Texas A&M to the SEC will happen; what about Oklahoma?

One of these schools could be SEC-bound. The other might be, too. (AP photo)

One of these schools figures to be SEC-bound. The other school might follow. (AP photo)

Let’s go ahead and make the call, Election Night style, and give Texas A&M to the SEC. On Wednesday, Texas governor Rick Perry, a former Aggie yell leader, told the Dallas Morning News, “As far as I know, conversations are being had.” A&M soon released a statement that was in no way a denial, and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe told the Austin American-Statesman he was taking the reports “very seriously.”

That’s an awful lot of hullabaloo for one August day, but it only underscores the rickety nature of the Big 12, which is technically down to 10 members — Colorado’s in the Pac-12, Nebraska in the Big Ten — and has no place to expand. Indeed, the Big 12 as is might as well be renamed Texas And Everybody Else, seeing as how the tent-pole school has struck its own deal with ESPN to launch the immodestly named Longhorn Network.

If you’re Texas A&M, what’s your motivation to remain in a dying conference where your biggest rival has been handed a massive competitive edge? There was talk two summers ago that the Aggies want badly to bolt for the SEC, which has the advantages of being both a better and more balanced league, but in the end Beebe was able to hold most of his conference together. It’s hard to imagine him doing it again.

An A&M official told the Houston Chronicle the rest of the Big 12 was “tired of Texas.” The rest of the league, you might note, includes Oklahoma. Even though the Dallas Morning News reported that “no other Big 12 team is  considering an exit,” it would only make sense for the SEC, assuming it adds a 13th team, to find a 14th just for numerical balance. And Oklahoma, which is ranked No. 1 in the coaches’ preseason football poll, would be the obvious target.

Check the Sooners’ 2011 schedule. Note that Nebraska isn’t on it. That game, which stood for decades as the decider in the old Big Eight, has been lost to realignment. Oklahoma still plays Texas in Dallas and Oklahoma State home-and-home, but who else in the Big 12 stands as a worthy adversary? Kansas? Baylor? Iowa State?

There might be no groundswell for Oklahoma to leave the Big 12 yet, but just wait. When/if Texas A&M departs, would the Sooners want to stay in a nine-team league where its biggest rival has its own network?

No one school owns the SEC. No, not even Alabama. (If Bama did, would Auburn enter the 2011 season as the reigning BCS titlist?) The competition in the SEC is cutthroat, but schools believe that if you work hard enough you can win big. Check that coaches’ poll and you’ll find South Carolina, Arkansas and Mississippi State in the Top 25.

If everybody else in the Big 12 is “tired of Texas,” Oklahoma would surely feel the fatigue more than most. (Let’s note, too, that the Longhorn Network hasn’t even had its premiere.) Oklahoma looked hard at the SEC in the summer of 2010. When/if Texas A&M bolts, the next school to exit could well be riding off in the Sooner Schooner.

By Mark Bradley

347 comments Add your comment

Hankie Aron

August 11th, 2011
10:00 am

John, Ducktown

August 11th, 2011
10:01 am

John, Ducktown

August 11th, 2011
10:02 am

Man, if i hadn’t read the article, and just gone straight to the comment section, I would have been first!

GoldenRod

August 11th, 2011
10:02 am

First! Go Jackets!

Mark Bradley

August 11th, 2011
10:03 am

Kudos, Hankie.

Never read the article, John.

Dave R

August 11th, 2011
10:03 am

OK and Texas A&M are just using the SEC for negotiating leverage against UT– they’re not leaving the Big XII. Which is good b/c I don’t want them in the SEC.

LHarding Dawg

August 11th, 2011
10:03 am

If Texas A&M came to the western side of the SEC, would’nt it be better to get the 14th. school out of the east, say maybe FSU, Clemson, or VT? Also, would the conference still be called the Southeastern Conference, even though some schools are not in the Southeast?

Jerry

August 11th, 2011
10:04 am

Texas A&M would be a good fit for SEC. They have Top 25 talent and a great home atmosphere. The only problem with A&M right now is their coach. Love their DC but Sherman leaves a lot to be desired.

http://coachesbythenumbers.com/coach-profile/?coach=Mike+Sherman

John, Ducktown

August 11th, 2011
10:04 am

I think if Texas A&M comes to the SEC, someone will leave soon after. SEC has enough teams and with the competition the way it is, I don’t see another school putting up with another team. I could see USC or KY or even Arkansas moving to another conference like the Big East, ACC or something else.

John, Ducktown

August 11th, 2011
10:07 am

Mark, I read all your articles. It’s a way for me to dumb myself down! That’s the closest I’ve ever been to first. Normally, when I make a post, it’s on page 3 or 4, 5-8 hours after the article is written, and usually old news at that point.

Herschel Talker

August 11th, 2011
10:07 am

MB;

You’re right, this will happen. With the SEC as strong as it already is, I don’t think we need or want Oklahoma. Where does this leave Texas? Do they eventually have a conference with just also-rans, or do they end up independent?

HT

James

August 11th, 2011
10:08 am

Mark, I always kind of figured the SEC would go after Virginia Tech or FSU before trying to grab A&M or Oklahoma.

Hog fan!

August 11th, 2011
10:08 am

I wouldn’t mind seeing TX AM in the SEC. My Hogs and AM already play a Southwest rivalry game against each other for the next 10 years, why not add a conference game to whats at stake more than just pride. I don’t think OU would bail on the Big 12 because they don’t want to go back to winning 8 or 9 games a year if they jumped to the SEC. Also why would the SEC not want to go after a Clemson or ACC school?

GeezusDawg

August 11th, 2011
10:09 am

A&M to the west and raid the ACC for Clemson to the East. That restores the GA/Clemson rivalry and Clemson is more of an SEC type school anyway.

Ted

August 11th, 2011
10:10 am

If Texas A&M goes to the SEC, their next target will be West Virginia. WVU is the most attractive school out there both athletically and academically, and it isn’t even debatable.

Mike

August 11th, 2011
10:10 am

Agree Mark. If A&M agrees to makes the move Oklahoma to follow. Smart money would have Aggies and Sooners in the West with Bama and Auburn moving to the East. Not good news for Dawg fans having both Saban and Spurrier in the same neighborhood.

David

August 11th, 2011
10:10 am

The only way I’d be ok with the SEC adding A&M and OU is if we have a playoff to decide the national championship. Think about how hard it would be for a team to emerge from the SEC with 1 loss or less if they add those two teams to an already brutal schedule.

Mark Bradley

August 11th, 2011
10:11 am

Not to sound like Tom Shane, but reading an MB article is a guaranteed way to dumb yourself down.

Jamaaliver

August 11th, 2011
10:11 am

Mark, is it possible to have too much competitiveness in a single conference?

With Oklahoma added to the mix, wouldn’t all the good SEC teams just beat each other up making it more difficult for any team to make it out unbeaten?

floridadawg2

August 11th, 2011
10:12 am

I think this would be a great move. Would love for the Dawgs to play some games in the state of Texas. Would be very beneficial for recruiting.

[...] Bulldogs?Dawg SportsCan SEC Schools Block Others From Joining the Conference?Team Speed KillsTexas A&M to the SEC will happen; what about Oklahoma?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Orlando Sentinel (blog) -USA Today -Kansas City Starall [...]

Boom-Boom

August 11th, 2011
10:16 am

A&M would be a great addition and so would Oklahoma, but Oklahoma has it made playing three games a year counting a bowl game. A&M on the other hand is tired of the little brother treatment they receive from the Longhornes. While you are throwing thing’S at the wall to see if they stick, how about Georgia Tech to the SEC?

Nick P

August 11th, 2011
10:18 am

If A&M & Okla come into the SEC, I predict Auburn moves to the SEC East and of course then retains Bama in the permanent slot (like Georgia now).

GeezusDawg

August 11th, 2011
10:19 am

Ga Tech used to be in the SEC – they left. Shouldn’t return.

NC Dawg

August 11th, 2011
10:20 am

Any school dumb enough to leave the SEC for another conference doesn’t deserve membership in the SEC. I would think Oklahoma would be better than Texas A&M. Oklahoma as the additional western entrant…and another school from the east…like Va. Tech for the eastern quadrant.

LHarding Dawg

August 11th, 2011
10:20 am

With such a strong conference, the winner of the SEC would be the National Champions of that year. No NCAA, no BCS, just the winner of the SEC. To hell with all the other schools.

BFD

August 11th, 2011
10:23 am

The A&M-Oklahoma scenario makes sense for the SEC. Raises the national profile and pulls in the Southwest market. Clemson and FSU don’t really bring anything to the table, except for fan base and geography. The SEC already has schools in SC and Fla and those schools would probably be opposed to it. Va Tech would give them the DC market, however, they are joined at the hip to UVA. A&M and Oklahoma would be a slam dunk for the SEC. Texas would become an independent and the Big 12 would dissolve.

NC Dawg

August 11th, 2011
10:24 am

What about UNC to the SEC? Grab the Raleigh television market and an immediate upgrade for the basketball season. Unfortunately, the current mess at UNC probably taints any chance of that happening.

Michael

August 11th, 2011
10:27 am

You have a bad link on your “tired of Texas” line.

I think if the SEC adds aTm, they won’t add Oklahoma as well, but will instead look for an entrance into another large TV market. aTm gives them Houston and some added viewership in Dallas, Austin & San Antonio. Adding Oklahoma wouldn’t add much except for maybe a small bump in Dallas. So I think the SEC will look East, probably to Virginia Tech and the their DC based fans/viewers. It’s all about the money at this point, competitive balance on the field be damned.

[...] coverage Austin American-Statesman Texas A&M to the SEC will happen; what about Oklahoma? Let’s go ahead and make the call, Election Night style, and give Texas A&M to the SEC. On [...]

Curious George

August 11th, 2011
10:29 am

As long as the SEC is entertaining the notion of bringing two additional, big-time CHEATING schools in the conference, why don’t they get SMU (aka “Death Penalty” U.) to come along as well so Alabama & Auburn get finally get some competition in that area?

Lowcountry Bulldawg

August 11th, 2011
10:29 am

MB,

Love ya man! 8:20 this morning I thought this would make a excellent topic, and look…BAM! MB comes through like Dan Uggla extending that hitting streak with a infield single. You are the man….

Delbert D.

August 11th, 2011
10:30 am

The PAC-12 seems likely to move to 14 teams quickly, based on public comments by their conference commissioner, Larry Scott. Oklahoma is #1 on their list, and Oklahoma State would be anticipated to be the 2nd team if that happens (my opinion). Here is a quote from a column by Larry Schroeder of SI on the subject: “There’s some sentiment in Norman that Oklahoma would remain more interested in moving to the Pac-12 (or Pac-whatever) than the SEC.”

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/george_schroeder/08/05/pac-12-larry-scott-realignment/index.html#ixzz1UjMJ7jZm

Dave R

August 11th, 2011
10:30 am

BFD–”raise the national profile”??? No need my friend. SEC has five BCS championships in a row. The SEC ain’t broke so let’s not fix it. Texas A&M wouldn’t compete for an SEC championship.

The solution is add to the Big XII (Houston, UTEP, TCU, Memphis, Southern Miss, SMU?), spread their revenue a little better and leave the SEC alone. We don’t need to take on some other conference’s problem.

And no way am I traveling to College Station or Norman, OK. Fayetteville AR is far enough already.

GT81

August 11th, 2011
10:31 am

Oklahoma and Ok State are also joined at the hip, as were UVA and VT during the ACC expansion. OU will not be allowed to abandon OSU in a failed conference. If the SEC wants A&M and OU, they may need to be the first 16 team conference, adding a fourth Big 12 school (Missouri?). Then move Alabama and Auburn to the east.

Old Dawg

August 11th, 2011
10:31 am

One thing I’ve always thought about is dumping Vanderbilt for another top-tier program. Other than semi-automatic wins Vandy offers very little to the conference. So if A&M joins the conference it would make sense to dump Vandy to keep the conference at 12 teams.

The ‘Dores could then jump to the ACC, a conference with a similar athletic-academic mindset, or drop to 1-AA and be competitive.

I know this will probably never happen, but it’s a plausible theory.

JC

August 11th, 2011
10:32 am

Look for Clemson to get an invite if this all goes down with A&M. They have the path of least resistance as far as leaving the ACC is concerned. I’m sure the SEC would love to get into the Virginia market but I don’t think Virginia Tech or UVA would allow themselves to be split up just yet.

cattledawg

August 11th, 2011
10:35 am

According to the finebaum network the 14th member will come from the acc in 2013 wit A&M joining in 12. This makes alot of since for the Aggies.

Micheal

August 11th, 2011
10:37 am

I would like to have Texas A&M and one other to come over to the SEC, it is a perfect fit for both SEC (who can now get a bigger deal since they can work out a new TV deal) and TAMU (who needs to get away from Univ of Texas and make their own destiny like NU and CU did). Plus they got other good sports as well (Women BB, Men BB, Baseball, and Bass Fishing)

LHarding Dawg

August 11th, 2011
10:40 am

Old Dawg – Vanderbilt brings up the entire conferences gpa. We really need them.

collegeballfan

August 11th, 2011
10:41 am

In my opinion Clemson would jump at the chance to go to the SEC. So would MIami.

The Dude

August 11th, 2011
10:42 am

The Dude

August 11th, 2011
10:43 am

Clemson is a charter member of the ACC. Keep that in mind.

PCB Dawg

August 11th, 2011
10:43 am

I think A&M would be a good fit for the SEC. I don’t know why the Big XII did not try to get TCU to join, and I still wonder why Vanderbilt does not go to the ACC. If A&M goes to the west and Vandy went to the ACC, the logical Choice to balance out the east would be Clemson and FSU.

Gary

August 11th, 2011
10:48 am

There are plenty of teams already in the SEC. Adding more teams would just make scheduling more awkward and limit play outside the conference. I dont blame schools for wanting to leave the Big 12, but we dont need for them to mess up a good thing here.

Truth

August 11th, 2011
10:50 am

Would like to see FSU in the SEC. With the way Jimbo has been building this program the last couple of years, the nation is going to see this year (if it wasnt paying attention to the Chik-Fil-A Bowl) that the Noles have become more like an SEC team (bigger,stronger, more physical) than the speed-fueled versions of the last decade or so

Delbert D.

August 11th, 2011
10:51 am

Nebraska’s move to the Big Ten is going to cost a lot more now than when they agreed to move. They were voted out of the Association of American Universities by two-thirds of the member institutions. It is going to cost money to add academic and research programs if they hope to be invited back. They may have a short life in the Big Ten, as that conference cooperates a lot internally on research and grants.

Marteen is a Ballplayer

August 11th, 2011
10:51 am

Ducktown, no team is going to leave the SEC, not even Vanderbilt. There is simply too much money from revenue sharing for anyone to voluntarily leave, much less go to the Big East or ACC. With the ESPN contract, tradtiionally two BCS-games for revenue sharing, no one is close to the SEC in money. Believe me, Vanderbilt is only here as they are grandfathered in and we haven’t found a way to get rid of them.

With that being said, the SEC is unlikely to target VT, FSU, or any ACC team. They are going to go after teams that are in a conference that is challenged. That would be the Big 12 right now and eventually the Big East. Whether the SEC or another conference starts the ball rolling, you are going to eventually see 4 conferences with 16 teams each. The Big 12 and the Big East will dissolve. You will have the Pac-10, Big 10, ACC, and SEC as four 16-team superconferences. This will also pave the way to eliminating the NCAA but that is another story.

Just The Facts

August 11th, 2011
10:52 am

Mike – Might want to brush up on your math. You said Texas A & M & Oklahoma to the West with Auburn & Bama to the East……So we are going 6 in the West & 8 in the East? Wake up dude. While you are trying to badger Dawg fans I guess you just lost that “Smart Money” you referenced.

GeezusDawg

August 11th, 2011
10:52 am

Vandy is a charter member of the SEC – keep that in mind.