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What A&M’s Latest Move Means

I’ve got to be quick as I’m prepping to do CSS’ “SportsNite,” but here’s the takeaway from Texas A&M’s decision today to give school president R. Bowen Loftin the power to negotiate conference affiliation issues:


1.  Loftin made it clear that he’s only talked to the SEC.  For that reason, anyone talking about the Pac-12 or Big Ten as possibilities for A&M is blowing smoke.  This is an SEC-A&M tango, period.

2.  Loftin said he has no timeline and that his explorations and negotiations will end when they end.  In other words, once A&M gets past a state legislature hearing — one that’s now sure to be rescheduled — the Aggies can ask the SEC for admittance. 

3.  Loftin made it clear that he wants what’s best for A&M and the Big 12 (yeah, right).  This is part of the getting-the-ducks-in-a-row process.  He was trying to make it clear that he’s looking for a new home and that he called the SEC, not the other way around.  That should take the SEC off the hook from a legal perspective.  (But we’ll wait and see how bitter the rest of the Big 12 schools are before we rule out litigation.)

4.  Loftin said A&M could choose to stay in the Big 12.  (It won’t for long.)  He also said that plenty of schools would love to move right in and fill the Aggies’ slot.  Again, this is designed to cool any hot-headed congressmen who might want to claim that A&M’s departure will destroy the Big 12, the state of Texas, and all plant and animal life west of the Mississippi.

5.  Loftin said the SEC has been a stable league while the Big 12 almost blew up last summer.  That’s a legit argument.

6.  The fact that A&M took this step suggests to us that the SEC is getting favorable response from some potential 14th school out there.  And, as we’ve said before, we think A&M to the SEC gets wrapped up when a 14th school is locked in and ready to move.  (Thus Loftin’s open-ended time frame.)  Finding another school could take a week, a month, six months or a year, but when the SEC finds #14, we think A&M will be welcomed into the league.  That could happen before, but it’s our opinion that the SEC will not mess with the possibility of a 13-team football season in 2012 unless absolutely necessary.

 


5 comments
willyTide
willyTide

I just wanted to point out that MrSEC.com was the FIRST site to point out that MrSEC.com has a new layout. Don't trust those non-media blogs.

toddluvslounging
toddluvslounging

Chip Brown's Orangeblood is reporting SEC plans to expand to 16 teams. It's Chip and many feel he is the Longhorn's AD mouth piece. Perhaps he's reporting 16 because the Longhorns need another nationwide pushback and an expansion to 16 would certainly perk the ears of other conferences and broadcasters (hello, ACC and ESPN). However, 16 teams does make sense if the main motivation is establishing a conference network and regional sports networks. An 25% increase in rights is enough to get these networks going. I pick A&M, Mizzou, WVa and FSU before the season starts. I can't imagine the SEC is willing to slowly torture college football if they slow play this.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

willyTide...

Cute. We've said that WE are a blog. If I were you, I'd read us and come to trust us before you quote us. That's all we've said about any of the blogs out there. Many of them aren't reputable. You might not think WE are. And that's fine. I can just point to our track record.

But we've never said we're better than any other blog. We've said don't believe everything you read. That includes us, if you like. We're not mainstream media. (But we try to abide my the rules/ethics of mainstream media because we've spent 20 years on that side of the fence.)

So sit on that and spin.

John

@Squiddbly
@Squiddbly

I totally agree... Although I don't know so much as with WV (for sure) and Mizzou (probably a no-go). Most of the hierarchy and fans and Mizzou want the B1G. But, I will say that they might join if they go under enough pressure and there will be virtually no chance of acceptance from the B1G. I think WV would probably join, but they don't bring much to the market except for a great fanbase (I live in SC and there are fans here). In all honestly, I think Clemson wouldn't be that bad. I know Mr. SEC posted their 18 teams for SEC expansion and it was stated that Clemson did not add a DMA market. In all honestly, I think that Clemson will add the Greenville-Spartanburg, SC-Asheville, NC-Anderson ,SC Market which is 36th in the nation--larger than the San Antonio, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, and Birmingham markets (among others), but I do realize that it is in SEC country and many people who live near Clemson (as I do) watch SEC games. Also, voting in-state teams into the SEC will not be as bad as most people think, in my opinion. I don't even think that Florida would vote against Florida State joining. I remember reading that Florida was wanting FSU to join. Virginia Tech would be tough to add but would be valuable. New markets, underrated recruiting bed, and a good team. Even with all kinds of teams that could join, it's tough to determine which ones should come in.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

@Squiddbly...

The SEC can already claim that market as South Caroilna is a draw all over the state. No television network would give the SEC a big boost in pay for adding Clemson. That was our initial point.

Thanks for reading the site,
John



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