Dan Beebe to Texas A&M: Texas is the Key to Big 12

With it looking ever more like Texas A&M is moving eastward, Dan Beebe would like A&M to know that he, like, totally doesn't need them anyway:

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 report says that the conference considers Houston to be a viable replacement. Houston is the closest of Texas' big cities to College Station where A&M is, so adding the Cougars might be some sort of gambit to keep the "Houston" box solidly checked on the Big 12's television inventory.

Anyway, this is a shot across A&M's bow by Beebe. Discontent with Texas is why the Aggies began looking elsewhere in the first place, so throwing UT's status as the conference's top dog in their face is tantamount to asking them to leave. I'm sure Beebe at this point would prefer peace and quiet over his league, and he's not going to get it as long as Texas A&M is flirting with the SEC.

Meanwhile, the House Higher Education Committee of the Texas legislature has called a meeting to discuss the possibility of TAMU defecting to the SEC. Chip Brown got some quotes from Dan Branch, the chairman of the committee. They all sound innocuous, as though the Big 12 surviving without A&M (as Beebe predicts) will allow the move to go forward. That is, until you get to the end:

"Part of that goes to you don't want another major conference coming undone by the action of one," Branch said. "So there's two parts to this. One, is this a good move for Texas A&M?

"And, more importantly, from our vantage point would there be a negative consequence to the University of Texas or Texas Tech University and even our private schools like Baylor - what effect it could have on them?"

Boom. You read that right; he said the B-word: "Baylor". Hold on to your hats because this thing is not a done deal.

UPDATE

Brown updated his story to include a bit saying the Mike Slive has been invited to the Texas legislature committee meeting.

UPDATE 2

Beebe is calling this story about him "totally inaccurate".

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