Chances Texas A&M joins the SEC: 70 percent
Chances Texas A&M joins the SEC within a week: 50 percent
Now that it seems like this story is going to be with us for at least a few days, let's start taking the temperature on how likely this is to happen in the near future, mkay? We'll update this daily, using a mixture of news and the dreaded rumors that you hear about. Oh, and we'll try not to rely on a certain sports network that is all but drowning in conflicts of interest every time it opens its mouth.
(Note: This is not just a statement about the Longhorn Network. Consider that ESPN also has a contract with the Big XIIish that could be affected and will have to shell out more money for the SEC or watch it walk to Fox or somewhere else if the conference expands. Then again, ESPN stands to make a lot more money off the SEC contract if A&M joins -- money that would be offset by the losses on the Big XIIish front. It's hard to tell where all the conflicts of interest begin and end with ESPN, which is why we're trying to avoid it as much as possible and why you should probably take anything they say with a Bristol-sized grain of salt.)
Rumblings out of Aggieland are that this is not all that unexpected -- a curveball nonetheless, but not one that comes as close as a Carlos Zambrano pitch to killing them.
But an A&M official said plans are moving forward for the Aggies to join the SEC and that Sunday's declarations by both the conference and Texas A&M were simply meant to cover the two on the legal front. ...
The A&M official said that's because the SEC and A&M must clearly establish that the university contacted the SEC about a move, not the other way around, to avoid potential lawsuits from the Big 12 and perhaps TV networks.
So when might things happen?
Regents teleconference is 3 p.m. today. I'll be there, and don't expect an announcement to SEC today. Perhaps later in the week. #mysa
Meanwhile, South Carolina President Harris Pastides essentially confirmed to The Daily Gamecock that the meeting over the weekend was meant to get all the conference's ducks in a row -- not to invite a school.
He further said Sunday's meeting of the 12 SEC member presidents was held in order to prepare for the possibility of such an application and determine the criteria and steps associated with any potential expansion. ...
Pastides said the SEC is not interested in a "raid" on any conference, and that any potential expansion will occur on the condition that a university approaches the SEC rather than the league targeting a school. Any school interested in joining the SEC must apply for membership.
So there's still a better-than-even chance that A&M ends up in the SEC. It must take a while longer than anyone thought.