Big 12 Logo

Big 12 outlines exit procedures for A&M


And now the legal processes are beginning to be implemented in the likely divorce between Texas A&M and the Big 12.

The Aggies took the first step toward shifting their conference affiliation last week when the school issued a notice to Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe indicating they were intent on exploring all options for a future home. Additionally, and in a more subtle way, it asked the Big 12 what the guidelines were associated with a potential move.

Earlier today, the Big 12 responded with a letter to A&M that reportedly “outlines the withdrawal procedures according to the financial provisions of the Big 12 bylaws and mutual waivers of legal claims.”

In other words, the letter expresses how A&M, the SEC and the Big 12 can avoid a tri-entity legal cage match. The full letter hasn’t been released yet (that we know of), but if we’re able to get our hands on it, we’ll definitely post it.

In the event that A&M joins the SEC in 2012 — and we’ve had plenty of reasons to believe that’s still the goal — the Aggies could be asked to relinquish at least 90 percent of their conference revenue payout to the Big 12, which is somewhere in the ballpark of $30 million.

Chances are, though, that number will be negotiated.

Also up in the air is, once again, when the Aggies plan on making a move, if* a move is coming. According to A&M president R. Bowen Loftin, who has been given complete control over this potential exit, that decision could come sooner rather than later, despite previous statements to the contrary.

(*note: sorry, we still have to say that)

“I certainly appreciate the discussion among the Big 12 presidents/chancellors and the expression of their desire for Texas A&M to remain in the conference,” Loftin said in a statement. “We all agree that Texas A&M is an extremely valuable institution; thus, it is incumbent upon me, as the president of the university, to ensure that we are in a position to enhance our national visibility and future financial opportunity.

“While this is a complex and long-term decision, it is not our intent to prolong our conference exploration for an extended period of time.”

And it shouldn’t be. Texas A&M has made clear their feelings on the Big 12, and barring some radical culture change in Beebe’s office (or a legal roadblock), they’re not going to change their mind. Likewise, the Big 12 has already put together a short list of replacement candidates, so it’s easy to see where their focus lies.

Now, it looks to be that sorting through the financial consequences of a split is the next — and perhaps last — item on the agenda for both parties.

UPDATED 8:24 p.m. ET: Chip Brown of reports that multiple sources have said A&M will formally announce a move to the SEC tomorrow (Tuesday). As Brown always concludes, stay tuned on this one.

SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12 all have 5 teams in coaches top 25 poll

Johnny Jefferson, Micah Awe
1 Comment

With multiple teams in the coach spill top 10 losing this week, there was bound to be some shaking up the rankings this week. The coaches poll still has Ohio State on top, followed by TCU, Michigan State and Baylor. Florida had the biggest jump in the rankings while Georgia had the biggest drop The coaches poll also welcomes some new additions this week.

The Florida Gators, fresh off a stomping of previous No. 3 Ole Miss (down to No. 13) moved up 11 spots in this week’s coaches poll. Florida is one of five SEC teams in this week’s coaches poll. The Big Ten has five as well. So does the Pac-12.

No. 23 Iowa, No. 24 Boise State and No. 25 Memphis make their debuts in the coaches poll this week, giving us our first glimpse on the national perception in the Group of Five race. I may have Boise State down a few pegs, but the coaches, or those who actually submit the votes, have the Broncos on top of the Group of Five pack. Memphis is right there as well, but not Toledo.

Here is this week’s coaches poll:

  1. Ohio State ( first place votes)
  2. TCU
  3. Michigan State
  4. Baylor
  5. LSU
  6. Clemson
  7. Utah
  8. Florida State
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Alabama
  11. Texas A&M
  12. Florida
  13. Ole Miss
  14. Northwestern
  15. Notre Dame
  16. Georgia
  17. USC
  18. Stanford
  19. Oklahoma State
  20. UCLA
  21. Michigan
  22. California
  23. Iowa
  24. Boise State
  25. Memphis

Brian Kelly defends decisions on two-point conversion attempts

Brian Kelly

Notre Dame fell two points shy of tying a road game at Clemson Saturday night, partly because the decision to go for two-point conversion on one early fourth-quarter touchdown backfired on the Irish. Down 12 points early in the fourth quarter, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly chose to go for two-points to cut the Clemson lead to 10 points, meaning Notre Dame would need a touchdown, extra point and a field goal to tie. The two-point conversion attempt failed, and the Irish trailed by 12, 21-9.

Had the Irish gone for the easier and more likely extra point, Notre Dame would have been down 11 points. That is still a bit of an uphill battle that would require a two-point conversion later on anyway, but it also meant Notre Dame had to score two touchdowns instead of a touchdown and a field goal for a shot at tying the game. Making things worse, Notre Dame burned a timeout after the touchdown before deciding which two-point conversion play to run.

Notre Dame’s execution of a late two-point conversion with the game on the line with under 10 seconds to play also came into question as the Irish looked to give freshman quarterback DeShone Kizer the call on a run-pass option. This was stuffed by Clemson as Kizer held on to the football. Kelly, after the game, defended his quarterback’s decision to try and run for the two points.

“We had fair numbers,” Kelly said. “He’s reading it at the line of scrimmage, if the numbers were fair, they were in zone coverage. It was the right call. He made the right call.”

Sometimes a player can make the right decision and still come up short. Perhaps that is exactly what happened in the rain at Clemson Saturday night. Kizer made the best possible decision in the heat of the moment, but Clemson came out on top with solid work up front on the line of scrimmage. Of course, as it turned out late in the game, Notre Dame would have only needed an extra point to tie Clemson in the final seconds after the Tigers tacked on a field goal to set up a seven-point deficit with an Irish extra point earlier. The Irish were forced to go for two because they chased the points earlier in the quarter. Hindsight might be 20/20, but Kelly is not looking back on that decision.

Kelly is hardly the only coach to make some questionable decisions under pressure this season, or this weekend. He is, however, another example of a coach being paid millions to put his program in the best position making some questionable calls that have come back to bite him. Maybe Notre Dame would have won in overtime. The Irish certainly had the momentum in their hands. Or maybe Clemson wins anyway. Who knows?