So I'm minding my business this morning when I stumble upon this little gem from Kirk Bohls of the Austin-American Statesman (H/T CFT):
Texas' [private TV channel] will have a number of domino-falls. Among them, I'm guessing, is a spike in Texas A&M's interest in joining the SEC.
Said one prominent Aggie, "I certainly think it's going to create some reaction from some Aggies who will say, ‘(The heck with) Texas. Let's do our own deal.' I don't think Texas is winning friends and influencing people among their Big 12 brethren. As for the SEC, it may be a lot of noise, but I don't sense a lot of groundswell from the president or athletic director's office."
You'll recall from last summer that Texas A&M was one of the biggest obstructionists in the Pac-10's plan to try to lure half of the Big 12 over and create a 16-team superconference. The Aggies preferred the SEC to the Pac-10, a fact that stalled the momentum of the deal and bought time for Texas to have a change of heart.
The identity of this "prominent Aggie" would speak volumes as to how serious the A&M-to-SEC sentiment is in the wake of Texas' new TV channel. If it's a school official speaking, there could be some smoke here. If it's a former player or booster, then it's just some guy blowing smoke. Of course, we're not going to find out who that was, so it's probably moot.
A more realistic scenario is one that Bolhs mentions later, which is that A&M AD Bill Byrne might try to get the other nine schools of the Big 12 to pool their local rights together in a league-wide (minus Texas) package. I can see that happening long before I can see, as Bohls speculates here, Texas A&M and Oklahoma bolting for the SEC. I don't think the SEC is interested in expanding without some kind of national catalyst, and I wonder how those two leaving (and further crippling) the Big 12 would play in the Texas and Oklahoma state legislatures. They need to look out for Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, after all.
There is one other thing to keep in mind here: Bohls was consistently late and/or wrong on the conference expansion news last summer. His sources didn't seem to be very plugged into the process, so there's a good chance that his source on this is similarly useless.