NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 03: Fans of the Virginia Tech Hokies support their team against the Michigan Wolverines during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 3, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

SEC Expansion: League TV Network Coming, Virginia Tech Rumors Return

The SEC is up to 14 teams, but has to figure out a way to preserve its history while making room for the new guys. Check back here for the latest college conference realignment news.

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188 Total Updates since October 16, 2011
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UNC the new Notre Dame?

Both the Big Ten and SEC are reportedly interested in perhaps the ACC's flagship school.

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Virginia Tech AD again denies SEC interest

With Maryland leaving the ACC, Virginia Tech could have some interest in switching conferences in the future, athletic director Jim Weaver reportedly said. However, Weaver's denied that characterization of his remarks.

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SEC To Recommend Specific Playoff Plan, Stick With 6-1-1 Scheduling

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SEC Coaches On Playoffs, Permanent Rivalries, Big 12 Expansion

It's time for SEC meetings, which means lots of college football coaches saying things on the issues of the day.

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SEC Confirms '6-1-1' Scheduling For Future Conference Games

The SEC is likely to continue its "6-1-1" model for conference football games beyond 2012.

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ACC Wants Champions Bowl Partner, Georgia Tech And Virginia Tech Deny Realignment Rumors

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets joined the realignment rumor convention last weekend, when Ingram Smith reported they'd be among the ACC teams the Big 12 would consider taking in the event of a Florida St. Seminoles acquisition. AD Dan Radakovich is now denying the Jackets have made contact -- Virginia Tech is of course also again denying they want out of the ACC -- but the most interesting comment of his is likely this one:

Radakovich also told fans that the league is trying to develop a bowl game similar to the one that the Big 12 and SEC announced Friday. That game will match those two leagues' conference champions should they not make the expected four-team playoff. He said there is a great desire for the ACC to match up its conference champion, should it not make the playoff, "and play a quality bowl game."

Radakovich mentioned the Big Ten and SEC as potential partners.

Better late than never for that kind of idea, yes?

The ACC won't be able to get the SEC's or Big Ten's champ, of course, as those teams will be committed to the Rose Bowl and this new Big 12 venture, respectively, in the event that they miss the playoffs. The Big East remains available. Winner gets to play its basketball tournament in Madison Square Garden, maybe?

There's also the option to try and pair of the ACC's winner against another league's runner-up, which sounds like the plan the ACC has in mind.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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Notre Dame To The Big 12 And Other Best/Worst Case Scenarios For Conference Realignment

While we wait for the late-summer conference realignment scramble, let's go ahead and prepare ourselves for the best and the worst.

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SEC Network Coming, Expansion Money Could Be Less Than Hoped For

The ACC's re-upped television deal with ESPN currently projects to average more money per school per year than the SEC's deal with ESPN and CBS. The ACC makes more money than the SEC! That's not counting the fact that the SEC's about to alter its own deals and is apparently building a SEC Network, the Sports Business Journal reports:

That's big news. We'll have to wait and see what that looks like.

As for the latter part, CBS, which gets the SEC's best games (its Tier 1 games), may feel it has little reason to pay very much more for the additions of Texas A&M and Missouri since SEC games already do well enough in those markets, or what have you. CBS is already carried nationwide, so there's no way to expand its footprint, only its ratings in places where it already is.

Think about it -- how many games per year will Mizzou play that will be better than everything else the SEC has to offer that week? One or two, tops?

Still, this doesn't mean ESPN won't pay more, and it doesn't mean a SEC Network won't do very well. But it is very important to note the whole point of realignment -- getting more TV money -- isn't quite as automatic as other conferences made it look to those of us on the outside.

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What's Your College Football Program Worth? Introducing Realignment Value Rankings

If we're going to follow conference realignment as if it's a sport, we might as well come up with a scoring system.

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SEC Set To Re-Negotiate TV Contracts, Now That Expansion's Done

SEC commissioner Mike Slive met with the Missouri Tigers' KC Tiger Club Tuesday. Dave Matter has the best list of quotes, including Slive shooting down any Longhorn Network-esque concerns and refusing to explain how Mizzou wound up in the East, but this may be the most important note:

That's Mike Alden, Mizzou athletic director, who like his Texas A&M counterpart is set to get exceedingly richer. Other SEC ADs will only get far richer, not exceedingly richer, as they're all already exceedingly rich.

The SEC's TV contracts included language that would allow the conference to re-negotiate in the event of new teams joining up. With those new teams delivering* at least three very big TV markets, the SEC's set to cash in and show everybody what all this fuss was all about.

* Conference realignment rule: if any sports team is anywhere near any big city, then it's assumed by the people in charge that said city is absolutely insane about the local team and will tune in to watch any game involving the local team. This is the only thing conference realignment is about.

For more on Mizzou football, visit Missouri blog Rock M Nation, plus SEC blog Team Speed Kills, SB Nation Kansas City and SB Nation St. Louis.

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Texas A&M, South Carolina Indeed Becoming Permanent Rivals

After South Carolina president Harris Pastides revealed that his Gamecocks and the Texas A&M Aggies would begin a new, cross-division rivalry while the Missouri Tigers and Arkansas Razorbacks paired up, it looked like the SEC had found a way to preserve its traditional rivalries while incorporating two new teams. You know, traditional rivalries like Kentucky-Mississippi State and Texas A&M-South Carolina.

Now R. Bowen Loftin, president of A&M, tweets with bowtie not whirling:

Good news for fans of schools with rivalries worth keeping -- Alabama-Tennessee, Georgia-Auburn, and LSU-Florida. Now we'll all just try and wrap our minds around various things such as two schools that may not have ever played each other being declared eternal rivals, the Aggies replacing Texas with Carolina and feeling great about it, and just about the two most distant teams in the conference playing each other every year.

ht CBS' Eye on College Football

For more on Cocks football, visit South Carolina blog Garnet And Black Attack, plus SEC blog Team Speed Kills.

For more on Aggies football, visit Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man, plus SEC blog Team Speed Kills and SB Nation Houston.

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Missouri-Arkansas, Texas A&M-South Carolina To Be SEC Rivalries, According To Report

The SEC continues to work through the great scheduling debate of our time, seeking to figure out how to maintain a handful of historic rivalries without pushing to nine conference games, and without making it so teams in opposite divisions never play each other.

It sounds pretty easy!

The latest morsel, from South Carolina president Harris Pastides: the South Carolina Gamecocks and Texas A&M Aggies will become permanent, cross-division rivals. He also indicates that the Missouri Tigers and Arkansas Razorbacks will take up hostilities. Arkansas and Carolina had been official rivals since joining the league around the same time, and had generated a little bit of annual interest.

Mizzou-Arkansas will be an instant hit, as they share general geography, bowl history -- and recent basketball history. But Carolina and A&M? Help me out here. I'm having a hard time figuring out if they've ever even played football against each other before.

Pastides expects an announcement within two weeks.

For more on the SEC, visit SEC blog Team Speed Kills.

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SEC Realignment: Progressive Scheduling And Preserving Rivalries

The Third Saturday in October and the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry aren't going to save themselves. Time to build a schedule that can salvage the SEC's essential rivalries. Also: Should the SEC scrap its divisions?

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SEC Schedule Could Include Nine Conference Games, Missouri-Texas A&M Protected

Update: Despite South Carolina's president calling nine games, the SEC has denied:

Charles Bloom@SECPRGuy #SEC will continue to play eight conference games in football. There has been no discussions on nine game schedule.

The two biggest questions left about the Missouri Tigers transition to the SEC were answered on Monday. According to South Carolina's president, SEC schools will play nine in-conference football games per season, as opposed to eight, and the East's Mizzou will play the West's Texas A&M every year in a rivalry game.

The latter ensures all other existing rivalries remain untouched, while the former ... hoo boy.

The SEC receives heckles for its oft-squishy out-of-conference schedules, though around these parts it's clear the in-conference gauntlet makes up for some pastries. Moving to nine games destroys that flimsy criticism, not that the SEC has struggled with strength-of-schedule issues.

It also makes it even harder for a team to emerge unbeaten from the SEC. As the Pac-12 has shown over the years, winning nine times against BCS-conference teams is hard.

(It also means $$$$$$$$$$ for more big regular season games. Though fewer middling SEC teams will go to bowl games.)

Now the big question raised by these answers: which SEC schools will retain rivalry games with fellow power conference schools? Pastides says the Cocks will still play the Clemson Tigers, giving them only two gimme games per year besides, like, Kentucky. Just about every SEC school will have to drop at least one game for each of the next several seasons, and fans of rivalries will have to hope only cupcakes get the fork.

For more, keep checking Mizzou blog Rock M Nation and SB Nation Kansas City, plus SEC blog Team Speed Kills. And stay tuned here for more conference realignment news.

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Missouri To SEC Finally Official, Conference Announces On Purpose

After a false announcement and weeks of delays, the SEC officially announced the Missouri Tigers as their 14th team on Sunday. Mizzou will join the league on July 1, 2012, meaning they'll be good to go as a SEC member for next year's football, basketball and assorted other seasons.

No word yet on which division the Tigers will join, but the East has looked to be the landing spot that would pose the fewest scheduling problems. It's complicated. Mainly, keeping rivalries intact. The SEC's release also makes sure to point out -- while heralding Mizzou as a large, AAU school whose athletic profile fits the league's -- that the Tigers' state borders Tennessee and Kentucky, SEC East states.

A statement from Mizzou's end:

"The Southeastern Conference is a highly successful, stable, premier athletic conference that offers exciting opportunities for the University of Missouri," said Chancellor Brady J. Deaton. "In joining the SEC, MU partners with universities distinguished for their academic programs and their emphasis on student success. The SEC will provide our student-athletes with top flight competition and unparalleled visibility. We came to this decision after careful consideration of the long term best interests of our university.  We believe the Southeastern Conference is an outstanding home for the Mizzou Tigers, and we take great pride in our association with this distinguished league."     

And here's what the SEC has to say:

"The Presidents and Chancellors of the Southeastern Conference are pleased to welcome the University of Missouri to the SEC," said Dr. Bernie Machen, President of the SEC Presidents and Chancellors and president of the University of Florida.  "The University of Missouri is a prestigious academic institution with a strong athletic tradition and a culture similar to our current institutions."

And now, once the Big East unveils its new collection, we should be done with conference realignment for the time being. Great!

For more, keep checking Mizzou blog Rock M Nation and SB Nation Kansas City, plus SEC blog Team Speed Kills. And stay tuned here for more conference realignment news.

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SEC Expansion: Missouri Not Listed As Big 12 Member In Conference Statement

Big 12 expansion turned up a piece of SEC expansion news on Friday. The West Virginia Mountaineers' realignment from the Big East resulted in a Big 12 statement that listed the conference's expected roster for the coming athletic year:

Beginning with the 2012-13 season it is expected that the Big 12 Conference will be comprised of 10 Universities - Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech and West Virginia. The Big 12's footprint will encompass five states with over 36 million people.    

Yep, no Missouri Tigers. Couple that with the SEC's accidental announcement of Mizzou on Thursday night, and we can consider this a DEAL THAT IS DONE AND SHOULD JUST BE ANNOUNCED so we can all move on and enjoy college football games.

For more, keep checking Mizzou blog Rock M Nation and SB Nation Kansas City, plus SEC blog Team Speed Kills. And stay tuned here for more conference realignment news.

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Conference Realignment: Missouri Plans To Play In New Conference In 2012

After announcing chancellor Brady Deaton had been granted power to make decisions about conference alignment, the Missouri Tigers board of curators answered questions from assembled media. They did not answer very many questions about UM's new retirement plan, but they did get one about the school's search for a new president.

Almost all of the queries related to conference realignment. Almost all answers amounted to, "Wait and see what Deaton comes up with." One of the few specific answers they did give was about when they expect to join their new conference.

Despite Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas' insistence that the Tigers will remain for another year, Missouri said they expect to play in their elected conference in 2012.

Calculate it at 99 percent certainty that Missouri will soon announce Deaton has decided the school's athletic programs will leave the Big 12. Then there's paperwork to file, and there are council of elders meetings to hold, and there's a show of caution to be made. 

But no school empowers an administrator to make a decision about conference realignment unless it's made a decision about conference realignment.

For more, keep checking Mizzou blog Rock M Nation. And stay tuned here for more conference realignment news.

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SEC Expansion: Missouri Officially Intends To Make Conference Realignment Decision

The University of Missouri's long-awaited Board of Curators meeting concluded Friday, followed by a press conference at which curators announced a unanimous resolution to delegate authority to chancellor Brady Deaton to seek new conference affiliation.

Further, the Missouri Tigers announced an initiative to create a local basketball tournament and football game in Kansas City against a local rival. Slick move, as it shows Mizzou's intent to continue rivalries with the Kansas Jayhawks in the event of a move to the SEC, plus assures Kansas City of a continued Missouri presence. KU had previously worried about the continuation of the series if the Tigers left the Big 12.

If you didn't decide to watch the conference online, you missed out on some exciting details about Mizzou's new retirement plan and fiscal budget review and the search for a new school president. I hope you can find the important facts about these matters via your favorite search engine.

Step one is now finally done. Expect Mizzou to formally withdraw from the Big 12 in like a thousand years and then be invited into the SEC a thousand years after that and at some point, after much discussion and consternation, begrudgingly accept. This could all happen like right now, but there's a process. 

For more, keep checking Mizzou blog Rock M Nation. And stay tuned here for more conference realignment news.

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Missouri SEC Application 'Inevitable And Imminent,' According To Report

The New York Times' Pete Thamel is reporting that Missouri’s decision to apply for membership to the SEC was "inevitable and imminent." This was according to a source who does not know a specific timetable for the application.

Missouri’s Board of Curators, who signed off on the school's official exploration of conference realignment, will meet on Thursday and Friday at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. It is thought that the process of withdrawing from the Big 12 Conference and applying to the SEC will begin then.

According to Thamel's source, Missouri is confident they have enough votes from SEC schools to join the conference.

If they do, then they will become the 14th member of the SEC, joining Texas A&M, who just left the Big 12 for the SEC.

The move could also set off a chain reaction in the Big East, where schools such as Louisville and West Virginia are considered candidates for expansion. The loss of Missouri would leave the Big 12 with 9 members for 2012. They could choose to replace Missouri with one school or they could bring on three to return to the number in the conference name.

BYU has also been mentioned as a candidate for Big 12 expansion.

For more, keep checking Mizzou blog Rock M Nation. And stay tuned here for more conference realignment news.

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Missouri Staying In Big 12 For At Least One More Year, According To Commissioner

The other shoe we're all waiting for: the Missouri Tigers, who must choose between the Big 12 and the SEC. And we might be waiting a long time, according to new Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas, who says Mizzou will have until the end of the 2011-12 academic year to make up its mind. And according to Neinas, the Tigers will remain in the conference next season either way, presumably meaning they wouldn't join the SEC until 2013 if they do decide to split.

Neinas also says there's no consensus on whether to stay at 10 or grow to 12. The Louisville Cardinals, West Virginia Mountaineers and BYU Cougars have been the most frequently mentioned candidates for those last spots, if expansion continues.

The Big 12 is set to have 10, with the addition of the TCU Horned Frogs making up for Texas A&m's exit, numerically at least. Don't expect the conference to remain short of 12 for much longer than one season, though, as that rules out a lucrative conference title game.

For more, visit Mizzou blog Rock M Nation and SEC blog Team Speed KillsStay tuned for more conference realignment news.

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Conference Realignment: Missouri 'Exploring Options,' May Leave Big 12

A long meeting of the University of Missouri's Board of Curators resulting in some big news for conference expansion: Missouri appears to be ready to leave the Big 12, appointing Chancellor Brady Deaton to explore conference realignment options.

Deaton serves as chair of the Big 12's board of directors and on its committee on expansion, but it appears his roles there will come to an end as he prepares Missouri for a move somewhere else, potentially as the SEC's 14th team to join along with Texas A&M. Things are just going from bad to worse for the Big 12 10 8.

From the Kansas City Star's Mike DeArmond:

MU will not make long term commitment to big 12
Oct 05 via Mobile WebFavoriteRetweetReply

 

My prediction: Missouri is out of the Big 12 Conference and into the SEC by next season.
Oct 05 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

 

Deaton only said that Mizzou would be looking elsewhere, not commenting on if the SEC was the primary goal or not, but it's the most logical option for the Tigers at this point. But then, since when has logic guided conference expansion?

To hear what Missouri fans think of the decision, head to Rock M Nation.

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Texas A&M To SEC Press Conference: Negotiations, Scheduling And Texas

Texas A&M president Bowen Loftin and athletic director Bill Byrne, along with SEC commissioner Mike Slive and Bernie Machen held a press conference Tuesday to officially induct the Aggies into the SEC. You can read their remarks here, and here's the tl;dr version:

The SEC was happy at 12 teams and is now happy at 13 teams. Oklahoma staying in the Big 12 appeared to be a sign that nobody was going to sue over A&M leaving. Working on schedule options. Something about academics. The SEC's TV contract provides for "look-in" negotiations.

Texas A&M feels its football is ready to compete. Also, other sports. The Aggies are open to keep playing Arkansas in Dallas and still want to play Texas. Not yet sure what the Big 12 buyout will be. A&M talked with Slive before Nebraska and Colorado left the Big 12. The SEC has revenue sharing, which the Big 12 didn't have. Kyle Field may be renovated in 2013.

Don't be floored if, within a year, happy to be at 14 teams.

For more, head to Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man and SEC blog Team Speed Kills.

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Missouri To SEC Rumors: Expansion Likely Coming Soon, Matt Hayes Confirms

By now, two local outlets and two national publications have reported that the SEC's 14th team will be the Missouri TigersThe Sporting News' Matt Hayes added a confirmation on Tuesday, adding that the SEC intends to expand to only 14 teams and not continue on to 16. 

Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples foresaw Mizzou as SEC team No. 14, while the entire DeArmond family has been reporting the arrangement is mostly delayed by the Big 12's last gasps. Oh yes, the Big 12 has last gasps.

That's a pretty solid array of reporting there. Don't be surprised to see Missouri join the SEC soon, but it's nothing official. The Tigers have wanted out for some time now, and it looks like they'll get their wish. At this point, the primary question from the SEC's perspective is what to do about SEC division realignment -- adding two teams to the western division means somebody has to move east, and sending border-straddler Auburn across the line would mean having to make both the Iron Bowl and the Third Saturday in October protected rivalries somehow.

For more on Mizzou, visit excellent Missouri Tigers blog Rock M Nation, along with SEC blog Team Speed Kills.

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SEC Expansion: Texas A&M Comments On Baylor's Threats To Sue

Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin, who has many bow ties, had a public word with the Baylor Bears over their sudden change of heart regarding the Aggies' move to the SEC. By all accounts, Baylor's litigious nature is the last obstacle in the way of A&M joining the SEC, which has already accepted the Aggies.

Here are Loftin's remarks:

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.

Baylor, we love you for sharing Robert Griffin III with us, but please get out of the way so this can all be gotten over with.

For more, head to Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man and SEC blog Team Speed Kills.

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SEC Confirms Texas A&M Has Official Invite, But Legal Hangups Remain

In a statement, the SEC confirmed the news we've been waiting ... well, not really all that long for. The Texas A&M Aggies have been cleared to partake in the conference's expansion once remaining legal issues have been taken care of. The release includes a letter from Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe assuring a clean break with A&M, but notes that as of last night "at least one Big 12 institution had withdrawn its previous consent and was considering legal action."

Kind of weird that the Baylor Bears want Texas A&M to stay in the Big 12 so badly. Texas and Oklahoma are the keys to the conference, not A&M. What happens if the two Oklahoma schools, Texas and Texas Tech leave for the Pac-16? Baylor and A&M are going to repopulate the earth together?

Also kind of weird that a religious institution is sort of going back on its word, but that's another story. Hey, A&M! Congratulations.

Here's the statement itself:

After receiving unanimous written assurance from the Big 12 on September 2 that the Southeastern Conference was free to accept Texas A&M to join as a new member, the presidents and chancellors of the SEC met last night with the intention of accepting the application of Texas A&M to be the newest member of the SEC.

We were notified yesterday afternoon that at least one Big 12 institution had withdrawn its previous consent and was considering legal action. The SEC has stated that to consider an institution for membership, there must be no contractual hindrances to its departure.

The SEC voted unanimously to accept Texas A&M University as a member upon receiving acceptable reconfirmation that the Big 12 and its members have reaffirmed the letter dated September 2, 2011.    

For more, head to Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man and SEC blog Team Speed Kills.

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Texas A&M Leaving Big 12 Prompts Response From Conference Commissioner

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe has responded to Texas A&M's promise to leave the conference in 2012 by promising to expand membership, rather than condense. Texas A&M is widely believed to be in the process of trying to join the SEC, where it would be the western-most outpost of the currently 12-team conference. This surely means another round of conference musical chairs awaits us as various schools pine to join the new, watered down Big 12.

"Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin has notified the Conference of his decision to withdraw the university from the Big 12 effective June 30, 2012," Beebe said in a statement. "The presidents and chancellors of the nine remaining member institutions are steadfast in their commitment to the Big 12. As previously stated, the Conference will move forward aggressively exploring its membership options."

The Aggies are widely believed to be attempting to join the SEC and would leave the Big 12 with just nine schools. It's unclear whether the conference will attempt to get back to 12 or settle for 10. Among the schools that have been identified as possible candidates are current SEC team Arkansas and Notre Dame, which is currently an independent. More realistic targets include former Southwestern Conference teams Houston and SMU.

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Texas A&M Officially Leaving Big 12, School Announced Wednesday

After a short delay and several denials from all over the place, Texas A&M has announced it will leave the Big 12 and seek conference affiliation elsewhere. The Aggies expect to leave the conference on June 30, 2012, and join a new mystery conference shortly thereafter. No, their new conference destination is not a mystery, as they've been yearning to join the SEC for quite some time now.

From the statement:

"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."

So there we have it. Texas A&M has gotten its wish and will leave Texas to rule the increasingly diminishing Big 12 (you can hear Texas' sobbing from here, can't you?), the SEC will soon enter the Lone Star State and presumably look to pick up a complementing 14th team.

The 2011-12 academic year will see the final seasons of Big 12 football, basketball and other sports for A&M, and you can bet this year's Texas-Texas A&M football game is going to be a pretty big deal.

For more, visit Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man.

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Texas A&M To The SEC? Conference Realignment Rumors Showed Up Late This Year

We're inside three weeks 'til the kickoff of the 2011 college football season; a mere 20 days stand between a slavering audience and the majesty of Murray State-Louisville, so what's on the lips of a skyrocketing number of NCAA pundits from Miami to Seattle? Conference realignment! What else? It seems Texas A&M, weary of all the intangible advantages the Longhorn Network seems poised to hand the hated Longhorns, and pretty well-versed in threatening to leave the Big 12 after last summer's go-round, have begun the slow beat to drum the Aggies into the SEC. Didn't we just do this?

Facts are few and sources fewer, but what we know as of Friday afternoon is collected here. Enjoy?  

• According to our friends at Rivals, the university could vote to join the SEC for the 2012 season on August 22. A university spokesman denies a deal is already in place, and beyond that named sources dry out completely.

• The Texas House Higher Education Committee has scheduled a meeting for Tuesday, August 16 to discuss the future of the university's athletic program. A terse note confirming such is available here. What Texas state politicians do at this juncture will be a not-to-be-missed sideshow.

• And if they want to go, is it even up to them? Not without a vote-in from the SEC presidents, who may or may not be meeting on this very topic.

• So what if the university decides this is a bad idea, again? They might still have to go or risk looking like petulant snit-pitchers. 

• And who might replace them in the Big 12 if they do go? Houston's being floated, and has been floated before. 

• And who might accompany Texas A&M in a hypothetical bolt to the SEC? Florida State (who would likely face shrieking opposition from Florida)! Or Virginia Tech (who say they'd turn the invite down, probably!) Or nobody at all, including Texas A&M, because seriously, it's not that we're necessarily opposed to or not entertained by the machinations of the superconference race, but we're so close to real, live, actual football, and talking about anything else in the 20 days between us and it just seems like an exhausting waste of your time and ours. 

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Bloggers React To Texas A&M's Interest In Joining The SEC

They might be the team of the 12th man but Texas A&M is about to become the 13th team in the SEC, according to a report in the Houston Chronicle.

Aggies’ blog I Am The 12th Man has already come to the conclusion that joining the SEC is the right choice for the school.

Geographically, A&M is a much better fit in the SEC than the Pac-10. The farthest game from College Station would be a thousand miles to go play in Columbia, South Carolina; the Oregon State campus in Corvallis, Oregon is over twice that distance. Aggie fans would have to fly to almost every game if they join the PAC 16; all SEC games (save South Carolina) are within a days drive. For all the talk of breaking up traditions, college football has traditionally favored regional rivalries. Texas A&M resides in the southern region and has historical rivalries with teams throughout the South. We have no regional affiliation with the West Coast…

I have heard from multiple people that A&M will get killed in the SEC. I realize everyone who has said that is talking about football (we should fare quite well in all other sports). I would make the argument that if we are going to get killed in the SEC in two years, we would get killed in the PAC 16 also. This decision is not about two year from now or five years from now. This decision is about the next 50 years. The SEC is the right move for A&M for today and for the future.

Tennessee blog Rocky Top Talk wonders if A&M is the 13th team, who will be No. 14? The answer might surprise you.

If you assume expansion is going to happen and the SEC isn’t going to stay exactly where it is…I think the best case scenario is going to 14 teams, and adding Texas A&M and Virginia Tech.

A&M and Virginia Tech wouldn’t be the sort of overwhelming addition the way Texas and Oklahoma would’ve been. But you can have too much of a good thing, and I think had we put those two schools in what’s already the best conference in college football, life would’ve been awfully tough for everybody.

With A&M and VT, you’re adding two great football schools in two brand new states. In more ways than not, Virginia Tech is a better fit than even Florida State – the Hokies have been more successful recently, and while FSU certainly still has some level of national appeal, we already have a school in the state of Florida, and there would be much less strife among the existing schools in adding the Hokies.

Finally, it wouldn’t be a legit happening in sports if there wasn’t a t-shirt associated with it. Courtesy of Alabama blog Roll Bama Roll

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Big 10 Expansion Reaction: SEC Looking Internally At Expansion Options

The one league that seemed to not to be looking into expanding was the SEC what with their latest 15 year and nearly $3 billion television contract between ESPN and CBS.  SEC commissioner Mike Slive says their league is going to stay pat with their twelve members for the next year, but is going to be pro-active if super leagues start forming:

"Given the success we've experienced over the past decade, we are comfortable in the position in which we find ourselves," he said. "Having said that, if there's going to be a significant shift in the conference paradigm, the SEC will be strategic and thoughtful in order to maintain its position as one of the nation's premiere conferences."

The league is conducting internal studies about the expansion topic to weigh the pros and cons, but Slive has said no teams have been discussed.  This where the fun game of speculation comes in to try and pick out a few teams that the SEC would go after if they were to expand.  If the 16 team super conferences become a reality, the SEC should go for a home run and go after Texas, Texas A&M, Miami, and Florida State.   

Outside of landing the two Texas schools -- mainly University of Texas -- the SEC really has no benefit in expanding beyond what they have now.

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