It was reported just a short time ago that the Texas House of Representatives had canceled a meeting of the Higher Education Committee scheduled for tomorrow to discuss Texas A&M’s conference affiliation.
A meeting of the school’s Board of Regents schedule for today, however, went ahead as planned. And the outcome of the meeting signaled the A&M-to-the-SEC talk will not die anytime in the near future.
According to multiple media outlets, the regents unanimously voted this afternoon to give President R. Loftin Bowen permission to “take action on conference alignment.” Translated into English, that means Loftin has been given official permission to pursue a move from the Big 12 to the SEC. The next step in the process — provided there are no legal obstacles that still need to be navigated — will likely be for Loftin to officially approach the SEC regarding A&M’s interest in becoming a member of the conference.
“It’s not so much what’s wrong with the Big 12,” Loftin said following the meeting, “it’s what’s right for Texas A&M. …
“What we do will be in the best interest of Texas A&M and the state of Texas. We don’t want the Big 12 to go away.”
The SEC announced Sunday that the “Presidents and Chancellors met today and reaffirmed our satisfaction with the present 12 institutional alignment” after discussing “criteria and process associated with expansion.“ The statement ended by noting that “[n]o action was taken with respect to any institution including Texas A&M.”
That statement was viewed by most as simply a tactical maneuver by the SEC, in effect shielding itself from the perception that they were raiding another conference and thus opening itself up to potential litigation.
With what was expected to be the regents’ rubber-stamping Loftin’s desire to pursue a new conference for A&M now official, it’s a clear signal that A&M will push ahead in its attempt to gain membership in the SEC. What the legal ramifications for the school from the Big 12, however, remains to be determined.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah