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.