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Sprints Needs to Get Used to Texas A&M-Heavy Days, Apparently // 05.08.12

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Baseball America Top 25
Your SEC teams:

4 South Carolina
6 Florida
7 Kentucky
20 Arkansas
25 Mississippi State

The biggest drop in the league was Kentucky's slide from third to seventh, though formerly No. 24 Ole Miss fell out of the rankings entirely. Arkansas dropped two notches -- which seems about right for losing two of three to South Carolina -- and Mississippi State was unranked last week.

Texas A&M's Bill Byrne is set to retire
The athletics director was always rumored to be one of those pushing for the Aggies to remain in the Big 12ish, so it's not a total surprise that he might leave before the move to the SEC becomes official. At the same time, it seems to be an amicable departure of sorts, which is probably what's best for both Byrne and the school.

And once the move became official, there's nothing indicating that Byrne mishandled the transition in any way. Of course, the proof of that will be in how well the Aggies do once they officially join the conference, but all signs right now are that he did a solid job.

Already the deepest team in the SEC at running back?
Myerberg makes a pretty convincing case that the Aggies' backfield could be really, really good this year. And he makes a case that it might have to be, at least for now.

The reason why A&M’s depth in the backfield is important is simple: Sumlin and Kingsbury’s offense won’t hit the ground running from day one. While the Air Raid has encountered little difficulty taking off from the start on the non-B.C.S. conference level -- and in the Big East, to be fair -- it’s not likely that the Aggies will experience that sort of success throwing the football during SEC play.

Especially not when the one doing the throwing is likely to be a first-year starting quarterback. But we'll see just how well the A&M backs line up against the SEC's other rushers soon enough.

Um, you generally want to check on that part of the equation first
Oklahoma wideout Kameel Jackson wants to transfer to Texas A&M. There's just one problem.

That same source also said A&M would not be interested in bringing in Jackson as a transfer because of their current situation at the wide receiver position.

Well, that's awkward. Jackson is likely to transfer somewhere, with Sooner Scoop noting dryly that "he may be facing too many off the field issues to remain in Norman." You would think.

The Big 12ish stuck with each other for the foreseeable future
A new $200 million-a-year contract -- this one will apparently be paid for with something more sturdy than monopoly money -- is expected to extend the grant of rights to 13 years, which essentially means that most of the TV money from any school that bolts the league would still go to the Big 12ish. That's a pretty powerful incentive for staying together.

Why would ESPN and Fox want to dole out that kind of money? Because they're already having to rework or at least look at their existing deals with the ACC, SEC and Big East because of the 2011 round of realignment after being forced to spend large sums to tie down the Pac-12 and B1G contracts after the 2010 round of realignment. At some point, the networks need some kind of stability in their business model, and this gives them at least a degree of that.

Yours truly still thinks that Texas' long term goal is to independent once the Longhorn Network gets up and running. But the Longhorns might be patient enough to give the channel a decade or so to find its footing before striking out on their own.

Wanted: Someone to preside over the continuing decline of a basketball-crazy attempt at a football conference
John Marinatto is resigning through a disputed combination of his own volition and the persuasive powers of the Big East presidents. That doesn't fix the league's main problem, which is that the basketball teams still think of the Big East as a basketball conference, while the football teams understand that they are the major source of money for the Big East.

Could that lead Louisville to bolt for the Big 12ish
That's the first thing I thought when I read at Card Chronicle, our Louisville site, that the administration in the 'Ville might not be happy with the decision to help Marinatto find the door.

All reports are that this forced resignation has left a very sour taste in the mouths of the powers that be at U of L. Not a good morning for the Big East's relationship with Louisville.

Which, of course, makes UL a better target for a certain Eastern-half-of-the-United-States league that already poached one member from the Big East and could be one day looking to get back to 12. It's not necessarily enough to cause the leap on its own, but it's one of the same kind of series of steps that drove Nebraska out of the Big 12 in the long run.