AUSTIN, TX - JUNE 15: University of Texas at Austin President William Powers Jr., left, and Men's Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds announce the athletics programs will continue competing in the Big 12 Conference June 15, 2010 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

ACC An Option For Longhorns

The Aggies look like they're finally escaping the Longhorns' shadow as Texas A&M looks set to join the SEC.

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More Bad News For Big 12: Texas Regents Schedule Meeting For Monday To Discuss Conference Alignment

Not to be outdone by Oklahoma’s meeting of regents Monday, University of Texas regents have scheduled their own meeting on the same day to discuss the Big 12 and conference realignment.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram quotes sources from Texas:

A Big 12 source said today that the situation regarding Texas is "very fluid" at present.

Texas sources said the school’s potential options include a move to an expanded Atlantic Coast Conference, where Texas could keep its 20-year, $300 million contract with ESPN for the Longhorn Network. A move to the Pac-12 – probably in conjunction with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech – remains under discussion but would require tweaking the Longhorn Network to become one of the league’s regional networks.

Jimmy Burch also notes that the Big Ten doesn’t appear to be a viable option for Texas, because the notion of altering LHN or the Big Ten Network such that the two could coexist doesn’t sound viable.

Next week should be another wild week in conference realignment.


Chip Brown: ACC An Option For Texas Longhorns

With the Oklahoma Sooners looking as though they're certain to head to the PAC-12, the University of Texas needs to decide its conference fate. Chip Brown of lists several options for the Longhorns, including joining the ACC.  

Texas has been looking at the ACC as a potential home because ESPN holds the TV rights to the ACC and because ESPN holds the rights to LHN.

UT is hopeful an agreement can be worked out that would allow the Longhorns to hold onto their network and still share in conference TV revenue.

Texas would love it if OU, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech would consider going east with Texas to the ACC, creating a four-team pod system in which most of their competition would be against each other (to reduce travel).

But OU and Oklahoma State don't appear interested in that. So who else would the ACC attract to the league if OU and OSU were unwilling to go east? Texas Tech and a couple Big East schools (UConn/Syracuse/Rutgers)? At that point, Texas would be on an island in the ACC, which is unfavorable.    

This scenario, as Brown said, relies heavily on other schools from the midwest region joining Texas in the ACC. 

Brown's other scenarios include staying in the Big 12, headed to either the PAC-12 or Big 10, or declaring independence. 


SEC Accepts Texas A&M, But Baylor Stands In The Way

At long last, the worst kept secret in conference realignment is almost official. The SEC has voted to allow Texas A&M to join the SEC - with a catch. The Aggies must first clear up any and all legal hurdles that might make such a move messy. Yesterday, that wouldn't seem like such a problem. Today, though, it appears that the University of Baylor is threatening legal action against Texas A&M if they attempt to leave for the SEC.

Texas A&M's president R. Bowen Loftin has already publicly commented on Baylor's roadblock.

We are certainly pleased with the action taken last night by the presidents and chancellors of the Southeastern Conference to unanimously accept Texas A&M as the league's 13th member. However, this acceptance is conditional, and we are disappointed in the threats made by one of the Big 12 member institutions to coerce Texas A&M into staying in Big 12 Conference. These actions go against the commitment that was made by this university and the Big 12 on Sept. 2. We are working diligently to resolve any and all issues as outlined by the SEC.    

All Baylor is simply doing right now is delaying the inevitable. The Aggies are going to end up as a member of the SEC very soon. Baylor's focus should be on finding a new conference for themselves as the Big 12 looks certain to fall.


Texas A&M Aggies Intend To Leave Big 12

Another week, more drama from the Texas A&M Aggies. On Wednesday morning, the Aggies announced that they intend to leave the Big 12 conference - and they plan to terminate their membership in July of 2012 with the Big 12.

Texas A&M University today officially notified the Big 12 Conference that the institution will submit an application to join another athletic conference. Should this application be accepted, Texas A&M will end its membership in the Big 12 Conference effective June 30, 2012.

"After much thought and consideration, and pursuant to the action of the (Texas A&M University System) Board of Regents authorizing me to take action related to Texas A&M University's athletic conference alignment, I have determined it is in the best interest of Texas A&M to make application to join another athletic conference," President R. Bowen Loftin wrote to Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe in the letter dated August 31, 2011.

"We appreciate the Big 12's willingness to engage in a dialogue to end our relationship through a mutually agreeable settlement," Loftin added. "We, too, desire that this process be as amicable and prompt as possible and result in a resolution of all outstanding issues, including mutual waivers by Texas A&M and the conference on behalf of all the remaining members."    

This, of course, is just weeks after the SEC had voted not to add the Aggies to the conference, but the door was left over for further possible expansion - and it looks like the Aggies will be on their way to the SEC, bringing us one step closer to super-conferences. 

The Big 12 will now have lost Nebraska, Colorado and Texas A&M within two years, reducing the conference to nine teams. Brady Deaton, the Big 12's chairman of the board of directors, said that the conference has formed a committee to look at schools who would serve as replacements for A&M, Nebraska and Colorado. 


SEC Votes Not To Add Texas A&M

The SEC has voted not to extend Texas A&M an invitation to join their conference in time for the 2012-2013 school year, according to reports. All signs pointed Friday to the Aggies being invited to the new conference and accepting that invitation early in the week. Only formalities seemed to remain, but SEC schools have thrown a hitch into those plans.

We recognize, however, that future conditions may make it advantageous to expand the number of institutions in the league," Machen said. "We discussed criteria and process associated with expansion. No action was taken with respect to any institution including Texas A&M.

The Aggies could be added in the future, but the vote likely rules out a move in time for the 2012 football season. For now, the Aggies will remain in the Big 12, in an uncomfortable arrangement. No statement has been released from Texas A&M regarding the SEC vote.


Could SEC Reject Aggies?

It seems inconceivable and most likely won’t happen, but the New York Times cites a source who says that there is a “30-40% chance” that the SEC rejects Texas A&M’s application to join their league in their vote, expected Sunday.

He also said there was the issue of which university would become the 14th team, something many in college sports will monitor.

"We realize if we do this, we have to have the 14th," the SEC official said. "No name has been thrown out. This thing is much slower out of the chute than the media and blogs have made it."

So the issue isn’t with the Aggies themselves, but the result would be embarrassing and would put their move in limbo while the SEC searches for a worthwhile 14th team. Again, it seems very unlikely, as the Aggies wouldn’t act on a nonvite/unvitation (would they?), but it would certainly throw a wrench into a process that appears to have too many wheels in motion to be stopped.


Texas A&M Set To Leave Big 12, Join SEC

The Aggies look like they're finally escaping the Longhorns' shadow as Texas A&M looks set to join the SEC.

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