As the great Yogi Berra once opined, it’s déjà vu all over again.
In June of 2010 and in the midst of The Great Expansion Apocalypse That Really Wasn’t, rumors were flying across the vast expanses of the Internet — at around the same time a Texas-led coalition was rumored to be heading west to form the Pac-16 — that Texas A&M and Oklahoma would be leaving the Big 12 for the SEC. Fast-word roughly 13 months, and those rumors have surfaced yet again.
Ahead of a Thursday closed-door, “informational”meeting of the A&M Board of Regents that will involve a discussion of The Longhorn Network, the Sporting News, citing unnamed sources, is reporting that TAMU as well as OU are so concerned over the network and the accompanying disadvantage that the schools could turn to the SEC if their fears aren’t satisfactorily allayed. Additionally, weekly conversations have reportedly been taking place between A&M officials and the SEC according to 1620-AM in Omaha Wednesday evening.
There were no further details in TSN’s report regarding a potential A&M/OU jump to the SEC.
Shortly before TSN’s report as well as the Omaha radio stations addition to the rumor mill, Slive spoke to reporters and addressed the issue of expansion, and didn’t exactly slam the door shut on bulking up the nation’s top football conference.
“It is my job to make sure the SEC is the premiere league,” Slive said when asked about adding teams to the conference’s current 12-team lineup. “For me to exclude any action that would preclude that from happening would be inappropriate. …
“I can’t tell you what other people will do. I’m going to think about and do things that are in the long-term best interest of the SEC. That’s what I meant by what I said last time. If there’s a paradigm shift, we’re going to be strategic and thoughtful and we’re going to continue to be strategic and thoughtful. I’m going to leave it at that.”
The reason behind this latest round of rumors and the apparent renewed interest on the part of A&M and OU in the SEC is the Longhorn Network generally and the televising of high school games on that network specifically. It’s doubtful anything meaningful or game-changing comes out of A&M’s regents meeting tomorrow, although the possibility of that occurring down the not-distant-road seems to be growing by the day.
Kind of like last year, actually. You know, the whole déjà vu thing.