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SEC Presidents Met, Did Not Vote Today

The SEC presidents met today to discuss conference expansion, and they chose not to take any action. UF president Bernie Machen is the chair of SEC presidents, and he released this statement:

The SEC Presidents and Chancellors met today and reaffirmed our satisfaction with the present 12 institutional alignment. We recognize, however, that future conditions may make it advantageous to expand the number of institutions in the league. We discussed criteria and process associated with expansion. No action was taken with respect to any institution including Texas A&M.

The biggest takeaway is that they collectively decided to not take any action today. That doesn't mean that Texas A&M has been rejected, though.

I suspect that this statement has a lot to do with legal liability. Noises from Big 12 country indicate that the conference would consider suing the SEC for helping break up its contracts with Texas A&M should the Aggies leave. If the realignment deal is still on, at the very least the SEC will almost certainly wait until after A&M chooses to leave the Big 12 to vote on and extend an offer in order to protect itself. That won't necessarily prevent a lawsuit, but it makes the conference's case stronger.

This statement also affirms the leaks coming out of the conference over the past couple of days that said the process is not as far along or moving as quickly as media reports have portrayed. Beyond that, it also keeps the SEC from looking bad should Texas politicians somehow block A&M from leaving the Big 12 on Tuesday.

Obviously we'll keep following this story, but realignment D-Day is definitely not tomorrow.


CBS's Brett McMurphy is reporting that there is a "gentleman's agreement" among the presidents that the SEC won't add teams in states that currently have teams. The existence of such a pact has been speculated in many places, but this is the first time I've seen it reported by a trustworthy media member. Remember: it takes nine votes to extend a membership offer, and four schools have BCS conference rivals in their states.