Sunday, September 25, 2011

Texas A&M to join SEC in July 2012

In this photo taken Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, Texas A&M running back Cyrus Gray (32) runs across the field before taking on Oklahoma State in College Station, Texas.

In this photo taken Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, Texas A&M running back Cyrus Gray (32) runs across the field before taking on Oklahoma State in College Station, Texas.


Texas A&M; is set to join Southeastern Conference, the league said Sunday, possibly signaling legal hurdles have been cleared for the Aggies to leave the Big 12.

The SEC announced the move will be effective next July, and said Texas A&M; will participate in all sports during the 2012-13 academic year. That gives the SEC 13 members and its first addition since South Carolina and Arkansas in 1992.

The Aggies' defection from the Big 12 had been held up by the possibility of legal action from Baylor and other members. The statement released by the SEC did not mention that situation, and spokesman Charles Bloom said he could not comment.

A Big 12 administrator said neither the SEC nor Texas A&M; have asked any of the Big 12 schools to waive their right to sue. The person spoke Sunday night on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

SEC presidents and chancellors voted in favor of the move on Sept. 6.

"We are excited to begin competition in the nation's premier athletic conference," Texas A&M; President R. Bowen Loftin said in the statement.

It's unclear if the SEC will add a 14th member for next season or go with unbalanced divisions. Rumored possibilities include the Big 12's Missouri and West Virginia of the Big East.

Texas A&M; initiated the courtship in July, unhappy with rival Texas' Longhorn Network, and sparked another tumultuous period for the Big 12.

The Aggies, who play Arkansas on Saturday, give the SEC entry into major TV markets such as Houston and Dallas.

"Texas A&M; is a nationally prominent institution on and off the field and a great fit for the SEC tradition of excellence — athletically, academically and culturally," Commissioner Mike Slive said in the statement.

Slive, Loftin and others will hold a news conference Monday evening in College Station, Texas.

Four Big 12 teams — Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State — had explored moving to the Pac-12, which decided not to expand this year.

Oklahoma President David Boren said the nine remaining schools besides Texas A&M; agreed last week to give a six-year grant of their first- and second-tier television rights to the Big 12. That means all revenue from the top television games — shown currently on networks owned by ABC/ESPN and Fox — would continue to go to the Big 12 even if a school bolts to another league.

That deal, however, had not been finalized.

The Big 12 also ousted Commissioner Dan Beebe last week after five years and replaced him with former Big Eight Commissioner Chuck Neinas on an interim basis.

"I am personally saddened to see Texas A&M; depart from the Big 12, and wish I had the opportunity to visit the campus to sit down and talk with their administration," Neinas said in a release. "We will continue to work diligently in securing the long-term stability of the Big 12.

"Now that the status of Texas A&M; has officially been determined, the membership can focus on the desired course for the Conference moving forward. Although no timeline has been established, an expeditious pursuit is anticipated."

A&M;'s official departure from the Big 12 was considered the next step needed to determine where this round of conference realignment is headed.

Once that is done, the SEC can decide on a 14th member, if it wants one and the Big 12 can replace the Aggies.

Texas A&M; moved to the Big 12 after 82 years in the Southwest Conference and its departure to the SEC will mark the first time the Aggies won't be in a conference with rival Texas and Baylor.

Some are worried A&M;'s departure will jeopardize the future of the annual football game, currently played on Thanksgiving night, between the Aggies and Texas.

It is one of the oldest rivalries in college football, with the teams first meeting in 1894.

Loftin said he'd like to continue the rivalry no matter what conference the Aggies were in when he announced the school's plans to explore its conference options in August.

However, even if the schools were able to work out a deal to meet for a nonconference football game each season, it would be nearly impossible to guarantee that other sports such as men's and women's basketball and baseball would be able to meet their biggest rivals each season.

AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins contributed to this report.


Vernon Riggs 10 years, 10 months ago

Want to bet that all of the Big12 Schools (i.e. Baylor) agreed to waive thier rights to sue the SEC over Texas AM with the condition that no other Big12 Schools (i.e. Mizzou) is admitted into the SEC?

Pitthawk34 10 years, 10 months ago

I hope so if not we had better get to 12 teams instead of 10.

JHawk06 10 years, 10 months ago

That is an interesting possibility lonestar, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's true.

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 10 months ago

That's the first thing that went through my mind as well.

Funhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Didn't Bill say yesterday during the Legends Game that nine is a good number?

LAJayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

He's been saying that for at least a month and a half, ever since A&M first said they were leaving the conference.

kusports1 10 years, 10 months ago

Good bye, good riddance, c/ya later. don't the the door hit you in the backside on your way out!

kranny 10 years, 10 months ago

Have fun gettin' your A$$es pounded in the SEC. They will go the way of Colorado-gettin' their butts handed to them every week. TAMU has no way of even thinking about competing for an SEC title in any sport(at least the ones I care about,LOL!)

Benjamin Piehler 10 years, 10 months ago

Hopefully we can start working towards a normal conference now.... A&M might have some trouble in the sec for awhile.... but MIzzou would probably be a disaster.

DallasJayhawk1 10 years, 10 months ago

Okie State went into their house and beat them Saturday. I hope UT, OU and Baylor do the same when they play them---a nice little sending off gift courtesy of the Big 12. THEN in the SEC they will really get killed in football.

TwistedFish31 10 years, 10 months ago

Reading the TAM posters on, you'd think they were the elite of the Big XII. They only won their Division twice and the Big XII Conference once. They've also have only one National Championsip (in 1939).

Having lived in SEC territory all I can say's a whole different animal and they aren't going to give two craps about your 12th Man and school traditions.

Sam Constance 10 years, 10 months ago

They might give two craps...

...right on top of the head of the 12th Man.

I believe they call that an "SEC Welcome"

Angus0199 10 years, 10 months ago

Who cares about their 12th man here. They're a middle of the road team in the B12 and they will be one in the sec at best. The only thing special about the sec is espn's coverage and hype about it-sure they're a dominant conference, but no more than ours. B12 always has a few in the top 10 and more in the 25 consistently as much or more than any other conference. I hope we all beat their a$$ and glad osu did yesterday. I don't know why I'm surprised this is final, but had hoped this wouldn't happen. Man, those punks better not get another win this season.

We got sell out and beat them down and leave them with that.

Almost forgot. How is this going to help them recruit in TX? Riding on the sec rep, but not your own? Somebody tell me if this move is going to help them because I don't see it.

FLJHK 10 years, 10 months ago

A&M is...weird.

The BYU's, TCU's and SMU's of the world are foreign to me, but I at least understand and can respect where they are coming from. Similarly, I can respect the loyalties of the military schools. A&M, no.

In some manner I can respect the passionate loyalty of their base, But I don't understand the unifying element of their passion.

The SEC's acceptance of A&M is understandable. They gain an AAU school with a national brand in sports, and attain a foothold in Texas. But it has to be acknowledged that A&M made the move because they believed they could not compete in their home state against their primary rival.

How A&M achieved AAU status is a mystery to me. It came more than 100 years after KU. I have to think $ had a lot to do with it. A&M has an impressive endowment.

Nebraska's departure hurt; Colorado not so much and A&M even less. But it's time to circle the wagons and determine a BIG xx future.

Eric Dawson 10 years, 10 months ago

"How A&M achieved AAU status is a mystery to me. It came more than 100 years after KU."

First, correcting a simple error regarding AAU entry times. Kansas 1909 TAMU 2001 delta = 92 years, not more than 100 And KU's status today is in danger of being Nebraska'd IAW assessments from BG-L and Provost Vitter.

Second, the Ags becoming AAU members (9 years, btw, before the latest entrant, Georgia Tech 2010) is not surprising to anyone that has any knowledge of how much TAMU has changed in the last 50 years.

$ definitely was a factor, but not in payoffs, as you seem to imply.


1959 All-male -- 7,500 student body -- military school; James Rudder becomes A&M President
1963 Women related to faculty or staff allowed to enroll as undergraduates 1964 First African American enrolled 1965 Membership in the Corps was made voluntary for all students, admission opened to all interested females, not just family of staff and employees. 1971 One of 1st four schools designated a Sea Grant College in recognition of oceanographic development and research 1989 designated a Space Grant College for aerospace research 1999 Adoption of Vision 2020, A&M's strategic plan to earn recognition as a consensus "top 10" public university by the year 2020 2001 AAU induction, with strong support from Rice and tu, based on the depth of A&M's research and academic programs 2011 A&M enrollment is ~45K students each year; in 1998 or 1999 (I forget which) A&M had the largest fall semester student enrollment in the country at ~51K.

Mystery solved.

Oh, and this line: "Nebraska's departure hurt; Colorado not so much and A&M even less"

Anytime a conference loses a growing fan base of over 2M (NUs is only 1.2M, CUs not even 500K) to dangle in front of TV executives during contract negotiations, you better believe it hurts the Big 12 quite a bit.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 10 months ago

I know you have only 1 degree from T-A&M and 2 from KU (I guess one to undo what you learned at T-A&M and one to set you down the right path-laugh at that comment), but clearly none of us care about A&M and we want them out.

Yes -- none of us care about T-A&M and we hope they become a second-class (if not third-class) citizen in the SEC just like they were a second-class citizen in the Big XII and before you say they aren't a second class citizen prove otherwise (In football-No conference championships, no BCS tournaments, 10 bowl games in 15 years with a 1-9 record, 0-4 against the SEC, okay now lets look at basketball, because they were up and coming, you would hope they had a good resume, nope... only 6 appearances with only 1 Sweet 16, never won the conference or even the Big XII tournament, 6-6 in the big dance). I'll give you Academics, but again as the little sister to Texas. I'll be curious if that support continues, since they have defected from family.

When you think of even football, most people most recently would even put TTU ahead of T-A&M (not historically, I know).

Eric Dawson 10 years, 10 months ago

Actually, my A&M degree was awarded in 2000. My KU ones were 1982 and 1984. I always wore KU garb when I worked out at the A&M Rec Center, and was always telling prideful and usually ignorant-of-KU Ags about KU when they brought up the subject, and that A&M would never replace KU for me. It hasn't and it won't. They learned something about KU in the process -- and now you've learned something about A&M that you didn't know and have to grudgingly respect even if you don't care about them.

As far as future academic support for A&M -- don't make me laugh. As is the case with tu, oil & gas -- and a lot of other industries these days, such as telecomm -- provide a lot of the $$ for A&M in addition to the state support it receives, and that support won't fade away even after they leave the Big 12. I just wish KU had anything near the level of support. And A&M is not a little sister academically at all anymore. For example, I was quite surprised to learn in 1995 that tu's business school did not have a PhD program focused on Human Resource Management as many B schools do -- until I learned that A&M had won the Texas Center for HR in competition with tu. Talk about petty -- true or not, it appeared tu wasn't interested in HR because it couldn't be the big dog in the discipline, so it left the field.

You write that you don't care, but your anger is because you are mad they're leaving, which means you do care, but that's okay, such confusion often happens in break-ups. And you're also envious they are getting away from tu while KU appears stuck with the tsips, at least for now. It's useless to deny it, and FWIW, I am envious as well.

In some respects -- e.g., not playing A&M anymore after this year unless it's a bowl game or tournament (I sure hope we aren't going to play them in a regular season noncon game in either FB or hoops) -- I am glad A&M is leaving. But I'm also ticked about it -- as you and many others clearly are -- because they are turning tail and running from tu. Not something I ever expected. Plus their running out put KU's and a lot of other schools' positions at risk -- but KU being at risk really comes back to KU ignoring football for so long. Hopefully those days are over.

waywardJay 10 years, 10 months ago

They are a match made in Heaven.

Those white jumpsuit wearing Cheerleaders, and the SEC.

David Atchley 10 years, 10 months ago

any school who's mascot goes to the "groomer" every week well good luck! If you can't run with the big dawgs....should have stayed on the porch

waywardJay 10 years, 10 months ago

I will say Ralpie probably takes a few sheer cuts here and there, and I doubt anyone really doubts if he could run with the big dawgs

actorman 10 years, 10 months ago

"The only thing special about the sec is espn's coverage and hype about it-sure they're a dominant conference, but no more than ours."

WTF are you talking about, Angus??? I love to root for our conference is much as anybody, but it's ludicrous to say that the SEC is no better than the Big XII. I believe the last, what, FIVE, national championships say otherwise. And even if you're right and the Big XII has the same number of top 10 teams, you can't seriously be arguing that the level of competition overall is the same between the two conferences?

waywardJay 10 years, 10 months ago

They have a playoff to determine who the best team is on the field now, I didn't know they instituted that sort of Intelligence in the NCAA, Until then you cannot legitimately say without any reasonable doubt that the SEC is a better conference than us. It's a system that perpetually functions on something we do not know to be true. Unless, you can tell me outright the BCS is accurate witout a shadow of a doubt.

Infact, I would also go as far as to say, the SEC knows they have the most to lose because a change in the BCS would outright show the differences on the field. Imagine what a few holes might do to ballooning conference had someone pointed out in a tournament format that Tim Tebow was not a Quarterback, but a halfback who threw on occasion, or shown that Auburn's Offense last year was the same offense Ran with Iowa State to horrific success in the big 12.

It's all about Hype, and knowing where your bread is buttered and there is no where in America that cares as devoutly to College Football as the Schools in the far South ( which includes football rich Texas ) ,there is no question about that, but That doesn't mean they are the best every single season, ( again look to Texas ).

No matter who the BCS crowns every year, there will always be an argument until it's proven in a tournament format, and One can make the same Case for 13-0 TCU last year as could for Auburn, with one interesting Statistical outlier, TCU did it without the Scandal Cam Newton Brought to Auburn. Personally I think TCU was the Better team last year, but because the money involved we will never get to see how it really is played out.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 10 months ago

I think it is funny that TAM is heading to the SEC. The team is expected to bring additional football talent to that conference. Just a few notes: KU has more BCS appearances (let alone wins). TAM is 0-4 to SEC teams in bowl games since the Big XII was formed: 2010 - LSU 41 - TAM 24 2009 - Georgia 44 - TAM 20 2004 - Tennessee 38 - TAM 7 2000 - Miss State 43 - TAM 41 In the last 10 bowl games, which I believe is when the Big XII was formed. TAM is 1-9 with the lone win against TCU (2001) in the galleryfurniturebowl game.

In the last 21 years they have had 3 wins 1) TCU, 2) Michigan 3) BYU.

I by no means am trying to say KU is even remotely on par with TAM in football. I am trying to point out that TAM isn't the huge football protege that they think they are.

I must say TAM always disappointed the Big XII in its Bowl appearances.
KU is actually 3-1 in their bowl history during the same time, with wins over Virginia Tech, Minnesota, and Houston. If you add the 20 year history you can add UCLA and BYU to our win list.

I personally believe that TAM thinks this will help its recruiting in Texas, but personally I think they will win a couple of battles for recruits, but ultimately it will hurt their recruiting measures. I still think OU and UT will get the prime recruits, and actually the leftovers might be more prone to go to an LSU or Alabama out of Texas rather than to go to TAM. Personal opinion only.

Eric Dawson 10 years, 10 months ago

As the earner of an A&M degree to go with my 2 from KU, I regret to say that this is all about being tired of being treated as a detested little brother and not wanting to have to deal with the big bully anymore. My Aggies are running from the fight and it's humiliating to watch them take their ball and leave. I totally understand the frustration that is dealing with tu, but the lack of leadership and vision from Loftin and Byrne -- their failure to work to unite the conference to bend tu into submission instead of giving up -- it is the only thing palpable about them. Tuck tail and run... it's embarrassing.

DallasJayhawk1 10 years, 10 months ago

Yep. They are the red-headed step child to UT--and deservedly so (they haven't done anything in football).

ltownatrain 10 years, 10 months ago

Um if by bully you mean A&M's whopping like 31% win percentage against Texas. I mean if thats justification then KU, K-State and Mizzou should have said forget Nebraska and Oklahoma years ago and left the conference.

Eric Dawson 10 years, 10 months ago

It's so much more than that, and has been since the beginning when A&M was established as the first public college in Texas. Shortly after its own establishment 7 years later, tu supporters tried to get A&M shut down by the state legislature, and the fight for survival, relevancy and respect has an ongoing one from then on.

texashawk10 10 years, 10 months ago

Pretty sure A&M earned the Big 12's first BCS bid so they do have the same number of appearances as KU.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 10 months ago

You are right...I was wrong on that piece of information. In 1997, they received the Sugar bowl and was beat out by OSU.

Hank Cross 10 years, 10 months ago

Why are people bagging on A&M? It wasn't the one causing the problem. It is moving to a stable, superior FB conference. (5-0 vs. other conferences in the BCS championship game in the last 5 years, LSU deservedly going ahead of OU this year). I guarantee that if it would've been KU instead of NU going to the B10 last, most people would've been rightly applauding the move.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 10 months ago

Agreed that I don't blame them for leaving, more of the timing of their leave. They had the choice to leave last year, and chose to stay only to turn and leave the next year. If they had chosen to leave last year, I think it would have cost them $8-9MM, this year, I betcha it will cost them about $18-24MM (my estimate).

rob4lb 10 years, 10 months ago

I think it's envy. The Aggies escape and we are relegated to purgatory. It will seem like an even more empty conference if Missouri leaves. Why A&M academics are being trashed is beyond me. By any objective measure, they are better than KU's. They have alot more money than KU as well.

They are an important loss. Their performance on the football field has been disappointing. That's what happens when you hired the wrong coach, but they are currently a Top 20 school and appear to have the right coach.

Angus0199 10 years, 10 months ago

1. BCS champion over past 5 years w/sec. Nobody said they were not a dominate conference. Just said B12 held our own w/them going back 20 years. Not the same w/Nu, CU, and A&M leaving, but i would put up B12 against them any time. I also think espn hype play a large part of those sec teams going to #1. Hence yesterday. When has a #1 dropped after a solid win. Oregan did last year I think, but who did they lose the spot to?

2. It is embarrassing for A&M to leave that rivalry because they felt picked on. What's going to happen in the sec. I also wonder how this will help w/recruiting.

3 I would put our mid and bottom teams up against sec. Hell we may be able to beat Vandy. There's no way to know this, but I think the B12 rules just as much as sec and it suck to see our teams and rivals leave.

Andy Tweedy 10 years, 10 months ago

Texas A&M was a big draw when I was a kid. My dad was from Arkansas and the Arkansas-A&M game was a big deal, just like Arkansas-Texas. But the reality is A&M hasn't been much in football for the last 20 years, save a few years here and there. I'm not really going to miss them, but if they think this move is good for them, have at it. As long as Kansas is in a good place, I don't really care what the other teams in the conference do!

squawkhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Don't let the door hit you in the butt on your way out...and welcome to mediocrity.

ltownatrain 10 years, 10 months ago

So I find it funny that Texas A&M said they are leaving because they are fed up with Texas having its way off the field....Last I checked in 117 meetings they are 37-75-5 with a whopping 31.6% win percentage. It sounds like Texas has had its way with A&M their whole life and this running to the SEC is just them being those crybabies who don't like to lose.

AsadZ 10 years, 10 months ago

I have two words to say, Good Riddance

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