The final verdict from SEC presidents and chancellors over adding Texas A&M as the conference’s 13th member is expected to be reached sometime either today or tomorrow, meaning H-Hour for what could — could — be the beginning of conference realignment apocalypse v 2.0 is likely ticking toward zero.
While a departure by the Aggies would be a devastating blow to the Big 12 — they’re not getting any stronger without A&M and Nebraska — the final blow would most certainly be a move by Oklahoma — and, by association, Oklahoma State — to, say, the Pac-12.
With Dan Beebe‘s conference very much on life support, Kansas’ chancellor, Bernadette Gray-Little, released a statement today revealing the concerns of all those who chant “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk.”
“It’s obviously disappointing that it has come to this point*,” Gray-Little said. “Keeping the Big 12 strong and competitive remains our top preference, but no matter what happens we’re going to continue to work in the best interests of the University of Kansas. That’s our number one priority and it’s what we’ve been focused on throughout the process as we’ve looked at all our options when it comes to conference realignment.”
(*note: not trying to poke fun here, but the Longhorn Network banner advertisement at the top of KU’s Rivals page was pure gold)
In one man’s opinion, Kansas’ biggest options are either the Mountain West or the Big East if the Big 12 does break apart, but just about everything outside of A&M actually going to the SEC is all speculation at this point. A&M would not have sent a notice of withdrawal to the Big 12 if they weren’t beyond confident of an SEC invite. A vote by SEC officials likely means the Aggies have sent their request for membership, which, again, should be approved barring a sudden change.
One thing is certain, though: in the coming weeks and months, I would disregard most statements about “loyalty” and “commitment”; when the you-know-what hits the fan, everybody will be looking out for themselves and themselves only.