Hatefest: That’ll be the Big 12 if Texas A&M is forced to stay

"Before I'm through, I'll impeach Mike Slive!" (AP photo)

"Before I'm through, I'll impeach Mike Slive!" (AP photo)

OK, next question. What happens if Texas A&M is forced to stay in the Big 12-which-is-really-10-and-is-going-on-nine? Wouldn’t that be the grouchiest family this side of the Kardashians?

You’d have everybody hating Texas and its TV network. (Which perhaps will offer its own reality-based Kardashian spin-off: “Bruce Jenner and Lamar Odom take Bevo shopping on Rodeo Drive.”) You’d have everybody despising the Aggies for wanting to leave. You’d have Nebraska and Colorado … actually you wouldn’t, seeing as how they’re already gone. You’d have Oklahoma assessing options, and no school has the options OU does. You’d have Oklahoma State wondering what Oklahoma is doing.

You’d have a mess so panoramic that, at some point, somebody’s going to say: “Was it really such a great idea to threaten to go to court to keep this conference together?” And then everybody would start hating Baylor, who’s seen as the ringleader in the stop-the-Aggies-moving movement.

Me, I give this aggregation another year, tops.

Texas A&M is going to leave: That’s a given. It might cost the Aggies financially — an exit bribe, if you will — but they’re going. They hate Texas more than they love money. They’ve already been invited to join the SEC by unanimous vote. Try getting the diminished Big 12 to be unanimous on everything. Whatever Texas wants, everybody else doesn’t want.

(Switching conferences for a second, it’s kind of like Jim Valvano’s description of ACC meetings involving officials: If Dean Smith said he liked a ref, the other coaches would blackball the guy.)

The Aggies will wind up in the SEC soon enough. (Although the league has to be wondering, “What did we do to deserve this?” It was A&M that approached the SEC, not the other way around.) And the Big 12 will either find somebody of comparable worth or collapse. Lost in Wednesday’s Baylor-fueled furor was this little nugget from Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long: Not long ago, Long said, the Big 12 asked Arkansas if it would like to join.

Given that Arkansas was once in a league with Texas — it was called the Southwest Conference, as students of ancient history know — and wound up fleeing, that might have seemed a sign the Razorbacks wouldn’t be interested. (Which Long insists they aren’t. Nobody’s leaving the SEC now. Most everybody else wants into the SEC.) But it shows how desperate the Big 12 is.

Another year, tops. And then Texas and Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will be in the Pac-15 and Texas A&M will be based in the SEC West and Baylor will be threatening to sue everybody. But Baylor has, as its president, a man known for dragging out legal proceedings. His name is Kenneth Starr.

Hey, does Whitewater have a football team?

(Actually, Wisconsin-Whitewater does play football. It has won three of the past four Division III titles. Somebody investigate that program!)

By Mark Bradley

92 comments Add your comment

roger

September 8th, 2011
10:41 am

Yes, Whitewater does have a football team (UW Whitewater) and they have been national champs!

Daniel Smith

September 8th, 2011
10:45 am

Mark good article but your ancient history knowledge is a little off, Texas and Arkansas were in the South West conference. Texas destroyed that conference and the Big Eight (Neb,Ok,Ok st, Kan, Kan St, MU, ISU, Col) let 4 of the sw team join the big eight to make the big 12, At least that is what we in big 8 country thought but really Texas already had different ideas. FYI Baylor left 4 teams with no home when they jumped ship with texas, texas am , and Tex Tech. Now they are on the other side of that equation.

jseth

September 8th, 2011
10:45 am

Arkansas and Texas were together in the SWC…not the Big 8

Harry

September 8th, 2011
10:46 am

It was not the Big 8. Arkansas as in the Southwest Conference with Texas.

All Baylor has brought to the Big 12 is an easy weekend for the other members.

Gig’em,
Harry

Mark Bradley

September 8th, 2011
10:48 am

Hey, you’re right. I’m showing my youth.

Curious George

September 8th, 2011
10:48 am

Will Mark Richt be able to get a job in the Big 12 even though, despite claims to the contrary, he apparently really DOESN’T know what the [H E C K] he is doing, okay?

McDawg

September 8th, 2011
10:50 am

how come the dogs got the ugly uniforms-Maryland was cool, Boise St was cool-even liked Oregon’s (ASU might be the coolest)

Texas and Oklahoma could anchor a conference so really not that big of a deal unless you are greedy money hungry ADs

Curious George

September 8th, 2011
10:50 am

If Oklahoma were to one day play Alabama for the SEC Championship, how would we be able to tell which of the two same-color teams is on the most severe NCAA probation status?

Curious George

September 8th, 2011
10:53 am

Besides Tim Tebow, are there any pro athletes left out there who have not yet swapped diseases with one of the Kardashians?

Dontavius Supremo

September 8th, 2011
10:56 am

If Texas A&M was a party to the contract made with Fox Sports, then they should be sued. On the other hand, Fox may be looking for a way out anyway. This might be it.

juvenal

September 8th, 2011
10:58 am

how can baylor make them stay legally when cu & un have already left?

Curious George

September 8th, 2011
10:59 am

With its famous list of notorious, world-class CHEATING schools such as Alabama, Auburn and Mississippi State, wouldn’t the once-dead-for-cheating-beyond-reason SMU be a more logical choice for this new, expanded $$$$EC?

Richard

September 8th, 2011
11:01 am

Hello? No one is forcing A & M to stay in the Big 12. They can leave whenever they want. There may be an economic cost in leaving but no one is preventing it from happening.

shankit

September 8th, 2011
11:04 am

Curious. Did the SEC get permission from Nike and ESPN
to allow this approval?

BankRoll Tide!

September 8th, 2011
11:05 am

The University of Alabama:

The Best “Amateur” Athletes Money Can Buy

DP

September 8th, 2011
11:05 am

Maybe the SEC and the 10 team Big 12 could swing a trade of Texas A&M for Arkansas as a compromise with Texas A&M giving its exit penalty money to Arkansas.

I think the SEC should have told Texas A&M they’d take them if they brought Oklahoma as part of the deal, otherwise have a nice day.

shankit

September 8th, 2011
11:08 am

The SEC has Spurrier, the SEC certainly doesn’t need Stuups.

ramblingbuzz

September 8th, 2011
11:09 am

The SEC accepting A&M is a big mistake, I don’t care how much more money the conference makes. No tradition, no rivalries, and no interest in A&M itself from SEC fans. If the SEC is hell bent on expanding, at least pick a school that is a better fit in the SEC. And no, I’m not advocating GT as a potential SEC member.

Sorry Dogs

September 8th, 2011
11:09 am

College football is getting to be a F’d up mess. They’re going to ruin it if they’re not careful.

It’s all about the $$$$$. Sad, it used to be a lot of fun.

javis

September 8th, 2011
11:09 am

@Richard, what do you mean? That’s what the entire lawsuit would be about….an injunction preventing A & M from leaving the Conference.

Gator Mike

September 8th, 2011
11:10 am

This A&M Drill is getting fun to watch. Our 12 team scenario is good, but it looks like it will eventually become 14 or 16 schools. It is good that the SEC presidents are being cautious.

59bulldawg

September 8th, 2011
11:10 am

Why didn’t Baylor object to Nebraska and Colorado leaving? Is it planning to sue them too?

BankRoll Tide!

September 8th, 2011
11:10 am

Nick Saban:

Probably Still Has More Integrity Than Any Recent UGA Coach Since Vince Dooley

(Certainly Has More Competency)

shankit

September 8th, 2011
11:11 am

It’s not about the money, send thirty grand to your favorite
college, and they will give you permission to purchase two
season tickets in the end zone.

bradpick08

September 8th, 2011
11:12 am

Actually, A&M is in fact froced to remain in the Big 12 (for the time being, anyway). The one condition that the SEC had for A&M to join was that all of the Big 12 schools must waive their rights for legal action, which Baylor has not. So, as a matter of fact they cannot “leave whenever they want”. They cannot make the switch until this legal deal is settled.

BankRoll Tide!

September 8th, 2011
11:13 am

With the appropriate letters “A T M” on their helmets already, the Aggies will naturally fit right in perfectly in the same division other ca$h-for-da$h football factories Auburn & Alabama.

SimpleDawg

September 8th, 2011
11:14 am

Big XII members are miserable, and want to make misery for anyone else they can.

Instead of suing Texas A&M, they should be suing Texas….after all, it’s Texas that drove the wedge between themselves and every other member school, which prompted the exodus of Nebraska and Colorado and the soon-to-be exodus of Texas A&M.

This is probably the first time anyone in the Big XII has listened to Baylor.

Mtn Dawg

September 8th, 2011
11:16 am

@Richard – The SEC is preventing them from coming on over. Their membership is contingent of the legal issues getting resolved. SO, not until A&M settles the score with the Big-Whatever will they be allowed to join, and dilute in my opinion, the SEC.

Curious George

September 8th, 2011
11:17 am

Do the cash payments for Crimson Tide football players come directly from the banks owned by Paul Bryant’s son, or do the “Bama Belles” simply pull out rolls of 20s out of their cleavage when they go… [ahem] “recruiting” young men who can run fast?

Herschel Talker

September 8th, 2011
11:17 am

MB:

Can I get a shout out?

HT

cantondawg

September 8th, 2011
11:18 am

Arkansas leaving the SEC for the Big 12 would be similar to someone trading in their Ferrari for a beat up Pinto with a blown head gasket.

Sam Robards, Dawg Fan

September 8th, 2011
11:19 am

A&M was going to have to pay to get out of the Big XII: there was no getting around it. The bylaws that allowed for the exit (as well as the contract with Fox) must have had monetary penalties for leaving, which A&M will pay. Just like breaking a lease on an apartment. Case settled.

The posturing by the other members of the Big XII is the worst kind of legal abuse, and the Big XII, specifically the teams in favor of taking legal action, looks HORRIBLE because of it. Who’s going to go to the Big XII now that they’ve seen the sleazy pressure tactics that it puts on its members? No one, that’s who.

The Big XII could have recovered from losing A&M, but now, after all this, the conference is dead. It’s just a matter of time before the guillotine drops and puts it out of its (and our) misery.

OU and A&M should meet up and say, “The Hell with ‘em. Let’s hold a joint press conference and leave together.” You think those Big XII schools would stand a chance in court against OU, A&M, the SEC and the Pac-12, considering the (lack of) merit in the case?

Nope.

Go Dawgs!

Jeremy Knipe

September 8th, 2011
11:19 am

@Mark Bradley – What does adding Texas A & M do to the schedule? Does it eliminate the UGA/AUBURN game each year and reduce it to a every few years back and forth(home/away) meeting much like is set up with Alabama and LSU for UGA?

hogger

September 8th, 2011
11:19 am

OK everyone; lets not get too vitriolic here. George, I do not know where you hail from but before you talk about Alabama, Auburn, etc__ you need to look at Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor;yes Baylor and Texas Tech. I don’t know of an SEC school who had one team mate kill another, a team mate as a federally convicted drug dealer, players leaving a team in multiples of 4 for federal gun violations in the athletic dorms just as examples of the wrong doings going on at some of the institutions involved in the Big 12. Second, Richard, the threat of a lawsuit is stopping Texas A&M from leaving. In case you have not heard, unless they want to be independent, any conference that takes A&M will face a lawsuit from Baylor and others or so we are led to believe.
The Big 12 has not learned a lesson that the SEC has been teaching a long time. While it is good to have competitive programs, it is better for the conference as a whole to be more competitive top to bottom. It is better for the conference to be stable. The SEC model is the envy of the college sporting universe because it is stable and raises the competitive prowess of every school involved instead of the model in the Big 12 or Big 10 for that matter. SEC schools are mostly better from top to bottom because they become better due to the way the conference is run.
Arkansas is glad to be here as is South Carolina. Texas A&M will like it after the rise to the SEC competitive level because they know that what ever happens it will be a shared experienced. Texas used to be a good partner until they retired Darrel Royal for DeLoss Dodd. He oversaw the demise of the SWC and has been the driving force behind the failure of the Big 12. What we should all note is that under Dodds Texas has become less competitive than under Darrel Royal and less friendly in the Sand Box. The pundits at ESPN talk about how poorly A&M has done against the SEC durning the last few years. Look at Texas under Dodds__ Losing Record against Arkansas, LSU and Alabama.

Mark Bradley

September 8th, 2011
11:20 am

Shout-out to Herschel Talker.

bjohndawg

September 8th, 2011
11:20 am

Kenneth Starr….figures.

I think the Sept 2 letter that the President of Texas A&M holds from the Big 12 Conference Commissioner should be their get out of jail free card.

cantondawg

September 8th, 2011
11:21 am

Mark,

Here is my biggest concern about the SEC expansion. If you put a team in the East and put a team in the west and you play all the teams in your division then you will lose some great games.

Auburn vs Georgia Tennessee vs. Alabama Florida vs. LSU

It will be a dang shame if we don’t play Auburn every year because of expansion.

Otto

September 8th, 2011
11:22 am

You left Tx Tech out of the PAC16.

Mark Bradley

September 8th, 2011
11:22 am

According to Andy Katz of ESPN, that Sept. 2 letter was from the Big 12 office, which isn’t the same as the Big 12 membership.

Mark Bradley

September 8th, 2011
11:23 am

I hear you, cantondawg. Auburn-UGA is my favorite game.

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Zing

September 8th, 2011
11:24 am

So much of this nonsense is driven by the goofy BCS system, which ignores leagues entirely and awards a national championship on quirkiness and reputation. If there were a playoff system, maybe people would pay more attention to league championships–if, say, the league champion got an automatic bye or something. As it is, who gives a crap about the conferences? Let’s just have one conference and call it “Conference America” or the “Big 120″ and have done with it.

lanier

September 8th, 2011
11:25 am

whats an aggie? who really cares

Herschel Talker

September 8th, 2011
11:26 am

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Sam Robards, Dawg Fan

September 8th, 2011
11:29 am

cantondawg,

I don’t see that being a problem. The only reason Tennessee and Alabama ok’ed the expansion in the ’90s was because they were assured it wouldn’t break their annual match-up. I see a similar thing happening here with both them and Georgia and Auburn.

In the case we do expand, what I think we should do is add another rotating conference game (keeping the permanent one and the two current rotating ones in place). But that’s just me.

Mtn Dawg

September 8th, 2011
11:30 am

@Herschel Talker – Can you be more specific?

TomB

September 8th, 2011
11:30 am

Yea, that dang Starr is always dragging things out. Never mind of course that someone wasn’t exactly cooperating with his investigation. I guess it all depends on what your definition of is….is? Right?

Grantland Rice

September 8th, 2011
11:31 am

I still don’t understand what the Aggies bring to the table. One bowl win in the last 20 years and one NC…. in 1939. Just a money grab with the mentality that “if we don’t, somebody else will”. Slive and his fellow suits are ruining college football.

glsjunior

September 8th, 2011
11:33 am

Does Sewanee still have a football team? Invite them back.

TomB

September 8th, 2011
11:37 am

A&M brings nothing to the SEC except the Texas market. Its all about the money now.