Thursday, August 11, 2011

Is Texas A&M going to leave the Big 12 for the SEC?


With one response, Gov. Rick Perry elevated the rumors linking Texas A&M; and the Southeastern Conference beyond message board chatter and Twitter.

Asked by The Dallas Morning News’ statehouse reporters Wednesday about speculation that A&M; might bolt the Big 12 for the SEC, Perry responded: “I’ll be real honest with you. I just read about it the same time as y’all did. ... As far as I know, conversations are being had. That’s frankly all I know. I just refer you to the university and the decision makers over there.”

The comments from a prominent former student, one-time Aggie yell leader and likely presidential candidate sent the message that A&M; is considering a move that could again rock the Big 12 and end longstanding traditional rivalries.

At the same time, Perry’s quote raises questions. Are the conversations among A&M; officials? Have they extended to talks with the SEC? Where do president R. Bowen Loftin and athletic director Bill Byrne stand?

Asked about Perry’s comments and discussions regarding conference membership, A&M; released a statement Wednesday afternoon. Rather than refute the speculation, A&M; took a different approach. The statement read: “President Loftin is committed to doing what is best for Texas A&M; not only now, but also into the future. We continue to have wide-ranging conversations regarding all aspects of the university, including both academics and athletics.”

Asked in a follow-up email to confirm or deny SEC discussion, A&M; spokesman Jason Cook responded: “I will decline to address further .... Thanks for your understanding.”

Byrne, traveling with the men’s basketball team in Europe, didn’t immediately return an email. With commissioner Dan Beebe attending an NCAA summit in Indianapolis, the Big 12 declined comment.

Multiple high-level sources throughout the conference indicated than an A&M; move was not viewed as eminent, although things could escalate. They detailed a view of a divided board of regents seriously willing to explore the SEC option. A large, vocal contingent of the fan base has given the movement momentum.

Several Big 12 sources also expressed a growing frustration with A&M;’s wanderlust and its impact on a conference trying to rebrand itself after losing Nebraska and Colorado. For the past several months, A&M; was the most vocal critic of Texas’ startup Longhorn Network with ESPN and its plans to televise high school games and Big 12 football contests.

Conference athletic directors and presidents gave A&M; almost all of what it wanted last week, imposing at least a one-year moratorium on Longhorn Network high school games.

The opponent and league office must approve any conference game carried by the network. Apparently, A&M; was not appeased.

Sources indicated that no other Big 12 team is considering an exit and the league would continue with nine teams if A&M; left.

While sources said that A&M; is intrigued about the SEC’s possibilities, the Aggies remain troubled by the Longhorn Network and its effect on Big 12 stability.

Proponents of a move to the SEC suggest that Texas A&M; could finally escape Texas’ shadow and forge a separate national identity. With five consecutive BCS titles, the SEC represents the gold standard for football. A&M; would be joining the elite.

But A&M; would presumably join the SEC West and face a football schedule that includes Alabama, LSU, Auburn and Arkansas annually. The Aggies have lost their last six meetings against SEC opponents. The SEC maintains a conference title game. The Big 12 does not, providing an easier path to a BCS appearance.

A&M; would also lose longstanding rivalries.

The Aggies have played Texas and Baylor more than 100 times. The Texas Legislature could get involved.

Yet none of that may matter given the direction A&M; is moving.

SEC-ede, anyone?


ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 10 months ago

Rick Perry should pray and all of this will be resolved.

texashawk10 10 years, 10 months ago

The Texas state legislature has to approve any change in conference among its "big 4". This is the reason why Baylor was the 4th school Texas school to join the Big 12 instead of TCU, SMU, or Houston. Right now, Texas A&M is just sounding like Missouri did last year with all of the going to the Big 10 talk.

Steve Corder 10 years, 10 months ago

The Texas legislature does not have to approve any such thing. Baylor was thrown into the B12 mix because of the powerful policitcal influences in state government at that time. There was "political arm twisting" and off-the-record threats but no legislative action.

A&M does not need legislative approval.

rob4lb 10 years, 10 months ago

bb73 is right. The Texas legislature does not have to approve the Aggies move to the SEC. Last time, the governor, who was a Baylor alum, pressured the conference to take Baylor. The current governor is an A&M alum and would not block the Aggies from bolting to the SEC if that is what the administration wants to do. We should take this seriously.

Kyle Sybesma 10 years, 10 months ago

My brother-in-law comes from an A&M family and this has been building since last summer. If the PAC 12 picked up the Longhorns, A&M had it lined up to join the SEC. They are tired of being in the shadow of Texas. The Big 12 is being pulled apart in multiple directions. The SEC, Big 10 and PAC 12 are looking to be power 16 team conferences. So far KU's name has been left out. What are we doing to position ourselves to appeal to the Big 10 or PAC 12. We all know we have the best basketball program but this is about money and football drives that.

Joseph Kuebel 10 years, 10 months ago

Pac-10 (at the time) last year said KU would have been their next choice had A&M left to the SEC... Sounds good to me.

TtownHawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Except that we were getting that spot over Utah, which is now in the Pac 12. We are on the outside looking in at this point in the Pac12/16 discussion.

Hank Cross 10 years, 10 months ago

I've been saying this for a year. The B12 is going to implode thanks to Bevo sooner or later. Broadcasting HS games on the Longhorn Network, gee who would have a problem with that?

If only A&M would've pulled the trigger last year. We would've been on our way to the P16, siding with the UC schools, Stanford, and USC against UT.

Take Little Brother and Fizzou and go to the Big East now.

Hank Cross 10 years, 10 months ago

KU BB needs one thing to maintain its status as a marquee program - tv. ESPN has dumped 100s of millions of dollars into developing Big Monday and needs a marquee name in the CST for the 2nd half of the double-header. A match made in Heaven. It doesn't matter if KU is going to be playing BYU, or Cincinnatti. If they'll put KU/TT on, you can be assured that KU will be on Big Monday no matter what conference they're in. And that's not going to change no matter what the FB team does.

jhox 10 years, 10 months ago

I've seen many rumors of MU also being in talks with the SEC. While the Big 12 could survive the loss of A&M, it would be difficult to survive the loss of both. MU would make sense for the SEC. They have a good football program (I believe 4 ten win seasons in a row) and they would be a natural rival for Arkansas. Not to mention they bring 2 major metro areas to the table (though let's be honest, they don't own either market outright, with KU owning most of the KC market and Illinois owning a good percentage of the St. Louis market.)

I've also seen rumors of KU and KSU being in talks with the Big East, as a back up plan. The Big East would be great for our basketball program, and would make East coast recruiting easier than ever. It may even help our football program in the long run by making 6 win seasons easier to come by. The travel would be the downside, and the loss of rivalries, so the Big 12 still makes the most sense of us. However, it would be very cool to play teams like Syracuse, Georgetown, UConn, etc. once or twice a year in hoops.

jayhawk1996 10 years, 10 months ago

Mizzou would be lucky to have a 7- or 8-win season in the SEC. Only Arkansas wants them added to that league.

Brad Avery 10 years, 10 months ago

One secessionist commenting on the secession of his football team from a misfit football conference. How supremely ironic.

pheidole 10 years, 10 months ago

"an A&M move was not viewed as eminent" Imminent. The word Chuck wanted was imminent. Nebraska departs and the IQ of Texas drops another point or two. Go KU. Go Big Red.

Jacobpaul81 10 years, 10 months ago

Eh... Let them go. Frankly, the addition of the Texas schools was never a good decision. This will be the fourth time they've broken apart a conference. On the plus side, if Texas and A&M left for "greener pastures", Arkansas is almost guaranteed to leave the SEC... just so they don't have to be in a conference with Texas/Texas A&M again. They hate them more than we do.

Jacobpaul81 10 years, 10 months ago

Eh... Let them go. Frankly, the addition of the Texas schools was never a good decision. This will be the fourth time they've broken apart a conference. On the plus side, if Texas and A&M left for "greener pastures", Arkansas is almost guaranteed to leave the SEC... just so they don't have to be in a conference with Texas/Texas A&M again. They hate them more than we do.

blackhawkjayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Let A&M go, pick up TCU, Louisville, Memphis and Cincinnati. You've got a pretty good conference, there....

utahjayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

We better get talking to the P12 or B10 fast to express interest. They're the only two conferences we've been linked to that have true long-term stability. The BE is ripe for defections to other power conferences down the road - it's a hodge podge collection of revenue (football) weak schools and is not best for our hopefully permanent future affiliation.

HuskerNLawrence 10 years, 10 months ago

It's just a matter of time and B12 will separate in pieces. NU and CU both knew it and were tired of TX ego. Tx really needs to just go independent and leave everyone else alone and live on their big mountain of money. I would love to see KU go B10 and join NU. Not only keep KU/NU games going but also seeing all those B10 teams coming through Lawrence!! That would be cool. GBR

JayDocMD 10 years, 10 months ago

A&M to SEC is a done deal - its just a matter of when. I would love to join the Big 10 - that's my 1st choice if the B12 collapses. However, they don't appear to have any interest in us. I feel that one huge reason is our state government has tied us to KSU as a package deal.

Unfortunately our only realistic choice would be the Big East - which would be better than Mountain West or Conf USA. Only other big conference hope would be the PAC12. If OU and OkSt go but Texas decided to be an independent, they might come calling. But again being tied KSU may be the albatross that sinks us there too.

HuskerNLawrence 10 years, 10 months ago

JayDocMD that is a big shame that you are tied to KSU so tight but I understand. If the B10 saw the expansion through basketball eyes, although I realize there is no money like fb $, then the B10 would gain instantly a huge force in KU and a sometimes good KSU team. The obvious driving force is KU basketall there.

By the way, I think I can speak for most of Husker Nation that 95% of us really enjoyed the KU rivalry. Pretty fare trade from our point of view; KU dominated in basketball and every now and then we got a W and we got football with exception of a few games. The fans were good to each other too. And we have a common denominator of hatred of anything MU. I hope they sink to the MIAA and PSU whips them. GBR

rob4lb 10 years, 10 months ago

I am fascinated about what is going on behind the scenes in the athletic departments in Lawrence, Columbia, and Manhattan. Are they lobbying to other conferences? Are they doing nothing? I am troubled at the apparent lack of outrage by KU or K-State (at least MU has made some statements) about the Longhorn Network. There is an article earlier this week, where ESPN was trying to make a sweetheart deal with Tech to have its game with UT broadcast on the Longhorn network. Tech gave them an emphatic "NO", despite some guaranteed money and that some of their other games would be broadcast at the prime times on ESPN. If this same deal were offered to KU or K-State would they take it and force us to have to subsidize Texas and the Longhorn network to watch our team. Since ESPN owns the LHN, they can threaten not to broadcast future games on ESPN/ABC meaning the games would be broadcast on Fox meaning less revenue for KU when the revenue is divided.

I guess we are in such a weak position that it does us no good to publicly express outrage. Maybe it's because I live in Houston and am more exposed to this, but I am outraged.

Kyle Sybesma 10 years, 10 months ago

Couldn't agree more! Texas and ESPN hold all the cards and no one will stand up to them except A&M. Every team in the Big12 should be lobbying their program be added to a major conference. I beleive this is the biggest threat to the longevity of KU basketball greatness. Money is everything here and it comes from TV football deals. If we're not apart of it where does the money come from to keep up in the athletics arms race?

rob4lb 10 years, 10 months ago

Look at the tone of this article. It's critical of A&M when all teams should be unified in its criticism of the LHN. No team should ever allow it game with UT to be broadcast on the LHN. I would hope KU would turn down an proposal to do that despite the money involved.

Sam Constance 10 years, 10 months ago

Not to sound naive, but...

...what, exactly, is the problem with having a our game against Texas on LHN? I mean, aside from all the anti-Texas sentiment and rabble-rousing, that is.

As one who remembers it being damn-near impossible to see ANY KU football game on TV until about 5 years ago, I have a hard time getting to much outrage over this.

My only issue with the LHN was the fact that they wanted to broadcast high school games, and only then because it would have been a blatant recruiting violation.

I also fail to see how A&M threatening to leave the Big 12 qualifies as "standing up to" Texas.

rob4lb 10 years, 10 months ago

As we get back into this I have to assume to some of the reporters did some research last time on the following question:

Are KU and K-State a package OR can KU move to a conference without K-State? Would the legislature/ Board of Regents intervene to prevent the two from splitting up? Despite the 1-13 record last year vs. K-State, KU is a more attractive program for one of the two desireable conferences-- The Big 10 and the PAC-12. If they are tied to K-State, that will never happen and the only hope would be to keep the Big 12-3/4 together or move to a vulnerable Big East. I don't like either of the latter options.

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 10 months ago

In Zenger we trust!




David Atchley 10 years, 10 months ago

A second tier athletic director, a third tier head football coach and an incompetent search committee equal an inevitable fate of Mountain West Conference or Missouri Valley Conference.

rob4lb 10 years, 10 months ago

Not sure it's quite that bad. Worst case scenario is problem a move to a vulnerable expanded Big East.

milehighhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

I realize it isnt an ljw article but it is "imminent" not eminent.

cthusker 10 years, 10 months ago

Once again TEXASS will destroy another conference! That loud sucking sound you hear are the Whorns siphoning every red cent they can get from the B12-2 before hitting the road and the B12-2 implodes. All we heard last year was how NU wrecked the party? What a freaken joke... you lie down with dogs you catch fleas.. welcome to the Whorns Network... lol... What conference would be stupid enough to let TEXASS in now? Who's dumb enough to want those ego manic's in their conference? Before this is over TEXASS will be independent and begging for opponents.... The Big 12-2 should tell them to shut it or simply kick them out. You're going to have some very unhappy folks at places like K-State and ISU when the B12-2 folds!

Thanks you Coach Osborne and Harvey from getting us out of that rats nest!! Good bye and good riddens to the Whorns.... BTW.. thanks to all the B12 lacky's that voted year after year with TEXASS thus giving them supreme rule over the conference....

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 10 months ago

Whorns? That was clever. Had not seen that one. Understand your sentiment. The Big 8 was a darn good conference. It was to the benefit of Texas, not ours, for this union and we have had some spineless representation that has forgotten that. Truth is we should keep A&M and kick out Texas. I wish Nebraska had made that their pitch, "Its either us or them." I don't see the mega conference thing panning out. Oh, the manipulators and profiteers will try to do this behind the scenes but I think college administrators are going to be increasingly scrutinized as to whether their actions are feathering their own nests.

David Atchley 10 years, 10 months ago

All news and comments points in the direction of it all being a formality. Governor Rick Perry (soon to be as of this Saturday "Republican Nominee for President Perry) who is an Aggie (KU fans think of your disdain for K-State, and multiply that by a power of 10 and you'll understand the despise between UT/A&M) said all as much yesterday. A&M Board of Regents will announce 8/31 the decision.

Apparently the remaining issue for A&M is an "State of Texas" Oil and Gas Fund that is split among the major universities and A&M gets a 1/3 of that $6B dispersal of funds for their research departments. SEC is a winner with A&M joining as it opens the State of Texas for recruiting, and gives them two major TV markets in Dallas and Houston. ESPN, the network for SEC wins by adding those markets to their growing empire and ESPN also wins because that clears the runway for them to continue full-speed ahead with the Longhorn Network and specifically showing Texas High School football games on their network.

(A note here...the national 7 on 7 high school football tournament is hosted at A&M every summer. It showcases the top high school kids from Texas and around the country. "7 on 7" is a big deal in the summer time in Texas..and as UT Athletic Director Deloss Dodds said yesterday about the unfair advantage of high school recruiting each summer by hosting this "you don't hear our comments about this being an unfair advantage because we choose not to share our comments publicly")

A Big 12 official was quoted earlier this morning (yest earlier meaning Thursday morning) the "Big 12 can survive with 9 teams until the 2015-2016 season when the ABC/ESPN contract expires."

Television revenue is driving the realignment and creating the "mega-conferences and the "regional" mega-conferences." UT still has an ace in their hand and if the Big 12 continues to be dismantled, there is the chance of Notre Dame, University of Texas, Brigham Young University, and a couple of other schools of their size and influence, forming their own elite conference. Deloss Dodds and Jack Swarbrick the AD at Notre Dame are very close friends and Swarbrick considers Dodds his mentor.

Texas A&M's departure will have more significance than Colorado and Nebraska leaving the conference. Ironically, Nebraska may have a real opportunity to win the Big 10 Conference this year. Texas A&M, perceives no longer being in the long shadow that is cast by the University of Texas, may produce similar results.

WestNEHawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Mustlehustle - I'm curious, if ND, texass, BYU and a couple of others form a group would it be difficult for them to schedule games during the "regular" season with teams that are playing in their conference, i.e., the regular season???

David Atchley 10 years, 10 months ago

Good question and its been asked/answered several times in and amongst Texas media...the amount of revenue that would be generated from the television networks would make it a more "global" conference. It would be ardious, but UT and Notre Dame have been having this dialogue for several years. The amount of media they would control, would give them TV and market share that would overcome any geography.

As far as other members to join this elite conference, think in terms of teams like "BYU" that dominate their respective states from an athletic standpoint, and also have a significant TV market like Salt Lake City, they also dominate.

David Atchley 10 years, 10 months ago

Before the "grammar" police show up, in my haste to answer your question, I meant to say, the global conference would be more "arduous" but with all the media technology and the sacks of money the major networks would provide, it would be attainable. It will hurt the fans that still attend games, but the television ratings continue to be overwhelming, TV manufacturers continue to see a rise in sales, homebuilders continue to build homes with dedicated home theater/game rooms.

Simply, the technology has made a lot of home games more "corporately" driven. Its the same corporations that benefit from the bowl games, that advertise their products/services on these very same TV networks that don't want the bowl game system to disappear. They get too much corporate traction from the name recognition and branding to their respective bowls.

KGphoto 10 years, 10 months ago

Hope Turner's boys make noise this year. A bowl game would go a long way toward selling our new football program as winning. In order to do that we would have to chalk up several big upsets, garnering some national attention, proving T.G. has turned football at KU around and making us more attractive to the Big 10, PAC 10, whoever.

It seems the NCAA would love 4, 16-team power conferences. Everything would be nice and tidy for the switch to a playoff system. Conference Championship game winners in football would slide easily to the top of the playoff bracket, and teams like Boise St. would find it far more difficult to steal the thunder of big money schools like Ohio St., Alabama, Texas etc.

Seems like it will be the PAC 16, The Big 16 (Big 10), SEC and the conference that always seems left out of these conversations, The ACC. I could easily see the ACC soaking up some of the Big East, along with the Big 12.

Can you imagine playing Duke and North Carolina regularly in basketball? Hey basketball may not be the cash cow football is, but that would be the mother of all the other basketball conferences combined! ESPN would probably start a new network just for ACC basketball.

rob4lb 10 years, 10 months ago

This isn't about basketball. That was proven last year. Making a minor bowl game does not elevate the program to attractiveness. Perhaps Turner Gill's close relationship with Nebraska could help us get entry into the Big 10 if the landscape radically changes.

KGphoto 10 years, 10 months ago

I think our entry to another conference might balance more on our academics than Turner Gill's relationship with Nebraska.

We will certainly be on the bubble, but in the end KU will probably be the best option for the Big 10's expansion to 16 teams.

I liked the idea of playing Duke and Roy's Boys every year, but I didn't say it was very likely.

2_Phoggy 10 years, 10 months ago

You know how we protect KU from being left out of any power conferences? You buy football tickets and go to the games. Yeah. That's all. If we have a half packed house at every home game it's embarrassing and why the f would any of the power conferences want us? We are not a very attractive school to any of these power / super conferences being talked about

jgkojak 10 years, 10 months ago


1) Rick Perry is an idiot.

2) Let's pretend the SEC wanted A&M... fine. We WOULD easily be able to add a 10th team (Houston & Memphis being the most likely). Its not like A&M is an academic powerhouse.

3) Let's pretend A&M wanted the SEC... playing Alabama, Auburn, LSU and then having a champ game against Florida, etc. is kind of like back into the frying pan - losing NE and CO and the divisions makes it MUCH easier for A&M to get lucky on a down year by TX and OK and sneak into a title game or BCS bowl.

4) Note- A&M would probably do quite well in basketball.

rob4lb 10 years, 10 months ago

You are wrong on so many points: 1) I tend to agree with you on that one. 2) What do Houston or Memphis bring? Living in Houston, I can assure you that UH is at best the 4th most popular school in Houston. They add NO value. On your assertion that A&M is not an academic powerhouse, go check any rankings and you will see that A&M is one of the top public universities academically. By all measures, they are clearly stronger than an other school in the Big 12 except for Texas.
3) Sure it will be easier in the Big 12, but that is not what this is about. It is about getting away from UT and moving to the most prestigious football conference in the US. 4) this isn't about basketball.

utahjayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Exactly, rob. I don't why it seems so many folks want to try and salvage the Big XII. It's clearly only a matter of time before the Big XII fully implodes, and I bet the over/under would be about 3 years or less at this point.

Others amazinlgy see us adding Arkansas (what??? would never happen) or 2nd tier castoffs (Memphis, Louisville) to fill the void of other (smart) Big XII schools jumping ship. I bet Oklahoma or Missouri is next.

In the end, we better quickly align with either the P12 or B10, if they'll have us. I also remember somebody quoting either a Sen or Gov indicating that we are not legally tied to KSU in this negotiation process.

KGphoto 10 years, 10 months ago

Here's a nice breakdown of the possible final re-alignment.

He has KU as the last team in the Big 10's expansion to 16 teams.

rob4lb 10 years, 10 months ago

Her entire blog is excellent if you ever really want to try to understand the issues that are driving realignment. Not surprising, it is all about money. At least her scenario on conference realignment is based on real factors like size of TV markets, strength of athletic program and academic fit.

KGphoto 10 years, 10 months ago

No kidding. It's really a good read.

She does include other factors I've been stressing as important too. Like geography, rivalries and culture. Conferences have to worry about their brand. That's what it seems will help KU as much as anything.

We may not bring in extra money, but we look good. And for a conference that's trying to round out to 16, it makes sense.

rob4lb 10 years, 10 months ago

There are a couple of points for concern. Is there anything magical about getting to 16 teams? To me, the nirvana scenario would be to somehow get invited to the Big 10 with the Pac 12 next. From a purely business standpoint, we would have to add value in addition to meeting the other criteria just to get into the discussion (like academics, AAU membership etc.). I don't know if our brand, the KC TV market, and our basketball team justifies an invitation.

KGphoto 10 years, 10 months ago

Just saw I wrote he instead of she. Sorry Kristi.

Sam Constance 10 years, 10 months ago

This is an interesting read, to be sure. But I think this (and all other talk of the 4 "superconferences") is pure, unadulterated speculation at this point.

It's a pipe dream, nothing more.

If this is all about money, as many have speculated, then how does that reconcile with the fact that a 16-team conference has to split it's revenue that many more ways than a slightly smaller conference? Because I have serious doubts that the TV deals would increase enough to not require each of the 16 teams to take slightly less revenue than if they stayed at 12 (or thereabouts).

I long for the days when news and journalism required more than absurd speculation to write a story. As I said, Kristi's article is an incredibly interesting read, but it's as much random speculation as it is based in fact.

hawkalumN2011 10 years, 10 months ago

The whole premise of her blog was that she was "speculating".....she was in no way trying to report her analysis as fact. What made you think she was trying to report facts??.....and I don't think she is being "absurd".....if you actually read the article, you would have noticed that she based her "speculation" on some pretty intelligent criteria.

kureader 10 years, 10 months ago

KU and K-Straight will never be separated. That makes this guy's article wrong, at least as it related to KU's future.

gchawk 10 years, 10 months ago

I see the potential for Texas ultimately being in the Big 1. It seems to me that they've done about every conceivable thing they could do to alienate the other schools in our conference and the sad part is, they just really don't care. Oh how I miss the Big 8.

David Atchley 10 years, 10 months ago

Good article KG....I am not sure I completely agree with the writer's assessment. However, it brings an interesting alternative for a "Kansas." The remaining schools she lists not selected, make a very formidable "basketball driven" conference.. Teams like Houston, Baylor, Memphis, Louisville, Kansas State, all have very respectable baskeball programs.

The bigger conferences aren't attracted to a "Kansas" because the Kansas City, Topeka, Wichita markets aren't televsion markets that move the proverbial needle. Also, the sparse population of Kansas, doesn't have the economies of scale from a recruiting standpoint. It may be a newly formed conference of the above, and negotiate a substantial television contract based on their basketball strength may be a solution.

Bear86 10 years, 10 months ago

For those of you who lived the conference re-alignment nightmare KU went through 2 years ago this should come as no surprise. F-Texas!!!!!!!!!!!

Sam Constance 10 years, 10 months ago

Um... A&M can spin this all they want, the same way the Cornhuskers tried to...

But at the end of the day, it's A&M, not Texas, driving this rendition of re-alignment. Just like last year it was Nebraska, not Texas, who created the chaos that ensued.

I, for one, am getting a little tired of watching these schools court other conferences, only to fall back on the tried and true "it's Texas' fault!" excuse.

utahjayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

I think you're absolutely wrong. The ever-reaching tenticles of Texas is what will ultimately be responsible for killing this conference. That's completely apparent by their launching of the LHN (with proposed high school games to boot - extremely unfair advantage) not even 1 year after the conference nearly imploded.

Texas couldn't give a rat's ass about the rest of the conference and that imbalance (just like in all areas of the physical universe) creates a huge instability and will eventually result in the death of this conference.

Sam Constance 10 years, 10 months ago

The only thing killing this conference are teams threatening to leave it. Nothing about a Longhorn Network (sans high school games--see link in my post below) is or should be damaging to other teams in this conference. Not in the two revenue sports, anyway.

I don't think Texas cares about "the rest of the conference" anymore than Nebraska did. Or Colorado did. Or Texas A&M might. The difference between Texas and the rest of the conference teams is that Texas is big enough that it doesn't have to care. They can likely survive without a conference. I know that's incredibly galling to some, but the bottom line is that almost every team in the conference BENEFITS as a result of Texas being a part of it. Money, recruiting ground, national attention for the conference. And Texas, while it could go independent, will always do better within a conference. So there is a way to make this work, as long as insecure schools that are mad because they aren't Texas don't go leaving or threatening to leave the conference every year.

It should be noted that "all powerful Texas" and it's complete inability to be dealt with, was stopped from having high school games on it's network by the other schools asking the NCAA to look into whether that's allowable or not.

There may come a day when Texas does something so unbelievable, so egregious that schools simply can't stand to share a conference with them any longer. But wanting a school network and trying to gain an advantage through that network is hardly unreasonable. Maybe I would feel differently if they somehow were allowed to broadcast HS games, in defiance of almost every basic NCAA recruiting rule. I would prefer the Big 12 remain as is, because I like Texas A&M, but it seems that the Aggies are the ones forcing the issue, not Texas.

Sam Constance 10 years, 10 months ago

This whole thing is ridiculous. I will believe that A&M is moving to the SEC (and therefore, that A&M officials, fans and alums have completely lost their minds) when it actually happens, and not a moment before.

They want to "get out of Texas' shadow" by going over and plopping down in the shadow of the SEC. Brilliant. Like it or not, Texas A&M no longer carries the same national cache that it once did. And moving to a conference where the path to postseason glory (and therefore national recognition) is more difficult isn't going to change any of that. Actually threatening for a Big 12 title and going to a BCS game to represent the Big 12 would be a lot more effective than putting their tail between their legs and running for the SEC.

It begs the question--is this about money or ego? Because the only "good" reason to leave the Big 12 is for pride and the childish/jealous view of the Longhorns. If it's about money, then move forward with the chunk of the new revenue pie that the Big 12 just baked and fix your wounded pride by BEATING TEXAS ON THE FIELD/COURT.

I'm no fan of Texas and their overbearing ways, but the way I see it, this move by A&M exhibits the same kind of "Texas pride" that makes the Longhorns so obnoxious. You have a bunch of jack*sses that never truly graduated from the college mindset, and want to make MAJOR decisions about their university and it's future based on some pathetic collegiate rivalry with another school. I dislike KSU and Missouri--in the context of college sports--but I would be livid if KU's administrators decided that we needed to leave the conference because we couldn't stand either of those schools. What a petty, ridiculous way to behave.

Between the money-grubbing conference realignment talk and the new topic of paying college athletes, I am real close to losing all interest in college athletics whatsoever. If I want to watch greedy a-holes quibble over money, I have the pro leagues, where they've turned arguing over money into a sport of it's own. Lockouts seem to be all the rage nowadays.

Kyle Sybesma 10 years, 10 months ago

ESPN is putting themselves in dangerous territory with the LHN. They've been a pioneer in sports broadcasting. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS,, (?), ESPN the Magazine and pobably others I can't think of. Entering into a contract with not a conference but a university is crossing the line. How can they be considered a nonbias network when covering college or even high school sports? What's going to happen when Mack Brown retires and UT hires the wrong coach and UT falls into obscurity?

Ludwig Supraphonic 10 years, 10 months ago

Texas has had lame seasons with overmatched coaches. So has Notre Dame. They continued to garner press attention in losing seasons because they're national brands with international fan bases. Syracuse got more coverage when they didn't make the NCAA tourney than most teams did in being top seeds. The Espn staff is dominated by Syracuse staff. Kansas has a great journalism school, though is unlikely to infiltrate a major sports network. Continued basketball success is our best opportunity to remain nationally relevant in college sports. It's somewhat suprising to see that KU basketball ranks below UT in basketball revenue. Even more surprising to see Misery is even close to us with a smaller, often half-filled arena.

Justin Lindsley 10 years, 10 months ago

I thought we would have a few years before this all came up again. I'm sure the Hawks are looking around at possibilities. However, they might want to start pursuing a deal instead of begging for a spot down the road.

I also find it pathetic that A&M and others (think NE) would rather just take their toys and go home instead of try to get better and beat Texas. Most everyone is going to be at a disadvantage with UT. So is UT going to just go rogue and be independent. Any conference would be happy to get them in the short term, but maybe not so much in the long term.

I just hope KU can find a solid power conference that will invite them. TV money is the $hits!!!!

rob4lb 10 years, 10 months ago

It's funny that people are trying to make A&M the bad guy. Going to the SEC gives them more money, more stability, and a chance to create a stronger brand. It's UT that is insisting that it get to play be a different set of rules. No other conference would allow a Longhorn Network, so UT decided to keep the Big 12 together only after insisting that rules be set up to allow them their own network.

What's wrong with a Big 12 Network? It worked for the Big 10 and the Pac-12. Had UT decided to do that a figure out some revenue sharing formula (where of course they would get more than any other team), everyone would be happy. For some reason other big time schools with alot of money are fine with equal sharing- (Mississippi and Florida get the same amount; Northwestern gets the same as Ohio State).

For some reason, what is acceptable all other big time programs is NOT acceptable to UT. They are the villian and had it their power smooth things over. What's ironic is that they don't need the money.

Sam Constance 10 years, 10 months ago

1) How is SEC going to get A&M more money? Do you have an actual breakdown of this?

2) The only reason the Big 12 in unstable is because of actions of schools like Nebraska and A&M. It's a bit disingenuous for A&M to start flirting with other conferences, then act like part of the reason they want to leave is because the current conferences is "unstable"

3) How is Texas having it's own network "a different set of rules". If they were televising high school games, I'd be with you, but as of right now, they aren't. If a school wants it's own network to broadcast whatever garbage non-revenue sports, then more power to it. I fail to understand why the existence of this network is such a source of aggravation for so many people.

4) Nothing is wrong with a Big 12 network, but again, how does NOT having a Big 12 network negatively impact schools like A&M?

Texas has plenty of issues and points of aggravation, but they are being used as a scapegoat in this situation, just as they were when Nebraska wanted to take off.

rob4lb 10 years, 10 months ago

To answer your questions: 1) All SEC teams currently share more TV revenue money than any Big 12 school. By bringing in A&M, the could renegotiate their contract with CBS and ESPN to get even more money. 2) There are only three stable conferences: SEC, BIg 10 and Pac 12. After that, you have the ACC. Big 12 and Big East are least stable. 3) No other school has its own network and NO other conference would allow one if it's members to have its own network. The only conference that will allow it is the Big 12. 4) It comes down to more money. If all conference members pooled their "3rd tier" right to form a Big 12 network (similar to Big 10 and Pac 12), there would be another source of revenue. Nothing prevents the rest of the Big 12 from doing this, but again it shows a lack of commitment on UT's part.

Sam Constance 10 years, 10 months ago

1) That is not an answer. They share more total money. There are also more teams. And the Big 12 breakdown is not even. The answer to my question involves showing ACTUAL numbers to demonstrate how A&M would make more money

2) I did not ask a question for #2. You "answered" my statement with your own opinion, providing no basis for said opinion.

3) So what?

4) As you pointed out, nothing is stopping them from doing this, and A&M moving to the SEC won't have one ounce of effect to this end.

utahjayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

phog, you're being disingenuious with #3. Everyone can agree that Texas' very unambiguous plan was to broadcast HS football games on LHN. That's documented and not to be disputed. I don't think it's a far jump either to speculate that they were doing this to court these recruits to play at UT. UT only backed off this position after they were called on in a public forum.

Sam Constance 10 years, 10 months ago

There's no way the NCAA can allow Texas, or any school, to broadcast highschool games on a Division I school branded television network.

I understand that might be their plan, but until it happens and the NCAA does nothing, I won't believe that it will work.

And it looks like the NCAA has now officially said that it can't happen:

Something that I've heard on some of the local talk radio shows, and that I tend to agree with, is that there's no way the Longhorns have enough valuable content to put on the Longhorn Network to make it worth what ESPN paid for the rights it, and that ESPN is eventually going to ask Texas to open it up to be more of a Big 12 network.

Even if that's not true, I'm just not terribly threatened by Texas having it's own television network to show things like volleyball, tennis, soccer, swimming, and Texas sports analysis shows. All the big-time games in bball and fball are going to be on ESPN and company channels, like they are currently. I don't understand why A&M is flipping out--a move would be purely emotional, reactionary foolishness.

utahjayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Phog, you make some valid points and you articulate your position well. We'll just have to agree to disagree. I see no future for the only school I care about, KU, in this conference.

Ludwig Supraphonic 10 years, 10 months ago

Perhaps decisions made by regents in college board rooms about conference affiliation are solely based in revenue. I suppose, from the perspective of fiscal responsibility, that could be justified as being in their students best interest. I see little consideration of student interest in the discussion of college conference realignment. Do students really want to lose local rivalries? Can they afford road trips to either coast? Will a KU student go home for the holidays and enjoy bragging rights over his high school friend who attends UConn, UMass, Oregon, Boise State.....

David Atchley 10 years, 10 months ago

The argument the University of Texas may have some decided edge in recruiting with their own Television Network is misguided. They already rank #1 in Rivals recruiting for this year and annually finish in the Top 5 nationally among recruiting. The Longhorn Network is attractive to ESPN, because it gives them a national presence at arguably one of the top universities in the nation.

The network isn't about football as much as bringing the other coverage to sports as well. If you want to cry unfair, they will benefit as well showing basketball, swimming, baseball, golf, girls volleyball, softball, etc. If you notice, UT finishes high in these sports as well. UT will continue to rank above all of the Big 12 in recruiting, and will cherry-pick amongst the 1700 high schools in Texas for who they want to recruit.

As respects showing high school football...again, they already are ranked each year number 1 in recruiting nationally. If anything, it would benefit the other schools to see talent that might get overlooked by their recruiting staff. However, if the "have nots" continue to cry foul, UT Athletic Director Dodds said yesterday they wouldn't show any football."

Where UT has picked up even a more decided edge in recruiting is the addition of Bryan Harsin as their OC from Boise State (all of the California/AZ recruting) and Manny Diaz, Bo Davis, Stacey Searles, Benny Wylie from the SEC. The fan base of UT largely endows its university, to the point they have 101,000 seating in their stadium that sells-out every game, a state of the art training facility, one of the highest paid coaches, and none of this has come from the State coffers.

They have been forward thinking, proactive and regardless of last year's sub-par performance, they went and hired the very best available coaches, and their fans simply won't allow anything but a winning team on the field. Until other schools put that type of commitment into their program and their fans require search committees and athletic departments to hire the best available, and have visionaries leading their charge, the "have nots" will have no one to blame when there's no room at the "adult table" and they're sitting at the folding table with the other kids."

Sam Constance 10 years, 10 months ago

"The network isn't about football as much as bringing the other coverage to sports as well."

EXACTLY. Which is why all this p*ssing and moaning about Texas' not playing by "the rules" is so ridiculous.

95% of the content on the Texas network will be of absolutely no interest to anyone except Texas fans, alums, and potential recruits.

Joseph Kuebel 10 years, 10 months ago

the pissing and moaning should be towards TAMU who is just further validating their role as UT's little sister.

cthusker 10 years, 10 months ago

If they hired the best available coaches Mack Brown would already be gone... He does LESS with MORE then any coach in college football. If not for a freak of nature named Vince Young he'd still be chasing a NC! It sure wasn't coaching that beat USC that night......

Bottom line the Whorns are all about themselves and could not care less about other conference members as demonstarted years ago with the SWC. They should keep in mind it's not much of a football program without good opponents. I so hope the Whorns attempt to go independent when the B12 implodes. They DO NOT have anywhere near the national following of a ND... period! I do not see some nationwide clamor for getting the LHN either.....

Fortunately ESPN makes so much money they won't be harmed much by the folly known as the LHN. The Whorns like to pretend they are the only Texass team with TV sets in the state... they aren't! What's amazing is the applogists for the Whorns desperatly trying to make A&M the bad guy. Neb and CU both figured out what was going on and now it's ATM turn to bail. Ask yourself if you really believe those other teams would have left had Texass NOT been a conference member? Soon the Swooners will get tired of following Bevo butt around and go their own way too!

Get it through your head the B12-2 is finished the only thing TBD is exactly when it all implodes....

JayDocMD 10 years, 10 months ago

Recap of the most ridiculous comments in this "article":

"support the football team at an impressive rate" "fans regularly fill up .. the football stadium" "football is just as highly valued at these places as basketball."

ummm, no.

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 10 months ago

I don't see this happening. A&M would become another Arkansas, without a title after 19 years in the conference. Don't see A&M getting anything out of it at all. I see this as purely an EMOTIONAL move. It would not be a business move. Makes no sense.

Laurence Cooley 10 years, 10 months ago

lol i hate to burst your bubble...the lead story on aTm's rivals page. is the "GOODBYE BIG12" so...there might be some weight to them leaving.

just a little.

cthusker 10 years, 10 months ago

If you don't see this happening then get better glasses! It's a DONE DEAL... bye bye B12-2..... lol On the other hand DELOUSE says: It's NINE yes NINE that's the number.. well no it's TEN yes TEN.. always liked TEN.. well ok it could be TWELVE no more than than TWELVE.. that's for sure!! You remember the Pathological Liar... Tommy Flanagan aka Jon Lovitz.... that was really DELOUSE.... yea that's the ticket!

Dodds said of the Aggies. “We’re going to look at every option we’ve got, and we’re going to end up in a good place. That’s what we do. We’re good at that.”

That statement should certainly put all the other conference members mind at rest... lol Yes... The Whorns will will wind up in a good place as the dust settles from another conference wrecked by arrogant TEXASS..... Don't worry, be happy. Reports are that the Big 12 will turn to Houston. The Cougars, not the Texans. A Houston sports columnist rejoiced at the notion and called for the league to go after SMU and TCU.

The return of the Southworst Conference? Look, they're getting the band back together.

The same group that Texas couldn't wait to get away from almost two decades ago. Anyone still believe Neb and CU were the problem? If so then take off the rose colored glasses and take a good look what's happening now! If you haven't noticed NU and CU are already gone....

You'd have to be BRAIN DEAD to want these lowlifes in your conference and I DON'T CARE how many TV sets that drag with them....

rob4lb 10 years, 10 months ago

There's a lot of weight to this. Would UT give up the Longhorn Network in order to save the conference? Is a 9 team conference viable? The Big East has 9 football members, but does the Big 12 want to compare itself to the Big East. If A&M were to leave, who would the SEC get to balance the conference. Do the Big 10 or Pac 12 really feel the need to expand?

I'm guessing that dominos will not fall rapidly if A&M leaves and that the Big 9 will try to remain in tact at least for a year or two.

David Atchley 10 years, 10 months ago

Just heard from a reliable source that SEC officials are meeting Saturday to discuss the addition of Texas A&M......hope everyone finds a chair when the music stops!

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 10 months ago

Look, there are people trying to simply feather their nests while delighting in causing instability for their own gain. Mark my words, if A&M would make this move, they will never in a hundred years win an SEC Championship. NEVER! In the short history of the Big12 they already have one. It is not just about the money (and there appears to be no financial reason to change) but also about an ability to win. I don't think their fan base will happy if this were to happen and 20 years from now they are a .400 team and the only wins they get are Vandy and Kentucky.

Randy Bombardier 10 years, 10 months ago

Not to worry folks. If this happens you will see capital hill become embroiled in football matters. Kansas' Congressional Representatives are not going to let KU go to the Big10 or Pac12 without KSU which will lead to either a tremendous in-state battle (Bloody Kansas once again) or Congressional intervention with the justification that non-regionalism in college athletics is out-of-hand, that ADs and Administrators have a conflict of interest in the matter, and that safe-guards to protect student athletes are a joke.

My prediction is that there would be new legislation that would totally shake up college athletics. The academics are just waiting for the right moment. This would be it. They would be heard in Washington and everyone who decries the college experience for athletes (particularly football players) not genuinely providing an advanced education will have an audience. The Obama Administration will get involved and this will be one area where we really see change. The good news? We will end up with a relatively equal-access playoff.

The rubber will really meet the road when they finally admit that even paying players comes nowhere near what it has cost them to be passed to the next grade, regardless of academic performance and because of the pressure of athletics, since they were 12. That cost is huge and cannot be compensated for by paying them a thousand dollars a month for four years. That is not only my belief, it is my hope.

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