Officially, Texas A&M watch 2011 is still ongoing, but as far as we — and practically everybody else in the business of college football — are concerned, the Aggies have taken the first step toward leaving the Big 12 and joining the SEC.
Now, it appears the move is far more a question of “when” than it is a question of “if”. A Big 12 official told the AP over the weekend that a move by A&M to the SEC could come as early as this week, with Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News noting that A&M’s exit fees were the last major logistical hurdle.
It’s previously been reported that the Aggies could be forced to pay over $30 million in exit fees; we’ve been told that number is highly inflated and likely not a realistic payout. According to sources, Kirk Bohls of the Austin-American Statesman tweets that A&M would like to get outta Dodge with a buyout somewhere in the vicinity of $10-$15 million, although the Big 12 likely still wants something closer to the aforementioned $30 million mark.
Whatever the number, the Big 12’s bylaws state that if A&M were to leave for the SEC by 2012, they would have to relinquish at least 90 percent of their conference revenue.
How all of this will be negotiated in the coming weeks — or months — will be an interesting area to watch, as money always complicates matters.
Assuming, of course, that A&M leaves the Big 12.
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