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.
AggieYell.com 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 AggieYell.com’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 OrangeBloods.com.
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.