One of the first stops for interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas is in College Station to pay a visit to Texas A&M and try one last Hail Mary to keep the Aggies from leaving for the SEC.
It’s a long shot. “I would say the odds are against it, but sometimes a 100-to-1 shot comes home,” Neinas said during his introductory press conference on Friday. But, as far as choices are concerned, the Big 12′s primary goal is to give the sales pitch to the Aggies one last time.
The same can’t be said for A&M. Earlier this week, the school’s chief communications officer Jason Cook said via Twitter “TAMU has made our intentions perfectly clear. We do not intend to be a member of the Big 12 past this season.”
That’s a message from the top down. During Saturday’s game between A&M and Oklahoma State, Aggie president R. Bowen Loftin told Dennis Dodd of CBSSports that he expects his school to move forward to the SEC without the threat of litigation from other members of the Big 12.
“I think the legal issues are basically gone,” Loftin said. ”I expect to be in the SEC soon.”
Not that the likes of Baylor and Iowa State, who were withholding their right to wave litigation, had much of a case anyway. Proving damages as a result of A&M’s departure looked to be difficult –Kristi Dosh of BusinessofCollegeSports.com does a really great job of breaking down the case HERE – and A&M appears to have assurance that their exit will not directly result in the crumbling of the Big 12.
“I joined the teleconference on Thursday evening of the Big 12 directors,” Loftin said. “They were firmly committed to going forward without us with nine teams.”
The Big 12 will, however, need to pick up a 10th team to avoid financial penalties with the Big 12 Network and to remain a viable product for ESPN and FOX. Who that 10th member will be is still uncertain at this time.
Neinas, and I imagine every member of the Big 12, wants it to be A&M.
But 100-to-1 still feels a bit generous.