When I got home from New Mexico last weekend, the bits of real news regarding Missouri involved Marcus Denmon getting on Team USA, Sheldon Richardson not showing up to practice camp and causing a lot of people to collectively breathe into their paper bags, and rumors that Texas A&M, unhappy with certain things (*cough* TEXAS *cough*) in their current conference, may be leaving for a new place to call home. For them, that preferable conference is clearly the SEC. So, once again, we have to deal with stupid conference re-allignment stuff for the second straight year, and right before the football season kicks off, no less. This type of story is enough parts rampant rumors, endless horn-tooting over unnamed sources, and other red herrings leading to utter disappointment for most schools involved that I really couldn’t care less about the actual proceedings until everything, and mean everything, is all said and done with. I got sucked into this sort of mess once with the whole Mike Anderson/ Matt Painter fiasco, and I won’t let myself get too absorbed into this nonsense.
Anyways, my opinion shouldn’t count for much seeing as I’ve done my own personal best to avoid most of the stories involving TAMU, the SEC, and other rumors surrounding what conferences may look like after next season or later on. Here’s the most apparently damning piece of information from the day, in which Dan Beebe has supposedly dropped a big one.
Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe has told Texas A&M that Texas holds the key to the long-term future of the Big 12, and that the Big 12 would survive without the Aggies, according to an A&M official.
The Big 12 also believes the University of Houston would be a viable candidate to replace the Aggies, the A&M official said. All signs point to the Aggies bolting the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference. The A&M regents are meeting on Aug. 22 and an announcement about the SEC might follow soon after.
If Dan Beebe in fact said something fairly close to these lines (which would make 80% of the jokes from his fake Twitter account all the more hilarious and believable), then, well, wow. I guess Texas’ correlation with money and power is quite apparent on that one, and I’d take it as a petty bitch slap if I were involved in Texas A&M’s camp. If this is true (and I couldn’t overstate that enough) then it looks like A&M will have the OK to pursue admission into the SEC, although their getting in isn’t entire certain, as Bill C. over at Rock M Nation kindly pointed out.
1. A&M regents still have to vote on it. I’m sure there are some on the board who are sold on the SEC and have been for at least the last year, but I’m willing to bet that for a decent percentage of them, the SEC is going to be a hard sell. The reasons should be obvious: you’re leaving your rivals. You’re leaving yourchief rival, with whom you’ve been paired in a conference for a hundred years. You’re wanting to move into the most ridiculously difficult division in all of college sports, the SEC West, where your best hope is to become another Arkansas, putting a good team on the field and hoping to squeeze into the conference title game once per decade or so. You just left the second-hardest division in the world, the Big 12 South, which you failed to win once in its last 12 years of existence. There’s a good chance some regents are very resistant to this idea, but we’ll say there’s still a good chance of eventual approval. Chances A&M clears this hurdle: 80%.
2. The Texas Legislature has to avoid screwing this up. Granted, having the Governor on your side is a huge asset (just ask Baylor), but no state government is more involved in the whereabouts of their universities than Texas. The move has to get approval, and A&M has to avoid a “You have to take Tech with you” scenario. Likely, but not guaranteed. Chances A&M clears this hurdle: 80%.
3. The SEC still has to vote them in. As we see from the Sporting News link below, this hasn’t happened yet. Evidently, it might happen tomorrow, but we don’t know yet. I doubt that every school in the conference is going to be high on the idea of adding a 13th team, especially when there’s not a no-brainer 14th team to follow. But let’s face it: if SEC commissioner Mike Slive tells them to vote yes, they’ll probably vote yes. Chances A&M clears this hurdle: 85%.
The big picture is that if A&M does get all the way to the SEC, then comes the fun part; Every other big conference either tries to expand again, or keep their own teams from leaving, or fill in holes caused by teams leaving. I really don’t want to speculate on that part, seeing as we’re still not out of the woods with A&M yet, but certain theories involve Missouri soon after going to the SEC, Big Ten, or Big East. That’s all I have to say on where MU lies. As of now, I’m just going to treat them as a program that will be staying in the Big 12 for the foreseeable future.
When push comes to shove, I really don’t want to be following/ covering this conference event unless 100% certain moves are being made. If A&M does leave and is accepted into the SEC, then I’ll be there to provide my thoughts on the matter. A domino affect will surely follow, and Missouri will no doubt be one of the names involved. Conference re-allignment may be a pain in the butt type of story that involves a lot rumors, and more rumors on top of that, but it is a story, one with very big implications if the chips fall the right way. As of right now, I’ve done enough thinking about this whole mess for one day, and I want to get back to getting ready for my big move to Columbia. Until then, do as you please, but don’t trust anything you see.