Kirk Bohls of the Austin-American Statesman reported on Tuesday that Texas A&M to the SEC is "not likely, but possible." Has much changed?
Texas and Texas A&M had their big meeting today to discuss contingency plans if/when the Big 12 falls apart. A&M officially released this statement:
Officials from Texas A&M University and the University of Texas met in Austin today to discuss several topics of mutual interest to both institutions regarding recent developments affecting the Big 12 Conference. No decisions were made or agreements reached as a result of these discussions.
So aside from the handshake-style agreements that Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech supposedly have to remain together, were less than 100% sure that A&M to the SEC won't happen. For what it's worth, Texas A&M regent Gene Stallings still thinks that it's possible (as of this morning) for Texas and Texas A&M to go to different conferences. According to the Statesman, Texas officials have consistently denied interest in the SEC.
For what it's worth, Bohls says he's got an SEC source who revealed Mike Slive's top expansion wish list. The four schools? Texas, Texas A&M, North Carolina, and Duke. That would add the state of Texas plus Charlotte and Raleigh, two large and fast-growing TV markets. Bohls' source also says that Florida would try to block an invitation for FSU and that he wouldn't be surprised to see the SEC stand pat at 12.
Given that Bohls is a reporter in Texas's hometown, take that with a grain of salt. I somehow doubt he's got some super secret source within the SEC who has inside information while Tony Barnhart is complaining that the SEC "is as locked down as I’ve ever seen them."
Side note: Roy Kramer is talking about expansion. No scoops, but he is the godfather of conference expansion and the BCS, after all. He expected things like this to happen, but not so soon and not all at once.
One other morsel: R.C. Slocum, a former A&M football coach who now is a special advisor to the university president, says that the school will make its decision based solely on financial impact. It will not factor in "intangibles" like rivalries or traditions.
That may not mean much if the Pac-10's projections are bigger than whatever the SEC thinks it can get from ESPN and CBS after expanding, but it still leaves the door open for A&M not to go to the Pac-10.
The ubiquitous Chip Brown is reporting that the A&M community is divided between going east or going west, and that Slive is pulling out all the stops to lure UT and TAMU. He cites Stallings's influece and comments by A&M AD Bill Byrne that indicate he wants no part of traveling to the west coast. He also repeats that Texas is not interested in the SEC "no matter what."
Reading between the lines, it sounds like Brown is rooting for A&M to follow Texas but that there is some legitimate uncertainty around where the Aggies will end up. (H/T MWC Connection)