The Big 12 (Dan Beebe) came back to A&M towards the end of the week to see if he could keep things put but could not commit to what the A&M administration deemed necessary. At this point, I can't see how the relationship between A&M and the Big 12 would be able to continue - SEC-bound or not. I have no clue what happens if the "or not" scenario has to play out.
The backlash over this potentially happening is really starting to heat up. All of the Houston sports talk radio shows discussed it ALL DAY LONG on Friday and Saturday. Of course, most of those guys are windbags who don't really know the A&M program deeply enough to know what they're talking about outside of what they see scroll across the ticker on ESPN....but still.
The national media started picking up on it on Saturday and ESPN.com had an article and a video up - neither flattering of A&M. Shocker.
Even t-sip, Richard Justice sees the conflict of interest there: "How can anyone from ESPN weigh in on Texas A&M? ESPN is a corporate partner with The University of Texas. Zero credibility regarding A&M."
SI.com took a different approach.
I even had a healthy Facebook "conversation/discussion" with an old longhorn highschool buddy.
Here are the big arguments heard....
- Get over it and quit being crybabies about LHN
- You guys are going to get killed in the SEC
- You're running away from your rival texas
Last summer A&M was a breath away from this same situation we're in now - pushing for a move to the SEC. I wrote about the possibilities here at that time. We came back to the Big 12 under the impression that all parties involved were going to make a concerted effort to keep the Big 12 intact.
What has evolved since then centers around texas and their long-term plans. The horns are working their way towards being independent, without a conference affiliation, ala Notre Dame. That is why their ability to have their own TV network deal was so important in their negotiations with the Big 12. The plan is to use the Big 12 until the LHN is stable enough for them to go off on their own. That is also a key point as to why the Pac-10 thing fell apart last year because they would not let texas have their own network.
texas has continued to push the envelope putting their own priorities ahead of the conference (with attempt to broadcast a Big 12 conference game on their network as well as broadcast HS football games). This agenda makes for an unstable conference and the A&M administration wants stability. Instead of A&M letting texas play it out on their own convenient terms, A&M is now looking out for their best interest - and is talking to the SEC again. There is no reason A&M should get left holding the bag when this conference dissolves.
This move is about A&M being PROACTIVE.
Of course, A&M will be blamed for it by Baylor and tech and Kansas and Iowa State etc.....because they aren't desirable and don't have any other options - the Big 12 as is, even with texas running it's own agenda, is still their best option. See SMU, UH, Rice after the SWC dissolved. And there is no way that texas is going to say, "Wait guys, don't get mad at them - it's not really their fault you are the newest members of the Sun Belt."
Don't let the longhorns fool you into thinking that they are playing the role of momma bear and wanting to protect texas tech, Baylor, KU, etc. They were willing to leave them high and dry last year when they flirted with the Pac-10. They were also willing to leave them high and dry when the SWC ended (state legislature forced A&M & texas to bring tech and BU with them to the Big 12).
texas is going to protect Baylor and tech....and the Big 12 now because A&M is forcing their hand for once. texas doesn't have a choice to go to the SEC, Big 10 or Pac 12 now because they don't allow their schools to have their own networks. They need a conference affiliation until the LHN gets on solid footing before they can go independent.
A&M's administration sees that this conference is a sinking ship and is getting out now because they have the option. [Insert Little 7 School Name] fans are going to complain and call us backstabbers and unloyal but if they had the leverage or the opportunity to make a move to the SEC they would be lying if they told you they wouldn't jump at that chance.
A&M needs to look out for #1....just like texas is doing.
I don't have a problem with the Longhorn Network - my hat is off to texas for being able to negotiate that out. My problem is with their athletic department continually thumbing their nose at the conference and try to pull the fleece over everyone's eyes as we're all stupid. I have a problem with the front that is being put up by those in charge - and then acting like the rest of the conference should just stand there and take it. It's not the network itself that I have a problem with.
In response to us getting killed in the SEC or the SEC being a more difficult path to prominence....
- We'll have to see how it plays out
- What on earth do you care for? If we're so inferior and if this is such a terrible move by us, then why are horn fans all up in arms about this? I would welcome texas or tech making a huge silly mistake that would relegate them to has-beens and the forgottens. I can't imagine that horn fans and administration are trying to give us good, loving, sound advice to prevent us from making a mistake because they truly care about us, would they?
There were two articles that I read in the last couple of days that completely nail this situation. One is by Clay Travis, a Tennessee fan who now runs Outkick the Coverage, and the other is from And the Valley Shook, an LSU blog. Like I said, they nailed it.
Tomorrow's SEC president meeting is going to be really interesting. I can't imagine that SEC Commish would call the meeting, and waste all of these university president's time, if he didn't know what the result would be....I just wish I knew so I could stop hitting refresh on my internet browser and go to sleep.