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Report: Aggies on their way to the SEC


It’s still very, very early, and the details are very, very sketchy, but it appears that the weeks of speculation and rumors of Texas A&M moving on to the SEC are beginning to take some infant steps toward fruition. is reporting that Texas A&M has been invited, and has accepted, a spot to join the Southeastern Conference.

But hold your horses, folks.

While it’s entirely possible that the Aggies are moving on to the SEC, the formal announcement may not come for a few weeks.

Chris Level of RedRaiderSports — a man with some serious shoe leather — tweeted “Just got off the phone with’s Jeff Tarpley. Aug 22nd is the day when A&M confirms they are headed to the SEC according to him.

“Bottom line is, everyone needs to focus on Monday, August 22nd. That is the first time anything can be official when it comes to the Aggies.

Interestingly, Aug. 22 is the same day the NCAA will hold a meeting to discuss the legality of airing high school games on institutional and conference networks.

A source has told us “[A&M move is] Not a done deal. If it becomes official, won’t happen for another week at earliest. Big ‘if’ though.”

An A&M official could neither confirm nor deny the report to us.

At this point, the general feeling is that talks between A&M officials and the SEC — we’ve been told there has been occasional contact between the two for the past year — are solid enough that A&M President R. Bowen Loftin and AD Bill Byrne feel a formal offer is coming and could go to their Board of Regents to discuss the matter further.

(Note: one suggestion would be changing the words to your War Hymn. Just sayin’)

Any new items for the Regents to discuss has to be placed on the agenda three days prior to a scheduled meeting.  And, unless it’s a special case, the new agenda has to be made public.  In other words, everybody should know no later than Aug. 19 whether the A&M is bolting for a new conference.

Assuming, of course, that Aug. 22 is the day A&M plans to announce the move. If there’s a move.

The recent report also begs the question of who else could be joining the SEC. A&M has been flamboyant about their possible new home, but SEC Commissioner Mike Slive has been, on the contrary, fairly quiet.

We are confident tipping on the point of certainty that the SEC would not solely invite A&M. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Florida State and Clemson are just a few of the programs being thrown around the rumor mill.

But we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. Word on the Big 12 street earlier was that if A&M were to leave, the Big 12 was fully prepared to move on as a nine-team conference — at least for the next few years.

That’s down the road, though, and this developing story is a day-to-day ordeal. At some point, however, we should expect to see some more certainty from it.

(Big thanks to John Taylor for contributing to this piece)

UPDATED 9:15 p.m. ET: And then there’s Chip Brown‘s report labeling Aug. 22 as “D-Day” for the Big 12:

There’s no agreement in principle, nothing,” Texas A&M System spokesman Jason Cook told

More from OB:

Two sources said the SEC presidents are being gathered Saturday in an emergency meeting to address the possible addition of Texas A&M.

The sources said the Aggies’ nine-member regents board is leaning toward leaving the Big 12 and are being fueled by a lack of confidence in the current configuration of the league – i.e. the relationship between Texas and ESPN (the Longhorn Network) and how it could negatively impact the rest of the members.

Permalink 28 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Big 12 Conference, Oklahoma Sooners, Rumor Mill, Southeastern Conference, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Top Posts
28 Responses to “Report: Aggies on their way to the SEC”
  1. bender4700 says: Aug 11, 2011 9:23 PM



  2. artbyshan says: Aug 11, 2011 9:32 PM

    This in a way puzzles me. Geographically, it doesn’t seem like a match. In a way, I understand how this could help A&M, but it also seems like this could harm natural rivalries with the other Texas schools and possibly recruits base in Texas.

  3. pricecube says: Aug 11, 2011 9:36 PM

    The same acrimony that destroyed the Southwest Conference is alive and well. It’s kinda fun to watch.

  4. pricecube says: Aug 11, 2011 9:39 PM


    I disagree that it will hurt recruiting. The prestige of the SEC will be a draw and there is tons of football talent in that state. It would be a shame if they stopped their rivalry game with UT but I kinda doubt that happens … maybe temporarily.

  5. soonerdave says: Aug 11, 2011 9:40 PM

    The NCAA already announced today that high school games may not be carried on university sports networks, so that part of the article above is not quite accurate.

  6. soonerdave says: Aug 11, 2011 9:44 PM

    ESPN radio 103.3 FM in Dallas has reportedly aired a story consistent with the information here and in Unclear if this was merely a report-on-a-report, or originally sourced.

    It should be pointed out that the broader tenor of the story on is that A&M to the SEC is more likely than not, despite the “there’s nothing in concrete” assertion.

    The next thing to ask is what are the backup plans for schools like Texas and Oklahoma, who stand to be the only remaining marquee schools if the A&M move proves true. Surely UT AD DeLoss Dodds and OU AD Joe Castiglione have contingencies…

  7. Ben Kercheval says: Aug 11, 2011 9:46 PM


    from the NCAA release:

    The NCAA is holding a meeting on August 22 with representatives from broadcast networks and several conferences to discuss the issue.

    From our post:

    Interestingly, Aug. 22 is the same day the NCAA will hold a meeting to discuss the legality of airing high school games on institutional and conference networks.

  8. jeremytamu says: Aug 11, 2011 9:46 PM

    suck on that big 12

  9. soonerdave says: Aug 11, 2011 9:56 PM


    I think our difference is a subtle matter of wordsmithing. The NCAA has already endorsed the interpretation of its bylaws in a manner that prohibits airing of “youth sports.” The issue being discussed wasn’t the “legality,” which I think is where I tripped up in your story… The point is the NCAA has made its ruling, and I think the meeting is to filter down the decision to everyone else. I don’t think there is a “legality” issue being discussed.

    A&M was quick to praise the action.

    Thanks for the input.

  10. bender4700 says: Aug 11, 2011 9:57 PM

    A&M wasn’t just worried about that Soonerdave.

    This is exactly what Nebraska said they didn’t want to be involved with.

    Texas has the goal of independence. Flat out. OU better call the newly formed Pac-12 and offer their services along with OSU.

  11. bender4700 says: Aug 11, 2011 9:59 PM

    “Surely UT AD DeLoss Dodds and OU AD Joe Castiglione have contingencies…”

    Yeah, UT does. IND

    Unless OU can get BYU, Boise, Houston, and SMU to join the BIGXII to replace: Nebraska, Colorado, Texas, and Texas A&M the Big XII(Big Eight) is dead.

  12. Ben Kercheval says: Aug 11, 2011 10:02 PM

    soonerdave, agreed. I believe our wording — or, at least our interpretation — is different. The NCAA has endorsed the interpretation of the bylaws, but, to me, a ruling implies there was some bylaw or legislation created, which there hasn’t been yet. The “legality” of it comes from that creation (or, lack thereof).

    But at this point, I’m splitting hairs :)

  13. frug says: Aug 11, 2011 10:09 PM

    Serious question;

    Is the A&M Board of Regents really going to allow TAMU to pay “historic” exit penalties for the right to make less money in the SEC when the athletic department is still $10 million in debt to the university?

  14. Ben Kercheval says: Aug 11, 2011 10:16 PM

    Frug. Chip Brown does a pretty nice job of explaining that:

    An A&M source told the Aggies are having their lawyers look at everything, including the exit fees A&M would have to pay to leave the Big 12.

    Under the current bylaws, Texas A&M would be required to relinquish 80 percent of revenues over a two-year period if the Aggies left with only a year’s notice.

    And I believe they’d relinquish 50 percent revenues if they gave two year’s notice. But i’m not 100 percent sure on that. As for the money in the SEC, the conference has the ability to amend its TV rights contract, likely to the point were A&M would make more money even as part of, say, a 14-team conference, than in its current situation in the Big 12.

    Either way, I’m not sure money payout is going to be a huge problem for A&M.

    Hope this helps.

  15. bender4700 says: Aug 11, 2011 10:25 PM

    When Nebraska and Colorado left, the wording that was out there was “damages”. But I think they reworded their exit fees clause.

    Ben, what would happen if the Big XII folds as a result. Would A&M still have to pay to leave?

    Can we get a donation going to fund the exit fees for A&M, this is too good to have halted by money.

  16. huskerguy says: Aug 11, 2011 10:31 PM

    This is all Nebraska’s fault too because we were selfish… Right Husker haters?

    What goes around…

  17. Ben Kercheval says: Aug 11, 2011 10:41 PM


    Great question. The Big 12 Bylaws — which can put you to sleep be read HERE — don’t specifically talk about the conference collapsing, but if A&M were to leave and the Big 12 dissipated, then there would be no entity to pay any fee to.

    So, short answer: no. (and John helped with that)

  18. bleedblue18 says: Aug 11, 2011 10:42 PM

    No shocking, why stay in a conference when Texas has an obvious recruiting advantage and more money with the longhorn network. Also isn’t there unequal revenue sharing in the big 12.

    Take a page from the Big Ten, the league is thriving for all sports and money, starting the Big Ten network a few years back was a great idea. With equal revenue sharing every team is on a equal playing ground. I heard each university got 22 million last season from the network.

    Pac 12 is taking a page from the Big Ten and starting the Pac 12 network this season for the league.

    The ME ME ME mentality by Texas is is turning off the other universitys in the conference and they want to jump ship.

    If Texas want there cake and eat it to they should just be independant like Notre Dame.

  19. barnesaintnoble says: Aug 11, 2011 10:51 PM

    Oklahoma is Texas’ little bitch. Haven’t really heard a squeak out of Norman since Nebraska left. Now A&M is allegedly leaving? Do something OU, show your pulse! I really hope A&M leaves and stands up to ESPN and Texas’ arrogance and “cash”nitized eyes.

    TAMU, SEC, NEBRASKA, BIGTEN, COLORADO, PAC12 (Schools getting out before the storm)

    BIG12, UT, ESPN, Potentially ACC (FSU makes the jump?)

  20. frug says: Aug 11, 2011 11:22 PM

    @ blueblood18
    The $22 million was the total conference distributions. The BTN itself was worth about $8 million per school. The revenue distribution in the Big XII isn’t fully equal, though under the new revenue deals about 78% of of all TV money will be distributed equally, with the remaining portion based on TV appearances (a system that actually favors A&M).

  21. mrcowpatty says: Aug 11, 2011 11:58 PM

    U of Texas will become an Independent within the next two years. Cha ching!!!!!!!

  22. bradentonbuc says: Aug 12, 2011 12:28 AM

    As an SEC man, Va Tech makes more sense than Fla St or Clempson as the 2nd school. Moving into TX and VA., ie. DC, would help with TV viewership and recruiting for all member schools.

  23. indycolt45 says: Aug 12, 2011 1:49 AM

    Someone explain to me how this hurts UT? UT obviously wants to become independent. TAMU leaving the B12 pushes that process along. And any “advantage” that UT is geting from LHN isn’t going to magically disappear because TAMU isn’t in the conference any more.

  24. truechamp says: Aug 12, 2011 5:13 AM

    All of the conference realignment stories make for good gossip, but if you want the solution to this madness, read the new book, “It’s Possible! Realignment and Playoffs – College Football’s Opportunity.” The book casts a vision for a real championship and conference alignments that will make financial sense for more schools.

  25. barnesaintnoble says: Aug 12, 2011 5:18 AM

    I don’t think VT join the SEC because of academic-related issues. lol
    I guess if we KNOW that UT wants to be independent, then this doesn’t hurt them.

    What happens when these Independents all qualify for BCS bowls in the same year? UT, ND, BYU? (All coming from 3 VERY different religious backgrounds LOL) A couple fanbases might be upset.

  26. mldean71 says: Aug 12, 2011 10:34 AM

    BYE AtM! Texas is tired of your riding their coattail anyway! Texas wants to go INDEPENDENT but instead of just leaving and looking like the bad school(as if they already dont wear that jacket), Texas is smart enough to make other schools leave and break up the remainder of the BIG12 so it will look like they had no other choice other than to go INDEPENDENT.

  27. burntorangehorn says: Aug 12, 2011 10:50 AM

    Only aggies could see this as a win for atm.

  28. dg0122 says: Aug 12, 2011 11:57 AM

    “Look at me! I’m important! I’m relevant! I’m not dependent on my brother!”

    Aggy, or Johnny Drama? Hard to tell…

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