Texas A&M informed the Big 12 today that they will withdraw from the Conference in 2012. The Big 12′s special treatment of Texas and their approval of Texas to launch their own network independent of the other conference members seems to have been the lynch pins that spurred this action.
Texas A&M appears to be headed to the SEC to be that conference’s 13th member. The question is will the SEC stop at 13 or add more members? In my opinion Virginia Tech and North Carolina State seem to be the most likely future members of the SEC. Florida State and Clemson are more obvious choices, but both of those schools are already in states inhabited by current SEC schools and add no new television markets for the SEC to negotiate with in future televison deals.
I seriously doubt North Carolina would leave the ACC, so that leaves NC State as the only real viable option in the state of North Carolina. Culturally, the University of Virginia is not an option, so Virginia Tech would open the state of Virginia and the Washington D.C. markets to the SEC. And Virginia Tech has grown into more of an SEC type of program over the years.
As for the Big 12, I’m not sure why Oklahoma has been virtually silent in all of this? Maybe because they have been pretty successful against Texas on the gridiron, so they may not see themselves as being in the shadow of Texas like A&M does. The other members of the conference may consider themselves lucky to be a part of The ”Texas Longhorns 10″ conference, so they may be coaxed into staying with no other options.
If the Big 12 breaks apart, Texas will probably just go independent. I doubt any conference worth existing will have members who will stand by and let Texas have its own network apart from the rest of the conference like the Big 12 will. The Big 12 is so desperate to remain as a conference that they will bend over backwards to appease Texas, even to the detriment of the rest of its members. Meanwhile, Texas A&M is off to the SEC, where the competition is tougher, but they may be in a better situation over all.
- Texas A&M informs Big 12 it will leave confernece (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
- Texas A&M plans to leave Big 12 by July 2012 (ajc.com)