And with that, weeks of wrangling and rumors have been put to bed: Texas A&M will become the 13th member of the SEC. The Aggies and SEC have engaged in what began to resemble an odd conference mating ritual, beginning with Texas A&M's decision to notify the Big 12 of its decision to leave. What followed came straight out of a soap opera, with lawsuits threatened, jilted lovers left heartbroken and, finally, a resolution.
The move was announced by Mike Slive, ending all the reports, rumors and innuendo we've watched unfold for the past few weeks (via Bryan Fischer).
The SEC has accepted Texas A&M as a member. Mike Slive: The SEC has "started to look at schedules for 2012-13 involving thirteen teams." Slive: "We remain optimistic that Texas A&M will be a member of the SEC" But then says they've been accepted their application.
This answers two questions, but leaves another open. Yes, Texas A&M is now an SEC member, effective next season. And yes, the SEC may be content to stick with 13 teams. But it's an open-ended answer, and Slive may not be settled just yet.
While it's feasible to operate with 13 teams in the short-term, it's a less than ideal situation in the long-term. Should the SEC decide to continue forth on its expansion quest, it's anyone's guess which team, or teams, could be courted. Some rumors: West Virginia, Missouri and pretty much every team on the East Coast.
We'll be back with more on this move as it becomes available.
Note: This doesn't mean everything is final and written in stone, but Slive is using when, not if, and saying the SEC has accepted A&M. There's still legal framework to tie-up, in all likelihood, but this is about as done as it gets.