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While A&M Fans Become More Pro-SEC; Some SEC Fans Wonder Why

The rumors continue to kick around on Texas A&M messageboards:


* The SEC and Aggie brass are already working out the details of a Texas A&M jump behind closed doors.

* The SEC is looking to generate some positive publicity before a new wave of NCAA scandals come to light.

* A&M’s athletic director has now been won over to the SEC side of an internal Big 12 versus SEC debate.


Look, we don’t believe the SEC is on the verge of announcing a partnership with Texas A&M.  We’ve heard no such talk percolating from sources inside the SEC.  We do, however, believe such a move will eventually come to pass and that cracks continue to grow in the foundation of the recently-saved Big 12.  (Example: Though the league voted to up it’s television revenue sharing a bit, Texas is still stepping on toes with its new Longhorn Network package.)

From an SEC perspective, we’ve explained in detail what A&M would bring to the SEC.  Still, many SEC fans wonder why A&M would want to make such a move.  And some still believe that if the SEC does expand, it doesn’t need the Aggies.


1.  The question/comment we receive most often is this: “A&M can’t beat Arkansas and LSU now, why would they want to join the SEC?”

That’s a pretty shortsighted view to be honest.  Arkansas hasn’t dominated the SEC by any means but they have reached the SEC title games three times.  They played in a BCS bowl last year and they’re a darkhorse contender for the national crown this year.

South Carolina struggled mightily for most of its SEC existence, but last year the Cocks reached their first SEC Championship Game and they are probably going to be co-favorites to return from the East Division this year.

Things change. 

If presidents looked only at the present, several schools might never have joined the Southeastern Conference back in 1933.  Tulane had shared three of the last four Southern Conference titles before the SEC formed.  Yet no one feared the Green Wave — which had gone undefeated in 1929, 1930, and 1931 — and the SEC brought in schools like Florida, Kentucky, LSU and Georgia anyway. 

The football landscape changed from 1931 to 1971 to 2011.  It will change again between 2012, 2052 and 2092.

A&M might’ve lost to Arkansas and LSU last year, but that’s hardly a reason for the Aggies to fear the SEC or for SEC’ers to laugh at A&M’s possible inclusion. 


2.  We also often hear that the SEC doesn’t need to reach the Texas television markets because they already reach those markets via CBS and ESPN.  That much is true. 

But, if A&M were to join the SEC, the ratings for SEC games in those markets would go up considerably.  And the SEC could then use those higher ratings as leverage with CBS and ESPN — or other networks — the next time television contracts are in negotiation.


3.  Aside from money and stability, some emailers have asked us for other reasons why the Aggies might want to move.  Here’s a biggie — because A&M would finally have a positive recruiting tool to use against rival Texas.

Even Aggie fans must admit that as long as A&M and UT are in the same league, the team in Austin will out-recruit the team in College Station.  Ah, but a jump to the SEC would allow Aggie coaches to tell all those talented Texas prospects that they can stay home and play in the best conference in America… the conference that wins the most national titles… the conference that churns out the most NFL picks year-in and year-out. 

For the first time, Texas A&M would have something to sell recruiting-wise that Texas does not.


Online polls have shown that the majority of Aggie fans now support the idea of a move to the SEC.  That’s another first.   One A&M’er even emailed me a bumper sticker design that he’s created pushing A&M to “SEC”ede from the Big 12.  (Click the headline for a bigger look.)

Would there be hurdles to jump for Texas A&M to join the SEC?  Of course.  And that’s one reason we don’t expect the the parties to be announcing any move too soon.  (Another being that that SEC isn’t looking to be the league that raids another.  It will ll likely wait for the Big 12 to bust up on its own before Mike Slive and company go grabbing teams and yelling, “Jenga!”)

But we do think some of the most common arguments tossed out against an A&M to the SEC move are awfully flimsy.

 


22 comments
charles
charles

Really, you aggies are full of it. You have barey even been a top five team in the big 12. Who do you dominate? Baylor. Texas isn't even considered the Old South by those states anyway. You won't even fit in. You need to stay in the big 12 and keep sucking and whining about UT.

jeff
jeff

I'm an Arkansas fan living in Big 12 country (Houston) and know most Aggie fans want to see their football team perform in the premier conference in college football. However, the prospect of A&M coming into the league scares me a bit because they will be a giant in the making. They will most surely be put in the West side of the conference, and with Texas as a recruiting base, will be stacked with great athletes. They will also do well in Louisiana and quickly become one of the powerhouses in the West. Texas and Oklahoma dominate recruiting in the state of Texas and an A&M move to the SEC will allow them to eventually best Oklahoma, and perhaps even make a run at UT.

B Roberts
B Roberts

Clemson surely brings as much as Ole Miss Miss State VU maybe Kentucky. But they are charter members and already have a seat at the table. Clemson would fit culturally no doubt.

B. Roberts
B. Roberts

I don't think Clemson brings enough to the SEC financially to earn a piece of the pie. Unless the SEC is looking at total revenues and is adding A&M and Clemson together. However joins, the $22M they hand out in Destin is going to be accounted for. Slive ain't about to lose money just to keep up with the Jonses.

ClemsonFan
ClemsonFan

Rumor mill

I am a Clemson fan and i have heard rumor from a credible source that Clemson has made a deal with the SEC and all they are waiting for is A&M to make a there decision to join the SEC as well. Anyone else heard anything about this??

AgsWin
AgsWin

Texas has not always dominated A&M in recruiting. From about 1985-1995 A&M completely dominated the Horns in recruiting. It's just that no one really knew about it because it was during the pre-Internet era of following recruiting. A&M had a chance in the mid-90s to become the permanent premiere program in Texas in football, but facilities slipped and Texas hired Mack Brown, which changed the landscape quickly in recruiting. A&M could become a national power in football if recruiting returns to where it once was under Sherrill and Slocum.

MaroonDontRun
MaroonDontRun

Boys,

I have wanted to join a real conference since back in the days when we dominated the old SWC. I can't wait until this becomes a reality and I can head to Tuscaloosa or Baton Rouge with my team playing on the field.

Here's to the future (it can't get here soon enough!).

Gig'em!

FTA
FTA

continued...

Today A&M has 40,000 undergraduates, and even though we're steeped in tradition, our alumni base, money, and power are still maturing. It will be interesting to see what we can do with them. The worm is slowly starting to turn for our football program, and we're heading in the right direction. With all this said, the LHN is a game changer. A&M needs to do something to ensure we don't get left behind, again, and most Ags agree. That's the SEC. The increase in revenue from television contracts will be minimal compared to the increases in donations from big donors(rumors of a nine figure donation tied to naming rights to Kyle Field and a move to the SEC have been floating around this week), ticket sales, and exposure that would be provided by making switch. It's all connected, and right now is the right time to make the move.

FTA
FTA

continued...

Before the mid-1960's A&M was an all-male military college of around 7,000 students. In that time period, A&M integrated, admitted women, and memberiship in the Corps became voluntary. Up until this period, if you were blue chip in the state of Texas, you either went to Texas or went to A&M had to join the Corps. Texas took advantage of this. In 1972, Emory Bellard became our coach and the modern era of A&M football began. Scholarship limits were introduced in 1973, and since 1975, A&M holds the edge in the series 19-17. You should check the recruiting classes in the state of Texas from 1985-1997. They kind of had a maroon tint to them. Don't let the Horns fool you. Admittedly, they're a damn good program and have accomplished quite a bit more than ours has, but they talk a bigger game than they bring. For being the "King's of College Football", they've won only one national championship in the last 40 years.

FTA
FTA

Great article. Here are a few comments.

"Online polls have shown that the majority of Aggie fans now support the idea of a move to the SEC. That’s another first. "

That's nothing new. It's been that way since last summer when President Loftin got over 10,000 emails in the week that everything went down.
http://tamu.scout.com/2/978071.html

"For the first time, Texas A&M would have something to sell recruiting-wise that Texas does not."

Sure we just went through our worst decade in 50 years, but don't sell little ole A&M short. I can't blame the perception though. We've sucked at the absolute worst time. With the blow up of ESPN and the internet during this time period, the perception of A&M's potential is undervalued, but it's our own fault. Stupid decisions in the late-1990's got us there, and the worm turned. At a time when our biggest rivals were upgrading facilities and making all the right coaching hires. We let our facilities slip which led to a slip in recruiting (coupled with Mack Brown and Bob Stoops) which led to our firing of Slocum which led to our hiring of Fran.

Eric
Eric

The team in Austin outrecruits the team in College Station because Texas has a large presence and "stroke" on the Rivals Network - period. When a journalistic agency buys into the hype of "well, if Texas offered, they must be good" and shoot kids up the rating list, recruiting success becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

Look at the two teams for 2011 (or 2010 if you want), unit by unit. Which talent do you want?

Wooahhhh
Wooahhhh

the team in Austin does not always out-recruit the Aggies. It's cyclical. We're on the upswing, their coming off a 5-7 season with no proven running back, no offensive line, and a quarterback who may be benched by October.

J P '85
J P '85

Most of the comments in the article were being said during the Big 12 uprising. They were good then and are good now. All remaining teams in the Big 12 knew the University of Texas was making a deal with ESPN. The network was going to place at least one conference game in their package, which could mean loss of revenue or revenue-sharing with others. Which team want(ed) to be on that losing end? Leave and don't look back.

Jake
Jake

The current students can't wait... Everyone I know wanted to switch to the SEC when things started getting ugly this past year. Haha, when t.u. said they wouldn't play us if we went to the SEC, we just laughed! You have to understand what Aggies go through in Texas. Most of the "T-Shirt fans" here wear burnt orange but have no idea about either school outside football. Being in the SEC would not only be a recruiting factor, it would increase our fan base substantially.

-Jake '12

Arkansawyer
Arkansawyer

The Aggies and the SEC need each other, more than either would be willing to admit. The Aggies need the long-term stability offered by the SEC. They need their rivals in Arkansas and Baton Rouge. And the SEC needs Texas and the Aggie tradition. It's time to set a date and head to the church.

B. Roberts
B. Roberts

I think A&M offers more "tradition" than any of the NC teams. Don't even get me started on Georgia Tech. I think FSU and Clemson are back up plans if the SEC feels it HAS to expand and their top choices say no (SC was like 4th back in '92).

I really hope A&M joins the SEC. I'm generally a traditionalist but the bounty of Texas talent and TVs is too much to turn down. Add in VT and the SEC has serious bargaining power. Right off the bat, the SEC has the following match ups to sell: Texas A&M-'Bama (the Bear Bowl) A&M-LSU, A&M -Auburn, A&M-Arkansas. In the East (UF-VT, VT-UGA, VT-S Car, and Tennessee-VT (they might play that game in Bristol and fill it up). That is 8 Jan.1 caliber or Chick Fil a kickoff classic caliber games that are now a yearly part of the SEC sched and that is just in-division. Bama-VT, UF-A&M are sure big time sellers as well. More money means better facilities, bigger recruiting budgets, and more money to pay NFL coaches to come and coach college ball. That is good for the SEC.

john
john

business wise TAMU make sense
but purely from a fan perspective, id rather have more a traditional southern team such as GT (again), FSU, UNC. NC ST. or Clemson

ClemsonFan
ClemsonFan

Clemson would definetly bring more financially then some of the schools in the SEC already...It is often said that Clemson is an SEC school playing in the ACC. Clemson fans travel as well as anybody and has tons of tradition. They are also out recruiting most of the SEC schools, but anyway the rumor was that Clemson would join the SEC east and A&M would join west.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

FTA...

I agree on all fronts. That's why this site was the first during the height of Expansionpalooza to make the case for A&M being a viable stand-alone candidate for the SEC rather than just a tag-along with Texas.

We said a year ago that A&M brings as much to the table as Texas... minus the Longhorns' attitude and ego.

John

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Eric...

No offense, but look at the Texas' history and look at Texas A&M's history. One has had more success than the other and is viewed as one of the top 10 programs -- year in and year out -- in the country.

Not trying to offend A&M fans, but most know Texas is the big dog in the state just by default. Doesn't mean A&M can't pass them.

John

siggy
siggy

You are aware that a&m was an all male military school for the majority of it's existence right? Football was a priority, but we were the small underdog for most of tha time

An Austin resident
An Austin resident

John' You're full of the Orange Kool-Aid. Texas likes to look at a period of time when there was no parady . A time when Texas loaded the bench to keep other schools from signing players. A time when A & M was a small all male, military school and they were the bully on the block. All that changed in the 70s. I believe that the wins/loses between the two are almost equal in the past 30-35 years. A & M has won NINE National championships this year compared to Texas's FOUR. If the NCAA cleans up basketball recruiting, Texas will be just another school. Thank your legal team and pray for their aggressiveness every night. What goes around, comes around.

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