It's not going to be much longer now. Big XIIish Commissioner DeLoss Dodds, er, Dan Beebe has written a letter to Texas A&M outlining what the Aggies need to do to leave the conference. And it includes a phrase that is music to SEC Commissioner Mike Slive's ears: "mutual waivers of legal claims."
In that phrase is essentially what the SEC presidents need to admit A&M -- a tangible sign from the Big XIIish that there isn't going to be a billion-dollar lawsuit filed if the Aggies bolt. Or when the Aggies bolt, which might not be that long now. Bowen Loftin:
"While this is a complex and long-term decision, it is not our intent to prolong our conference exploration for an extended period of time."
It won't be cheap for A&M to leave; the sticker price is $28 million, though that's like the price that's on the car when you drive into the lot -- it's going to be negotiated down. The Aggies will probably end up ponying up somewhere around $10 million. That's not chump change, but A&M should be able to find it long enough to complete the deal.
A timetable that wraps up this week now seems more and more likely. As quickly as the Aggies can fill out an application and send it to Birmingham, the presidents will almost certainly vote to accept them.
Mr Conference Expansion himself Chip Brown chimes in, saying his A&M sources have the school formally withdrawing from the conference tomorrow. He also says that Notre Dame has already shot down the Big 12's pipe dream of adding the Irish, though he says some of the conference's presidents are still interested in pursuing Arkansas. Not that Arkansas is leaving, but they're apparently going to ask. BYU remains another possible target.