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Rumors Swirling Again Regarding Texas A&M, 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.

While everyone’s jumping on this story now, we’ve been telling you for more than a year that eventually A&M will end up in the SEC.  It’s just a matter of time.  We fully believe that.

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.  We’re not suggesting that those folks don’t have contacts and can’t break stories, but we believe if things were that far along, some folks in the mainstream media — people who’ve built up decades worth of contacts — would be reporting the same information.  So far, this remains a social networking story.  And our sources are silent.

But stay tuned…

 


37 comments
Jordan
Jordan

Texas schools aren't right for the SEC period! They are not like us culturally or geographically and don't belong. The 'Southeastern' conference symbolizes the true South and the traditional Deep South schools, Texas A&M, Texas, Baylor etc are not anywhere close to being an SEC school, please stay away from us and remain in the conference you belong in. Our current 12 school alignment has already proven that it reigns supreme in intercollegiate athletics and frankly we don't need anyone else at all and if we ever did expand-Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech make much much more sense.

Keith
Keith

aTm we'll take. We don't want Texas, OU, OSU, or Baylor. At all.

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

If OU ends up in the PAC with TxTech, OSU and UH (you laugh, but UH was just announce a tier one research unversity and that means a lot to University Presidents), plus they happen to be in a major TV market. It would give Texas one big game against two of the big dog conferences as an independent (OU and TAMU). Which would strengthen their case each year for BCS at large status if they win. Plus UH has been strangely silent, but able to raise major funds to be able to build a new football and basketball stadiums that are to good for CUSA. Something is a miss and they keep turning invitations to talk with the MWC and even the BE down. Is OU any worse off than UT and Auburn? Yes and in a major way. The current violations are as a repeat offender while on probation. Tenn is on their first violation, and Auburn has not been found guilty, yet of anything. Technically the NCAA could deliver the death penalty to the OU basketball program, it won't happen, but it qualifies. The OU football program is on probation and one major violation from being in the same boat. OU is much worse off than anything in the SEC, right now.

Keith
Keith

VaTech would be an excellent pairing with aTm. Two military-oriented schools. Not sure if the VA politicos who bent over backwards to get VaTech into the ACC would go for it, but anything is possible.

The SEC needs 1) the exposure of the Texas market, and 2) help in basketball. VaTech does not satisfy #2 at all.

Keith
Keith

aTm to the Western Division, and WVU to the Eastern Division. A 9-team conference slate. Perfect.

fly757au
fly757au

I agree about Slive not wanting anymore NCAA issues. The OU basketball program seems to be in pretty deep.

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

Truthfully, I think it will be TAMU, Mizzou, Pitt and WVU. Clemson does not bring anything. FSU and OU bring another football championship mouth to feed. Do you really think the big 6 (UT, UF, UGA, bama, a'Burn and LSU) want to share football championships? Those are the only teams to have won a SEC football championship going back to the early 70's. The big six and the SEC want quality programs, but not programs that expect to win every year or they are firing thier coach, like OU and FSU. TAMU wants to win championships, but does not believe that it should be winning one every year like the big 6. Plus OU is really in bad with the NCAA right now, and Slive does not want any more troubled programs. Plus, how good will OU be once uncoupled from Texas?

CoreyInGA
CoreyInGA

The SEC is likely going to go after Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Missouri along with Texas A&M. Clemson and FSU, while great programs, do not expand the televsion markets one bit for the SEC. Texas A&M adds the Texas market and Missouri adds St. Louis and Kansas City. Oklahoma brings a big time name that will fit perfectly with the SEC and will equal major dollars when they consistently play SEC games week in and week out.. Imagine OU vs. Bama, OU vs. Florida, OU vs. Arkansas, OU vs. LSU, OU vs. Georgia, OU vs. Auburn, OU vs. Tennessee on a consistent basis. Sure the SEC will be a slug-fest, but wow it'd be football heaven and a HUGE cash cow.

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

TAMU is getting their ducks in a row., just as TU is with going Indy. TAMU and TU hope that they can create enough smoke to force the B12 north schools to make a move. Then the falling apart of the conference will be laid at the feet of Kansas, KState and/or MU and not Texas. In other words, no blood on their hands. The SEC will fight to keep the TU/TAMU game the weekend after Thanksgiving because there are not any good conference match ups to be done and it would be a big game on the schedule, and it will show that TU and TAMU were still playing nice and trying to stay together and it was all of the B12 North schools that caused the issues. The PAC will come in and take OU, OSU, TxTech and will and UH (tier one school in major TV market) and grow to 16. Remember Slive said that he had 16 teams line up and ready to go, but he will only act if a conference is falling apart. If TU/TAMU can get B12N schools to move first, then he and the Texas schools are smelling like a rose.

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

KState, KU, and MU ties are with the Big Six schools, not B12. Where is the Big 6 now? Neb is in the B10, Colo is in the PAC. Even if you go Big8, OU and OSU are in bed with TU, not alligned with their old B8 conference mates. So yes, I stand by the no historical and political ties to the B12 and Texas.

A-bomb
A-bomb

Why wouldn't a conference such as the SEC want to expand one team at a time? Every time a team is brought on board, it opens up the contract with E$PN, and it's better to routinely revisit these enormous contracts than to sit on one for 20 years.

I think its the smart thing to do to maximize revenue to the conference.

Tyler B
Tyler B

Excuse me... I meant Florida instead of Georgia.

Tyler B
Tyler B

Too much money for Vandy to go anywhere, and they're in the East... Look for A&M and OU (Mizzou is next choice) in the West and FSU and Clemson in the East. The SEC already owns both Georgia and South Carolina from a geographical standpoint, but it can't let them potentially escape to other leagues...

@BeerGuyTX
@BeerGuyTX

Lots of moving parts in this, not just SEC or A&M deciding when the time is right.

Wayne Long
Wayne Long

Is it possible Vandy would depart the SEC for the Big East, and A&M take their place in the West Division? Is that a feasible outcome?

Steve I.
Steve I.

Not a matter of IF A&M will join the SEC to starting the 2012 season, but WHEN it will be announced.

JREwing
JREwing

I think it's safe to say a majority of A&M students, former students, and athletic department would like to be in the SEC. Its just a matter of making sure finances and agreements are solid, and also waiting for the timing to be right. Personally, as a Former Student, I hope we leave ASAP.

Tyler B
Tyler B

Well, when it's ALL said and done I expect 80 "BCS" teams... Four conferences with 20 teams each in two divisions. The 40 or so left out? The didn't average 30,000 fans for home games last year. (Duke - 28,000 and Washington State - 24,000 would be the only two BCS teams included who didn't hit the attendance mark.)

Everyone else drops back to 1-AA with revenue sharing and promied games with the new 80.

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

I firmly believe the latest smoke from this is just building TAMU's position within the B12 and allowing it extract more from TU and the B12. The deal with the SEC will never go away because the SEC would be foolish to expand without expanding into Texas. The school(s) that will cause the B12 to fall are in the north - Kansas, KState and Mizzou. Those are the schools that will be on the outside looking in if the B12 falls apart. They have no political or historical ties to the B12. They are the ones with the greatest to lose. In Conference wars, you are either the hunted or hunter. The BE is looking to expand, and the B12 is not. The BE wants to protect itself and future knowing that B10 and ACC raids are possible,and sees an opprotunity to add name brand programs with BCS games under their belt. TAMU knowing this is preparing for the road ahead.

Tyler B
Tyler B

John - Couldn't agree more with you last paragraph. The SEC doesn't just say, "Hey, let's add just one team because it make sense!" When the SEC announces the A&M aquisition, I would expect A&M to come with either three or seven more teams when it's all said and done.

Four to choose from in the West: A&M, OU, OSU and MIzzou
Four to choose from in the East: Clemson, Ga. Tech, FSU and Va. Tech...

Since option one or two creates an imbalance, there must be some cherry picking for the time being to allow those leagues to survive and keep peace in the SEC. Look for A&M, OU (Mizzou is next choice) in the west and FSU and Clemson in the East.

JBM
JBM

A poor cultural fit...what, is Texas A&M too conservative for the SEC? Or is it all the books on campus?

Jon
Jon

I agree with you.

But in my mind, VT owes the ACC and the state legislature nothing. The ACC was basically destroying the BigEast and was willing to leave VT behind. It was a blessing in disguise for the ACC that VT came along in the deal. They have been solid in hoops, and more importantly, unlike Miami and BC, they delivered in football. VT is the only school that regularly sells out their stadium, and because they travel well, they help other schools sell out their home games. Opposing athletic departments are happy when the Hokies come to town. If VT wants to stay in the ACC, that is fine. But they have no need to feel guilty if they receive an invite from the best conference in the land. They will have earned it.

fly757au
fly757au

I sure hope not. I don't want WVU anywhere around the SEC. Horrible experience going to games in Morgantown. I have never heard one good experience there.

I would rather it be VaTech, and that hurts my soul a little. It hurts less than Clemson though. I might rather it be FSU, although not sure they would get an invite. They had their chance, not sure the SEC would ask.

CantSpellCiTrUs
CantSpellCiTrUs

UT, in particular, has been very good at sharing championships recently.

CroatiaSooner
CroatiaSooner

Really? OU uncoupled from Texas equals 6 national championships in the Big 8. Trouble with the NCAA? In basketball. Are they any worse off than Tennessee or Auburn> I think not. I think the SEC would be very happy with OU (although you do make a valid point abput another big-time mouth to feed)

fly757au
fly757au

UT is on the path to 'uncoupled' as it is. I believe it is just a matter of time before they independent. If OU is worried about that, they better start figuring something out. It looks like it may happen sooner rather than later.

fly757au
fly757au

Not any good conference matchups the weekend after Thanksgiving? Whaaat???
1. Iron Bowl - enough said
2. LSU / Ark

Not a conference match-up, yet, but Fla / FSU play that weekend as well. Should be interesting this year for sure.

Matt H
Matt H

I'm pretty sure it's a numbers thing and has to do with schedules and all that. *shrug

@diezba
@diezba

Several points, Mr. Long.

(1) Vanderbilt is a member of the Eastern Division.

(2) Vanderbilt is a charter member of the SEC, and by terms of the SEC charter, founding institutions must assent to their own dismissal from the conference.

(3) Considering that Vanderbilt wins championships regularly in every sport but football, and considering that Vanderbilt would be ridiculous to give up its SEC gravy train (i.e., its twelfth of the SEC's annual revenue), there's no reason they would consent to leaving the conference

(4) Other SEC fans consistently fail to recognize that Vanderbilt uses its SEC status as a selling point when comparing itself with other Top 20 academic institutions: the University is the only SEC school in the Top 20, differentiating it significantly with peer institutions like Notre Dame and Brown. Among Southern schools of similar ranking, it is the only one that has a noticably "Southern" flavor -- mostly thanks to its Nashville location and its SEC membership.

Tyler B
Tyler B

Steve - I agree. But when will they begin play and who will the three other teams be? You can't believe that there will be just one team making the move... And 13 teams seems a bit round for two divisions.

Dirk
Dirk

Gtech was already in the SEC they will not go back, Oklahoma and Okie State are tied at the hip. The best fit is to add ATM in the west and either Florida State or Clemson in the east, down the road they could add two more teams Vtech and Mizoo

Jordan
Jordan

Well for starters, Texas isn't really the South, its more like its own bizarre desert world out there. Texas A&M's campus is about the ugliest thing I have seen and definitely doesn't mix with our beautiful campuses. Why should our schools have to travel 1,000 miles out there to play in Texas which is certainly not Eastern and not really Southern? Our conference epitomizes the Deep South, culturally, geographically, politically etc. Texas schools don't fit that bill at all, I admit Texas A&M does more so than the University of Texas and its liberal mecca of Austin but neither belong here at all. The old SWC and Big 8 and now Big 12 are where those schools belong not in the SEC, Texas is in the Southwest not the Southeast. Hence, the SWC or Big 12 is perfect for them or better yet, Texas thinks so highly of itself, it may as well form its own conference and it has enough 1A schools to make it happen. Arkansas and South Carolina moving to the SEC in 1992 made sense, they fit in well and are fun places to visit for opposing fans. Logistically, it makes no sense for UGA, UF, UT (the real UT that is-Tennessee) and South Carolina to have to travel to College Station to compete in sports like volleyball, gymnastics, golf and so on.

And as for academics, Vanderbilt is one of the best institutions in the country, Georgia and Florida are consistently rated among the best public universities in the nation and the other 9 schools are generally regarded as the best or one of the best schools in their respective states and have national name recognition. Furthermore, the SEC schools are home to highly esteemed medical, law and other graduate and professionals schools that are strongly recognized throughout the South.

Keith
Keith

LMAO! "OK ... we'll take the Irish too."

fly757au
fly757au

I agree, from a competition standpoint I don't believe the SEC is at all worried about OU. Having a team in the national media and highly ranked equals better TV coverage, more money from tv contracts, etc. It is what a conference wants when negotiating those big contracts.
As for the NCAA, I believe OU may be worse off than Tenn in basketball. OU qualifies for the repeat offender rule which brings in the death penalty. I am not even suggesting that the NCAA would do it, but it is technically in play. I would look more at what was going at Alabama lately. They have photo evidence of violations of the football program or player's and a coach. Auburn's case, so far, has no proof. You can infer and think whatever you want, but there is no proof of any wrongdoing on Auburn's or Cam's side. It may be out there, but until it is brought forward, there is nothing.

LipstickUpdykes
LipstickUpdykes

Settle down, Beavis, you're making his point for him. It was pretty clear he meant no good conference matchup for aTm that weekend, as in the other SEC schools already have their entrenched rivalry games going on. Jesus, you people can be so thenthitive sometimes.

Nashvegas
Nashvegas

Did you really use the term "peer institutions"? You're a law douche, aren't you?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] the Texas A&M to SEC rumors that began circulating this afternoon were the following: 1.  A&M and SEC officials have been [...]

  2. [...] again folks, this is all just speculation. Makes the rules, then breaks the rules, and never gets in trouble. A disruptive force in [...]

  3. [...] course we continue to play this game of speculation as nothing is imminent. All we know in retrospect is that the Big 12 is the bastard child of the Southwest Conference, and [...]

  4. [...] we keep harping on the subject matter, because it is fun as hell and can create a great debate. Besides, it seems the Longhorn Network [...]

  5. [...] Aggieyell.com a site that covers Texas A&M is reporting that the Aggies are going to jump to the SEC, but are unable to announce the move until August 22nd. If it’s true I am not surprised. If this particular story is false, then you are going to hear everyone in the lamestream media start bashing twitter, and blog sites like crazy. Sure, as if ESPN does a great job of reporting the truth all of the time. But all we are dealing with people are rumors. [...]

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