU and the current membership of Connecticut, Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Florida, Syracuse and West Virginia.
One more (very long) addition, via DFWAg and The Midnight Yell:
This post is the work of our friend Spadilly and full credit for what you read here should be given to him. We have simply offered up our blog space to him to be able to share with everyone what he had found in an Open Records Request sent to the University of Texas. This work is his, and we were very happy to work with him in this. He has taken all the right steps here, even contacting the Office of the President at Texas A&M last week.
Through an open records request I sent to the University of Texas on July 8, 2011, I was able to acquire a redacted version of the License Agreement between ESPN, The University of Texas at Austin, and IMG Communications, Inc...
And if If University of Texas does in fact become an Independent in the near future for whatever reason, ESPN would have an already written in "Right of First Refusal" for Texas' media rights that are now currently held by the Big XII conference, which is basically their 1st and 2nd tier rights. ESPN would have a 60 day window of negotiations to become the only carrier of University of Texas content, and then 48 hours to match any kind of offer from a competitor. In the long run, that may be worth $300 million to ESPN alone.