To the joy of Texas A&M fans — and the chagrin of yours truly who’s having to type up something on the weekend, dang it — the SEC made it official today: The Aggies are coming for the 2012 season.
The league released the news this afternoon that A&M will officially join the conference as its 13th member on July 1st, 2012.
“On behalf of our presidents, chancellors, athletics directors, students and fans, I welcome Texas A&M University to the SEC family,” Mike Slive said in a prepared statement. “Texas A&M is a nationally-prominent institution on and off the field and a great fit for the SEC tradition of excellence — athletically, academically and culturally.”
“The Southeastern Conference provides Texas A&M the national visibility that our great university and our student-athletes deserve,” said A&M president R. Bowen Loftin via press release. “We are excited to begin competition in the nation’s premier athletic conference. This is a 100-year decision that we have addressed carefully and methodically, and I believe the Southeastern Conference gives the Aggies the best situation of any conference in the country.”
Longtime readers of this site know that we have stated since the salvation of the Big 12 last summer that A&M would eventually become a member of the SEC:
July 30th, 2010 — “A&M To The SEC Just A Matter Of Time”
January 25th, 2011 — “Could New Texas Network Drive A&M To The SEC?”
Even this past June, when the Big 12 announced that it would split more TV money, we said again that A&M would eventually join the SEC. Little did we know that less than two months later, A&M’s president would dial up the SEC’s commissioner and ask for an invitation.
June 6th, 2011 — “Big 12 Applies More Duct tape, But A&M To The SEC Will Still Happen. Someday.”
It was inevitable in our eyes. The two entities have flirted for 25 years. The cultural fit is perfect. The SEC gains millions of TV viewers and fertile recruiting ground. A&M gets a means of differentiating itself from the University of Texas and a stable home.
Do your own Google searches and you’ll find that MrSEC.com has been dead-solid right on this one every step of the way… long before anyone else was talking A&M and certainly before anyone else suggested it was guaranteed to happen.
Now, on to the fallout. The SEC’s official website has posted some reaction from Houston sportswriter Joshua Buckley regarding the marriage.
And here’s some reaction from SECSports.com contributor Tony Barnhart.
We’ll have much more tomorrow morning on this move. Including — we hope — the reaction from Baylor University. The fact that the SEC has made this move official suggests that either a) BU has stopped threatening a lawsuit or b) the SEC expects BU to stop talking lawsuits now that the Big 12 is working to save itself. We shall see.
Either way, congratulations and welcome to the Aggies. Of all the schools out there, A&M is by far the best fit for the SEC in terms of athletics, academics, business and profile. It’s a win-win.
And any people who say otherwise just don’t understand what conference expansion is truly all about.