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Big 12 responds to A&M’s imminent departure

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In a letter to Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe Wednesday, Texas A&M informed its current conference it is in the school’s best interest “to make application to join another athletic conference.”  A&M also notified the Big 12 that, should their application to an unnamed conference (coughcoughSECcoughcough) be accepted, the Aggies will end its membership in the Big 12 Conference effective June 30, 2012.

As expected, the Big 12 has responded to the most significant move A&M has made in the school’s months-long quest to join “another athletic conference”.

“Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin has notified the Conference of his decision to withdraw the university from the Big 12 effective June 30, 2012,” Beebe said in a statement. “The presidents and chancellors of the nine remaining member institutions are steadfast in their commitment to the Big 12. As previously stated, the Conference will move forward aggressively exploring its membership options.”

The conference’s board of directors chairman, Missouri president Brady Deaton, reiterated the commissioner’s rainbows-and-puppies talk, saying that his fellow members are committed to keeping the Big 12 a viable conference and will aggressively pursue expansion to fill the void created by A&M’s departure.

“The chancellors and presidents of the Big 12 are committed to keeping our conference competitively and academically strong,” Deaton said in his statement. “We have a process in place that enables us to move aggressively regarding the possible expansion of the conference and to assure our members and student-athletes that we will take advantage of the most productive opportunities in the best interests of all.”

As for the expansion possibilities, Notre Dame and Arkansas have been the most prominent names mentioned; those two also happen to serve as the biggest pipe dreams for the conference.  Newly-independent BYU, SMU, Houston, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Louisville — and Northern Illinois via Facebook — have all been mentioned in connection to a Big 12 that would expand back to 10 or, possibly, back to its original 12.  One thing is certain, however; regardless of which school or schools may or may not be involved, the Big 12 appears willing to do everything in its power to keep the conference together, regardless of how much Dollar Store masking tape and off-brand Elmer’s Glue it takes.

That, of course, is provided Oklahoma hasn’t decided “it’s swallowed all the burnt orange baloney it can stomach” and pulls the trigger on a departure that would likely serve as the final nail in the Big 12’s coffin.

Or that Texas doesn’t decide to stake its conference claim further west.

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49 Responses to “Big 12 responds to A&M’s imminent departure”
  1. coolbeans59 says: Aug 31, 2011 1:13 PM

    Northern Illinois Big 12 is a high school conference …. sigh. I’d expect better.

  2. bender4700 says: Aug 31, 2011 1:15 PM

    OU or Missouri bolt and the conference is dead.

    Texas can fill it up with the rest of the Texas schools, and any other small school to get back to 12, but without A&M, Nebraska, and Colorado, the conference is on stilts. Barely standing.

    OU and Missouri bolt, it’s done.

    Missouri very much wants to go to the Big Ten or SEC.

    Beebe’s days may be numbered if he can’t figure this out.

  3. dickroy says: Aug 31, 2011 1:17 PM

    Arkansas leave the SEC for the Big 12? Now that is a belly buster!

  4. blitz4848 says: Aug 31, 2011 1:20 PM

    Now that A&M–one of the better Big 12 schools is leaving surely Texas will DEMAND their cut of the Big 12 $$$ be increased.
    Since now they will be an even bigger fish in the BIG 12 in their burnt orange foggy minds…….

    If Oklahoma has any sense they will run like hell into the SEC and leave Texas hanging on their own HORN……..out to dry.

  5. John Taylor says: Aug 31, 2011 1:21 PM

    @coolbean: I added the wrong link. It’s been fixed. Thanks.

  6. TxGrown says: Aug 31, 2011 1:29 PM

    Mizzou will be the next to leave.

  7. floridacock says: Aug 31, 2011 1:37 PM

    Just play football!!!

  8. centexhorn says: Aug 31, 2011 1:54 PM

    I hate all you people who want to see the Big 12 fail. What’s wrong with you people?

    And anybody saying Oklahoma would leave doesn’t understand the dynamics at play. They’ll never end the Red River Rivalry. That’s just asinine.

  9. lostdupree says: Aug 31, 2011 1:58 PM

    OU wont go anywhere without Texas and probably Ok State. Chances are they’ll either keep the Big 12 together or head west to the PAC Whatever… OU isn’t going to the SEC because their President doesn’t feel that the SEC is prestigious enough academically (take that as you will)…

    Regardless, OU and Texas are a package deal

  10. vtsquirm says: Aug 31, 2011 2:00 PM

    new SEC memebers, Oklahoma, OSU, aTm, and………..


  11. blakebuchanan87 says: Aug 31, 2011 2:02 PM


    are you saying that UT will refuse to play OU if they decide to bail on what has become a sham of a conference? Even if OU leaves the Big IX, the only reason that rivalry would end would be because UT would have their panties in a wad about it and not play them.

  12. dickroy says: Aug 31, 2011 2:02 PM


    Its not nice to hate!

    I don’t want to see it fail either. I just want a playoff system.

  13. 1buckeye76 says: Aug 31, 2011 2:05 PM

    Hopefully the continual realigning of the conferences which has been happening the last few years will finally lead to a format with the conference title games games, and bowl games, being the first brackets of a tournament, leading to a true national title game, rather than the eeni-meanie-miney-moe method which they currently employ.

  14. tigersgeaux says: Aug 31, 2011 2:07 PM

    First it was Notre Dame and Arkansas. As soon as that came out, we heard southernpatriots and our father say, ‘never happen.’ Then Notre Dame confirmed they are staying independent. southernpatriots told us that within 2 to 3 weeks that Arkansas will address the rumors and will state they will not leave the SEC for love or money.

    JT: unless my eyes are playing tricks, you have eliminated the blatant advertisement for another rip off penny auction site?

  15. blitz4848 says: Aug 31, 2011 2:08 PM

    I think I heard that “we will NEVER end an Oklahoma rivalry” claim JUST before the OU/Nebraska rivalry was discontinued.

    That game used to be a Thanksgiving weekend mainstay for many yrs and it went away.

    I don’t believe Texas has their horn so far into OU that they are blinded to the fact that Texas only cares about Texas!!!!!

    They could still play the Red River rivalry at the end of an SEC schedule if they wanted to as long as the game revenues were split 50/50………

  16. John Taylor says: Aug 31, 2011 2:10 PM

    “JT: unless my eyes are playing tricks, you have eliminated the blatant advertisement for another rip off penny auction site?”

    Come again? You lost me there, tigersgeaux.

  17. ukeone says: Aug 31, 2011 2:15 PM

    Ever since the Big 12 was formed out of the old Big 8 (back in the 90’s), very ‘few’ ever felt comfortable about it’s future and success as a ‘new’ conference. There have always developed definitive misunderstandings between the schools (usually all or some against UT), and a definite stronghold on the conference manifested itself thru a very meddling Texas (which was why the old SWC dismantled itself in the 1st place & the Texas schools were added to an already good & well-functioning Big 8 conference. Nebraska, Colorado & Texas A&M have had plenty of good reasons ‘for a long time’ now to bolt this stinkin’ conference & from the likes of the Longhorns, and Beebe only made things worse by being UT’s most trusted puppet. Good Luck to you, A&M, because I know that once you’re gone, you’ll definitely breathe peacefully (on your own) once again & only greater things will lie ahead for your fine school. If Texas can get away with the argument that by having the LHN, they are looking-out for #1, so can the departures of said schools from this poor-excuse of a conference be for all of them (& I hope Oklahoma & Missouri take heed & leave Dodge ‘ASAP’ as well). A BIG ADIOS, Big 12…may you R.I.P. (finally)!!!

  18. angrycorgi says: Aug 31, 2011 2:30 PM

    This whole thing comes down to one issue: A&M can’t recruit inside (or out) of Texas as successfully as UT and they has been plagued by poor coaching to boot. They hope that Texas kids may be interested enough in the SEC that they will be willing to play for a potentially uncompetitive program at A&M. So instead of making their program better to lure talent, they want the fast out — try and steal some credibility from the SEC. That’s all fine. But let’s turn off this “It’s all Texas’ fault” garbage…call it like it really is.

  19. dkhhuey says: Aug 31, 2011 2:33 PM

    Interesting – now that Nebraska is in the Big Ten – it would be awesome to invite Oklahoma as well. Perhaps add Pitt to bring in the entire state of Penns fans… it would also reignite the Oklahoma / Nebraska rivalry as well as the Penn State / Pitt one.

  20. boomerdt says: Aug 31, 2011 2:35 PM

    All those worried about Oklahoma… this is their stance (from what I’ve read in the last couple weeks):

    1. We win in the Big 12 in many sports… why move if we win?

    2. We respect texas and the rivalry that has gone on for the past 100 years. We have played texas long before the Big 12 was formed and we will plan to play texas if the big 12 were to fail.

    3. We are tied to Oklahoma State…. not texas.

    4. If the big 12 fails we prefer to go to: the PAC-12, Big 10, and then the SEC in that order. SEC does nothing to help the credibility of the University of Oklahoma (as a fan though I would LOVE them in the SEC).

    I expect 2 teams to come out of the Big 12 to go to the SEC. I’m not sold Mizzou is the other school… If the SEC takes 4 teams, I see them all coming out of the Big 12 just to minimize damage to over conferences, however I think there is a better chance of A&M, Mizzou, Kansas and Kansas State going before you get the 2 Oklahoma teams….

  21. Deb says: Aug 31, 2011 2:42 PM

    @tigersgeaux …

    JT doesn’t control the ads appearing on the site. They’re automated and randomly selected based on your surfing habits. So while there’s some overlap, I’m probably seeing a lot of ads the men aren’t … unless we have some kinky men 😉 If enough people complained, NBC’s tech people could block ads from a specific vendor.

  22. Deb says: Aug 31, 2011 2:43 PM

    Or are you talking about the dimwits who slip ads into their comments? He can manually eliminate those.

  23. Deb says: Aug 31, 2011 2:44 PM

    “[T]he Big 12 appears willing to do everything in its power to keep the conference together, regardless of how much Dollar Store masking tape and off-brand Elmer’s Glue it takes.”

    Does this include considering more equitable revenue-sharing?

  24. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Aug 31, 2011 3:20 PM

    Folks, don’t be surprised with the whole Miami imbroglio that the SEC doesn’t go fishing for FSU, and not another Big IX team to make 14.

  25. tgaustin says: Aug 31, 2011 3:21 PM

    Well put Lostdupree. Seriously though, I think Deb, Tigergeaux, and Southerpatriot are related! No wait, I’ve figured it out, Deliverance!!!! I love how the three of you are in bed with each other…funny sh!t I’ve ever read when I see your posts. I think it’s awesome that you three have time to travel to all theses Universities, sit in on all the talks and then find time to enlighten us all on what’s going to happen next!!!! Such hillbillies! Look, A&M bitched and whined and cried….all about how unfair it is that Texas is so successful and how come they are not!! It’s true, you can swing or adjective it up however you want…they got their wish. Like I’ve said before, the only school trying to get them to stay was TEXAS!! No other school bitches or moans about what is going on! Funny, you would think every school should want A&M and not just 9 of them! Hey Deliverance, could you guys get me a quote from a high source at Vanderbilt to see how they feel about the Ag’s coming over?? BTW, as always, good stuff J.T.!

  26. phelbin says: Aug 31, 2011 3:32 PM

    It’s interesting to think about the conversations happening behind the scenes right now that we don’t know about. You know Larry Scott has UT and OU on speed-dial. “We still want you guys, and now we’ve not got a huge TV deal! Come make more money and recruit in California.” Mark my words, by next summer the Pac-12 grows to 16.

  27. cosmoman11 says: Aug 31, 2011 3:45 PM

    OU and OSU are locked together. Those 2 plus Mizzou and Pitt to the Big 10. Maybe Texas can start its own conference with Baylor, Tech, Rice, Houston, SMU, TCU and a couple of other schools from the state. Think of all the money they will save on travel.

  28. thefiesty1 says: Aug 31, 2011 3:50 PM

    The Big 12 will survive without A&M and will expand back to 12 teams and maybe even 16. Arkansas wont come back and A&M is basically forgotten as far as the Big12 is concerned and good riddance. BYU, Boise, TCU, Houston and maybe Louisville will be added to get to 16. ND is NOT leaving independence for the Big 12. They would have bolted to the Big 10 years ago. The Big 12 will survive and prosper. Goodbye AGGIES.

  29. pricecube says: Aug 31, 2011 4:08 PM

    I am surprised to read that OU doesn’t want to join the SEC because it is not academically prestigious enough. I don’t mean this as a knock against OU, but who do they think they are? Vanderbilt is FAR more academically prestigious than any school in the Big 12.

  30. bender4700 says: Aug 31, 2011 4:15 PM


    No, there will never be equal revenue sharing in the Big XII. They wouldn’t change that to prevent Nebraska from leaving, why would they do it now? Especially when they’re going to be bringing in smaller programs?

    Equal revenue sharing works for the whole conference, the Big XII’s revenue sharing works for OU and UT, and worked for Neb while they were in it.

  31. bender4700 says: Aug 31, 2011 4:21 PM


    You’ll see the Big XII dissolve before you see TCU or BYU join the Big XII.

    I’ve listened to sports radio, members of the programs, and people who cover them all say TCU nor BYU are joining the Big XII.

    Sometimes people claim stuff on here and it’s clear they are just HOPING rather than KNOWING.

    The Big XII is not better off without 3 of their best programs. Texas and OU are not strong enough to support a conference when the SEC is moving to 14, and the Big Ten has 5 or 6 top tier programs. It’s a joke to think anyone really thinks BYU has any interest in the dysfunction that is the Big XII and leaving IND status that they JUST got.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but people with opinions based on no information other than their own reasoning are just not valuable. Do some research, listen to people in the know, BYU NOR TCU ARE GOING TO THE BIG XII!!!

    GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD! No one wants to join the Big XII who is equal or better than A&M in program tradition or strength. ND, BYU, TCU, nor Arkansas are changing anything about their situation. Especially not to jump on a sinking ship.

    The Big XII is the definition of dysfunction, unequal ground, and instability. WHY WHY WHY would BYU want any part of that?! No NO reason that has been said is even rational or logical that would suggest BYU give up what they got for it.

  32. bender4700 says: Aug 31, 2011 4:37 PM

    BYU: A dicey proposition for the Mormon school. The Big 12 certainly doesn’t fit BYU’s mission, and the Cougars just left the Mountain West and signed an exclusive television deal with ESPN. The lone draw for the Big 12: By joining, BYU enters the exclusive BCS world.

    Read more:

    BCS bid is the ONLY reason BYU would do it, and they are not facing the same issues Boise or TCU had. Undefeated BYU with a decent strength of schedule easily goes to a BCS bowl. BYU has a lot longer of a history and respect nationally than Boise ever could dream of.

  33. lemmam says: Aug 31, 2011 4:45 PM

    BYU, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Louisville wow why not go after schools that are farther away. LOL the big XII is toast!

  34. Deb says: Aug 31, 2011 4:51 PM

    @bender4700 …

    I wasn’t seriously asking the question but making the point that they’re really not willing to do everything to stop the Big 12 from falling apart.

    And to those talking about the Razorbacks … Why would Arkansas leave the SEC where revenue is equally divided to go back to Longhorn Land? Not going to happen.

    @myopinionisrighterthanyours …

    Everyone keeps saying FSU won’t expand the SEC’s footprint, but I’d like to see the Seminoles come into the SEC.

    @dkhhuey …

    The Big 10 should pick up Mizzou while they’re at it. Nice rivalries between Mizzou, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Geographically, it’s in a good location for the Big 10–much better than for the SEC.

  35. fcmlefty1 says: Aug 31, 2011 4:55 PM

    I have no concrete evidence to support it, but Mizzou just “feels” like a natural fit for the Big 10. For Some reason, I feel Pitt does too. I hope it can somehow happen in this round of re-alignment.

  36. stoopwitzer says: Aug 31, 2011 5:09 PM

    @ pricecube:

    David Boren (OU’s president) has made it his mission to improve OU’s academics since he took over. He wanted the University to be known for more than just football. Under his leadership OU has now become a tier 1 institution and OU now has the most national merit scholars, per capita of any public university. He takes great pride in this and he has publicly stated that he simply feels the SEC would be a step back. From an academics standpoint he is absolutely right. OU doesn’t pretend to be on par with Vady but who in the SEC does? Boren would simply rather the University be associated with institutions truly known for their higher learning… Berkley, Stanford, Northwestern, etc… It would only help make his personal mission more attainable.

    With all that said, I could care less about said mission and I would prefer that we played in the premier league…

  37. thefiesty1 says: Aug 31, 2011 5:16 PM

    BYU would jump at a chance of getting into a BCS, just like TCU and Boise have done and being in a BCS Conference would help make a decision for them MUCH easier.

    That said, BYU would be a better fit in the PAC 16 if as I suggested on an earlier post with four 16 team major conferences (PAC16, BIG 16 (10), SEC16 and BIG12, er 16) and dropping the also rans to a tween division. Somewhere between Division II and the four new 16 team conferences. The also rans, which we all know don’t have the budgets, facilities, fan base, etc to be competitive anyway.

  38. florida727 says: Aug 31, 2011 5:52 PM

    How ironic… the guy who is the conference’s “Board of Directors Chairman”, you know, the one assuring everyone that everything will be alright in Big 12 land, is from the school most consistently cited as being the next to leave… for the SEC no less (Missouri).

    Time for Beebe to update his resume. He’ll be looking for employment… soon.

    Welcome to the SEC Aggies. Glad to have you onboard. Thank you for the great military tradition and graduates you’ll bring to the SEC.

  39. pricecube says: Aug 31, 2011 6:00 PM


    I think that David Boren is pursuing a laudable goal. Pretty much every school in the SEC and the Big 12 is a tier 1 University. If you put any weight in U.S. News, who determines tier 1 status, here is their list and a comparison of the SEC and Big 12:

    #17 Vanderbilt
    #45 Texas
    #53 Florida
    #56 Georgia
    #63 Texas A&M (soon to be SEC)
    #79 Baylor
    #79 Alabama
    #85 Auburn
    #104 Kansas
    #104 Tennessee
    #111 Oklahoma
    #111 South Carolina
    #129 Kentucky
    #132 Arkansas
    #132 Oklahoma State


    There are a lot of ties on the list. It looks like OU would be middle of the road or worse academically in the SEC. The Big 12 is slightly inferior as a conference once A&M leaves. This all hinges on whether you believe the US News rankings hold any credibility but I am assuming you do since you mentioned Oklahoma being a tier one school. I still do not get the slight to the SEC academics. In any case I would love to see OU play in the SEC.

  40. pricecube says: Aug 31, 2011 6:09 PM


    I overlooked

    #94 Mizzou
    #94 Iowa State

    My apologies.

  41. soonerfan88 says: Aug 31, 2011 6:41 PM

    For all those texas fans that never attended school or much less graduated from any university… (Most if not all)

    All this talk because A&M is moving on. I sure hope that OU gets in gear as well.
    For the record, OU has dominated the Big12 not texas.

    Over the years A&M’s record over texas
    Last 5 years:
    A&M 3 wins – texas 2 wins
    last 25 years:
    A&M 13 wins – texas 12 wins
    Lats 35 years:
    A&M 18 wins – texas 17 wins

    texas runs the big12 and Dan Bebee has Deloss Dodds hand up his A** tickling his prostate…. telling him every move to make.

    texas sucks and it’s showed on the field last year

    time to move away from the evil burnt orange empire…..

  42. lavella12 says: Aug 31, 2011 7:05 PM

    This may sound crazy at first, but the Big XII should try to create the first true super conference by “merging” with the southern half of the ACC. A conference made up of Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, and Iowa State with the additions of Georgia Tech, Florida State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Miami would print its own money. It would even permit the former ACC schools to start a regional television network to compete with TLN. It sounds crazy at first, but I’d have to believe Austin to Miami or Blacksburg is shorter and easier than Austin to Seattle or Eugene.

  43. artisan3m says: Aug 31, 2011 8:10 PM

    I think it is a bit premature to play Taps for the Big 12. It has the potential of becoming an even stronger conference with the absence of A&M. The Aggies will find recruiting more difficult in Texas and Oklahoma almost immediately. Kids from these two states especially enjoy playing before friends and family in games their team has a chance of winning. Playing a half a world away in a slaughterhouse will not be that appealing. A&M has not been a powerehouse in the Big 12 and it will be even less potent in the SEC.

  44. tigersgeaux says: Aug 31, 2011 9:40 PM

    Deb says:Aug 31, 2011 2:43 PM

    Or are you talking about the dimwits who slip ads into their comments? He can manually eliminate those.

    That’s exactly what I am talking about. Some blatant ad in a post advertising a rip off penny auction site.

    tgaustin: You’re a pervert. Which hillbilly are you?

    The only games I can readily attend are LSU’s as I have since I was a kid. Love tailgating. Come by our tailgate and get some of the best Cajun food you have ever had. Indentify yourself as tgaustin, and we’ll give you some LSU and SEC souveniers. If you have too much time and looking for something to do, come to south Louisiana and help us get a Neighborhood Watch started in the little town where the children were recently attacked.

    southernpatriots travels and has for decades. I have seen photos of many places they have gone that I dream of going one day.

  45. Deb says: Aug 31, 2011 11:41 PM

    @tgaustin …

    I’ve never said anything about traveling to any universities. That locoweed must be wicked stuff. Sounds like it’s cooked quite a few of your brain cells … if you had many to begin with. southernpatriots and tigersgeaux are other commenters I’ve encountered on the site just like you … well, except they’re coherent, polite, and make relevant football posts.

    So you have a Deliverance fetish? No wonder the Aggies were so anxious to leave.

  46. stoopwitzer says: Sep 1, 2011 10:37 AM


    you missed my point. OU was not a tier 1 when Boren arrived and he went to great lengths to make that happen. I wasn’t saying Oklahoma has better academics then most schools in the SEC. I was saying the Big10 and the PAC12 do. Boren aspires to be on par with those institutions and being affiliated could only help.

    but again… I am not saying I agree, I would still prefer that we play in the SEC. I was just giving 2 sides to the coin.

  47. pricecube says: Sep 1, 2011 1:23 PM


    Gotcha. I’d still love to see ya’ play in the SEC also … just looks like it isn’t in the cards at this point unfortunately.

    The PAC 12 does have some great schools academically… Stanford, USC, UCLA… and again it is a commendable goal.

  48. footballscott says: Sep 6, 2011 4:55 PM

    Northern Illinois (NIU) does come equipped with the monster Chicago TV market, and are getting top 25 football votes…

  49. ukeone says: Sep 7, 2011 1:47 AM

    “Northern Illinois (NIU)…..are getting top 25 football votes…”

    Have you checked the polls today (9-6-11): a total of ‘5 votes’ in the AP (and need 125 votes to squeek into the top 25), and a total of ’13 votes’ in the coaches poll (needing 128 to get past a ‘no win’ TCU into the #25 position….got ‘some’ votes (and most likely deserving ones as well), but not top 25 yet. Chicago ‘is’ a huge market, though.

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