And what they’ll be discussing could be a matter of helping shape the college football landscape for the foreseeable future.
Or, keeping it just as it is.
Yesterday, a wildfire of a rumor broke that Texas A&M was on its way to the SEC in what was initially classified as a “done deal”. That fire has since died down just a bit as multiple sources have told us and other media outlets that while it’s possible A&M is on its way out, the formal announcement may not come for a few a weeks.
Specifically, the date Aug. 22 has been thrown around. That’s when A&M’s Board of Regents are set meet.
However, in a brief, albeit potentially very important, piece of information, the state of Texas’ own House of Representatives could have a preliminary say in that matter.
The Texas State Legislature’s official site sent out a notice of public hearing for the date Aug. 16, 2011. The Committee? Higher Education. The memo? Well, read for yourself:
The House Committee on Higher Education will meet to discuss matters pertaining to higher education, including collegiate athletics.
Commissioner Dan Beebe, The Big Twelve Conference
Chairman Richard A. Box, Texas A&M University System Board of Regents
President R. Bowen Loftin, Texas A&M University
Commissioner Mike Slive, The Southeastern Conference
Now, we can’t confirm that this is a meeting involving the A&M-to-the-SEC rumors, but the pieces are certainly in place to speculate. Revenue producing college sports/higher education institutions and politics have a history of being tied at the hip. Two days ago, current Texas Gov. and Aggie alumnus Rick Perry said “As far as I know, conversations are being had“ about a move to the SEC.
Of course, Perry’s comments hardly indicate that the Aggies were talking directly to the SEC, but there’s little doubt that Perry could very much have a dog in this fight.
But what the Higher Education committee may do is put A&M’s dreams of a new conference on hold — whether that hold is permanent or temporary is still unclear. After all, there is often extreme political pressure to keep in-state schools in the same conference.
Earlier today, rumor broke that Florida State could be leaving the ACC for the SEC in what would only heighten the belief that A&M was part of a package deal — either in a 14 or 16-team league — for the SEC.
If A&M is somehow given the no-go from the House of Representatives (one option: reduce funding), it could also equal a no-go for Florida State if Slive is feeling timid. Or, it merely shifts the former interest in A&M elsewhere.
Either way, all of this feels strangely familiar to a certain apocalypse-that-wasn’t last summer. Will this set of speculation end in a similar result?
I suppose that’s beauty in this mess.