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Texas A&M AD on Big 12: ‘I regret that it is coming to an end’

Texas A&M To Join The SEC - Press Conference Getty Images

Texas A&M got what it wanted when it moved from the Big 12 to the SEC: stability and out from underneath Texas’ shadow.

Of course, more money helps too.

But when reached by Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News, A&M athletic director Bill Byrne said the move was bittersweet.

“I regret that it is coming to an end,” Byrne said. “On the other hand, looking at what’s going on nationally, I think it was a brilliant move to go to the Southeastern Conference, which screams stability. No one is trying to get out of the Southeastern Conference. That’s not true of the current conference we’re in.”

Truth, or just sour grapes? You can be the judge by reading Jon’s entire story with Byrne HEREbut it’s tough not to believe that just about any school would sacrifice tradition in favor of a higher annual payout these days. Not that A&M wanted to completely scrap tradition; Byrne added that he tried to get the best of both worlds and keep the Lone Star Showdown alive despite the Aggies moving on to the SEC.

“I’m very foolish,” Byrne explained.  “I assumed — and it was a rash assumption on my part — that our friends over in the state capital would want to continue playing us. It turns out they didn’t think we were as much of a rival as we thought of them.”

How that’s a surprise, I’m not entirely sure. Texas made it clear from the get-go that if A&M departed the Big 12, there would be no more annual rivalry between the two schools for the immediate future. And after losing a heartbreaker in College Station to the Longhorns last November, it’s no wonder that the Aggies want another crack at “t.u.”

But, in the end there doesn’t appear to be a lot of love lost between the two. As much as I — and I’m sure I speak for plenty of others — would love to see the two sides play every year, the reality is the business of the sport speaks the loudest regardless of what each side says.

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19 Responses to “Texas A&M AD on Big 12: ‘I regret that it is coming to an end’”
  1. mrslay1 says: Mar 24, 2012 6:38 PM

    Though from Arkansas I lived in Houston for several years. During that time I learned that A&M is a school full or Nerds. However, I have have never seen any group (except NE yankees) who were bigger babies than the texas tea sippers when they didn’t get their way. And yes I know … I married one.

  2. gtizzo says: Mar 24, 2012 6:54 PM

    This guys “regrets” haven’t even started yet. Heading out the Big 12 a conference they never came close to winning. Got dominated in most cases by Oklahoma and Texas. Know you go to the SEC to become a door mat for Alabama and LSU I would say “regret” will become “please take us back” with in 3 years. Money can’t help you when your getting beat sixty to nothing .

  3. tigersgeaux says: Mar 24, 2012 7:20 PM

    Friends who are currently in Appalachia helping doctors and dentists there, have related many stories about games with the Aggies over the years when such games were common between TAMU and LSU. Some were real knock down drag outs.

    The SEC is stable…that is a given. How A&M will do in the SEC is another question. I would guess they would do fairly well after a few years. I remember just a couple of years ago A&M beat both Texas and Oklahoma in the same season.

    I know alot of LSU fans, including myself, who would like to go to a game in College Station, and enjoy some great Texas BBQ and watch our Tigers hopefully wallop TAMU.

  4. timh1955 says: Mar 24, 2012 9:26 PM

    Welcome to the SEC … Now you will enjoy being in a REAL conference and we are glad to have you!

  5. thefiesty1 says: Mar 24, 2012 10:41 PM

    Sour grapes?? Good riddance! As someone said earlier they’ll be begging to get back in after a few years of sucking the bottom of the SEC.

  6. timh1955 says: Mar 24, 2012 11:58 PM

    In a few years there won’t be a Big 12 Conference!

  7. mrslay1 says: Mar 25, 2012 12:13 AM

    This is so true. Then we can here the rest of the little 12 crying to the SEC take me take me!! Of coarse we will not be listening:-)

  8. goodfieldnohit says: Mar 25, 2012 12:15 AM

    A&M and LSU used to play every year back in the 70’s and 80’s. The Tigers held the upper hand for many years, but then A&M beat them 5 years in a row, prompting LSU to not renew the series.

    A&M will compete just fine.

    And the university of texas needs to get over the butt hurt of A&M leaving the conference.

  9. frug says: Mar 25, 2012 12:28 AM

    @timh1955

    The Big XII just voted to extend its grant of TV rights until 2025 which means no one is leaving even if they want to.

  10. mrslay1 says: Mar 25, 2012 12:47 AM

    If the conference shut’s down they will have no choice but to go somewhere else.

  11. frug says: Mar 25, 2012 1:01 AM

    Except they would need a sufficient number of votes to dissolve the conference, which means at least 6 members (and possibly more depending on the conference bylaws) would have to find a better situation before the conference folds, and that is just not going to happen.

  12. TxGrown says: Mar 25, 2012 10:54 AM

    No wonder you hate Texas so much. Your better from Texas probably has your nuts in a vise. If you have any left.

  13. mldean71 says: Mar 25, 2012 2:27 PM

    As a Texas Alumni, I wish AtM all the best on their new venture. I will miss Kyle Field but at the end of the day, it was their decision to leave. Sorry they could not except living in Texas’ shadow but that was the reality of the situation. If AtM had won more games, Texas’s shadow would not have been so dark. Go luck in the SEC and show them that the TALENT in Texas is the best hand down.

  14. mrslay1 says: Mar 25, 2012 2:57 PM

    Texas has some great talent and thats for sure. It’s to bad all their coaches are losers. Which of coarse makes Texas football Losers.

  15. timh1955 says: Mar 25, 2012 5:14 PM

    I agree! It’s absolutely unbelievable that UT pays Mack Brown $5.2 million a year for consistently having mediocre seasons when he has a boat load of four and five star recruits.

    mrslay1 says:
    Mar 25, 2012 2:57 PM
    Texas has some great talent and thats for sure. It’s to bad all their coaches are losers. Which of coarse makes Texas football Losers.

  16. txstatebobcats1868 says: Mar 25, 2012 11:44 PM

    Big 12 isn’t going any where but to the top

  17. mrslay1 says: Mar 26, 2012 12:05 AM

    Maybe top of Division 2:-)

  18. burntorangehorn says: Mar 26, 2012 2:39 PM

    mrslay1 says:
    Mar 24, 2012 6:38 PM
    Though from Arkansas I lived in Houston for several years. During that time I learned that A&M is a school full or Nerds. However, I have have never seen any group (except NE yankees) who were bigger babies than the texas tea sippers when they didn’t get their way. And yes I know … I married one.
    ===================================
    How’s that going, living in the shadow of the real Texas man you married, mrs. lay? It’s analogous to the position of the entire state of Arkansas in the shadow of Texas.

    As for Byrne, at least he admits he is foolish and made a rash assumption. Of course Texas wouldn’t continue playing aggie if they (1) fled the conference and (2) blamed Texas instead of admitting it was a money grab. Why would anyone reward a child for throwing a tantrum? All it does is reinforce the behavior.

  19. aggiebama says: Apr 5, 2012 3:37 PM

    gtizzo is a typical example of the educational value of a t.u. degree. You don’t learn any math, and don’t realize that a 15-15 record against A&M since ’82 (when I was a student there) is not “dominating” your opponent. At least I have to take smack from OU, since they are 12-6 against us in the same time period. History is also lacking at t.u., where they believe that A&M has “never come close to winning the Big-XII”. A little research will tell you that A&M won the South division title in 1997 and the conference title in 1998. They also won 7 of the last 11 Southwest Conference titles before joining the Big-XII. t.u. won 2 SWC and 3 Big-XII titles, which puts the conference tally at 8-5 in favor of A&M since I’ve been an Aggie. Now, OU is more impressive with 4 Big-8 and 7 Big-XII titles in the same span (that’s all your fingers and one of your toes for t.u. fans). It’s funny how the schools who really dominate rarely show up in blogs to talk about it…

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