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Conference Realignment Chronicles :: Report - Texas A&M BOR Have Votes to Go to SEC

Texas A&M Have Votes to Go to SEC:  Per DMN's Chuck Carlton, the Texas A&M Aggies' Board of Regents are a bit torn as to whether or not to go to the SEC, but have the necessary votes to make it happen.  My guess is that TAMU does decide to bolt to the SEC.  That's fine and as I said yesterday, they have two options, the SEC and the Pac-10.  The Pac-10 most likely wants TAMU to join along with the rest of the Big 12 South, but I would imagine that Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott won't be holding his breath. Yesterday, per the Tulsa World's Bill Haisten, Scott met with the Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma St. Cowboys with OU scheduling a Board of Regents meeting on Wednesday (I tend to think that all university boards must be given a 72 hour notice) and OSU having the ability to meet on Wednesday, but aren't scheduled to meet until Friday.  Texas and Texas Tech will most likely announce their intentions on Tuesday, when their respective board of regents will each meet.   Texas is at 11:00 a.m. and Texas Tech is at 2:00 p.m.  It seems likely that the Oklahoma schools will follow suit on Wednesday.

I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about the possibility TAMU going to the SEC.  This isn't a TAMU blog, but I feel like it's becoming one.  Anywho, I thought I'd post some opinions around the state regarding the potential move:  B/CS Eagle's Robert Cessna writes that it's a tough decision for the Aggies:

So while many fans would love to see A&M play LSU  would that make sense if Texas opts not to come with the Aggies to the SEC? Many reports have Oklahoma going with UT if at all possible. Does A&M want to risk not playing those schools?

So much to consider.

You have to look at travel, rivalries, how would the three proposed leagues (assuming the Big 12 adds two and keeps going) divide the schools for all sports. Again, it’s just not now, but what about 15 years from now? There’s also the problem of fitting into a league where the majority of your athletic teams have a chance to success.

I’m anxious to see what’s ahead.

. . . FWST's Randy Galloway writes that the Aggies would be better off going to the Pac-10 because teams cannot afford to lose their rivals:

A newspaper friend of mine from down the road, Kevin Sherrington, last week interviewed Frank Broyles, who as AD at Arkansas engineered in 1990 the Hogs' jump from the old Southwest Conference to the SEC.

Broyles rehashed his reasons, gave the current plus factors, but his last words should hit home with every Aggie mulling over this current situation:

"We don't have a rivalry," Frank said, describing his biggest regret.

Twenty years later, and the Hogs still don't have a hatefest of a rivalry with an SEC foe. Nothing, of course, even remotely akin to what it once was with Texas. In Arkansas, they attempt to manufacture an LSU rivalry, but the LSU people laugh it off.

Again, a beloved hatefest just doesn't magically happen, such as A&M vs. Arkansas in a new SEC. As Broyles said, it hurts that 20 years later his Razorbacks simply don't have one.

Hold on, Former Students. I'm not finished.

Next, let's hear from Tommy Tuberville, the new head coach at Texas Tech, and a veteran of the SEC football wars. Plus, Tuberville is Arkansas bred and raised. He knows the territory.

"It's never been the same [for the Razorbacks] since they left the SWC, and it will never be the same," said Tommy. "They didn't just leave the conference, they left their recruiting base in Texas. When the move happened, it took away their presence in Texas, and took away their rivalries in Texas. That was critical."

. . . the Chron's Richard Justice writes that TAMU wants to get out from UT's shadow by moving to the SEC:

Forget those arguments about travel and culture and television revenues. If Texas A&M jumps to the Southeastern Conference, it'll be because the Aggies have had enough of being compared to and defined by the Longhorns.

At least Gene Stallings has had the guts to say — or to hint strongly — what a lot of other Aggies are thinking.

Can you blame him? How would you like to be constantly compared to a football program that sells more tickets and merchandise, raises more money and wins more games than almost any other in the nation?

Please don't write and tell me about golf and tennis. This is about football, and the Aggies aren't competitive. Texas A&M has become The Other School in Texas, and to thousands of A&M fans, to those who contribute millions and care deeply, this is galling.

They're embarrassed by the empty seats at Kyle Field and the budget deficits, and they're really, really tired of losing recruits and games to Texas.

No one really knows what will happen if Team A goes to Conference XYZ vs. Conference ABC.  Sure, it's fun to discuss, but personally, I think it's going to be a tough road for the Aggies and the Aggies that have been emailing me and expressing their opinion feel the same way, i.e. that it's going to be tough to compete in the SEC, that it's a shame that the in-state rivalries will be lost, and most of them believe that they will go by the wayside if TAMU decides the route to the SEC is best.