After speculation throughout the weekend, Texas A&M University announced Wednesday that it will submit an application to join a new athletic conference and if accepted, will end its 16-year relationship with the Big 12 on June 30, 2012.

Texas A&M has been working with the Big 12 over the past two weeks to get an outlined procedure for withdrawal from the conference. While the news is not a surprise to anyone who has been following the story, it is the step in the process that was necessary for the Aggies new prospective league, the Southeastern Conference, to accept the school in to its membership.

As outlined in our original article on Aug. 15, the SEC presidents’ statement two weeks ago was purely for legal purposes in that the league did not want to open itself up to lawsuits for picking off another conference’s member. Texas A&M was going to have to remove themselves from the Big 12, before being accepted into the elite fraternity that is the Southeastern Conference and that is exactly what they have done today.

Now that A&M has severed ties with the Big 12 pending acceptance to a new league, the SEC can accept the Aggies with open arms. When the 12 conference presidents vote on acceptance, nine are needed for Texas A&M to be admitted into the league. That would appear to be more formal now however, as conventional wisdom tells us A&M would not have made today’s announcement without securing the support of at least nine SEC presidents.

While an announcement of Texas A&M joining the SEC could occur as early as Friday, don’t expect it until next week. Any announcement this week would be rushed to say the least and the timing works much better for both Texas A&M and the SEC next week when the Aggies have a bye-week in their football schedule and the conference does not have any midweek games.

One glaring unknown at this time is how the 2012 SEC football schedule would unfold. While it is not impossible, it is unlikely the conference will add a 14th member, which now seems inevitable, in enough time to begin play next season. It does go without saying though, that the conference would do all it can to even the conference back out at 14 by the time July 2012 rolls around. A 13-team league could be done for a year, but even minimal math skills tell us it would be a strange season to say the least.

I will say I do not envy the person who has to make a 13-team schedule for one year, if the SEC is forced to.

Putting the scheduling issues of next season aside for a moment, Texas A&M is an excellent addition to the Southeastern Conference. Both athletically and academically. Texas A&M would be the second-largest institution in the SEC, right behind Florida and would have the largest undergraduate enrollment in the conference.

Texas A&M also has one of the most successful athletic departments in the nation today. Last year the Aggies brought home nine Big 12 Conference titles and four national championships. Texas A&M has won 32 conference titles over the past five years.

We’ll save talk of member No. 14 for later, but for now SEC fans can celebrate the newest addition to the best collegiate athletic conference in the nation, Texas A&M.

 

by Chad Haynie, Sports Director
cwhaynie@ua.edu 

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  • Freshman at The University of Alabama. I'm a sports journalism major from Denver, CO. Aside from writing about Alabama baseball, I also write for the Arizona Diamondbacks for venomstrikes.com on the Fansided network. If you like sports, then we can be friends. Follow me on Twitter @realcmoff18

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