Texas A&M and the SEC

CHRIS PUMMER: As they say, the grass is always greener. That’s how Texas A&M feels about trying to move from the Big 12 to the SEC. And maybe if the grass isn’t, the money just might be.

That’s the big reason the Aggies want to bolt their current conference. With intrastate rival Texas launching the Longhorn Network, there’s for sure an unbalanced power structure among the 10 teams that remain in the Big 12. Especially when you consider college’s most profitable conference — the Big Ten — sees it’s margin driven by ownership of its own network.

For sure it’s troubling to see a competitor stake a claim like that for its own, but should the SEC ever accept A&M, the Aggies are likely setting themselves back on the football field.

As the Big 12 stands now, Texas and Oklahoma are head and shoulders above everyone else, with A&M residing among the second-tier teams. That’s not enviable, but the Aggies still have a pretty clear shot at bowl contention. Should they ever assemble a worthy team that can beat the Longhorns and Sooners, while taking care of business with the rest of their schedule, they’d have a realistic shot at a national championship. At the very least, a BCS Bowl is within reach.

Not so for the Aggies in the SEC, where they could languish near the bottom of the standings with Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.

Perhaps A&M could play up to the competition. Maybe they can build a better program from within a stronger conference, with a rise through that adversity making the Aggies a legitimate football power that bullies and bruises its way to a BCS game instead of hoping to sneak through a back door.

But in a conference as strong and deep as the SEC, A&M needs to be sure it’s ready to weather a storm, or else the Aggies will be rolling out the doormat every year.

KRYSTEN OLIPHANT: It’s only a matter of time now before the Aggies head a little farther east to play ball.

Sure, the discussion was tabled — for now– but it wasn’t rejected for good, and it was only rejected because the SEC didn’t want to be accused of tampering with another conference. Now that A&M has officially told the Big 12 they want out, it’s more of a waiting game.

But the SEC has got to make sure they have even numbers to split into divisions, although I don’t nessarily love the idea of the SEC as a super conference. I don’t want Clemson in the SEC because there can only be one “Death Valley” and I don’t want Florida State in there because…yuck. Just, ew.

To tell the truth, I don’t understand completely A&M’s reasoning for wanting to change conferences. They might actually be more competitive in the new “Big 12″ than they would against the likes of ‘Bama, LSU, Auburn and Florida. I know they’re pissed off about the whole Longhorn Network thing, but that’s goign to fail anyway, especially now that the toughest conference game Texas will have is against the Sons of St. Mary the Archangel College or whatever. (No offense, Big 12 fans, but the conference is WEAK.) Plus, Texas A&M effectively ends one of the top 5 college sports rivalries in history. That’s a sad side effect of a move.

I just hope the Aggies know what they’re getting into. Wait a sec, no I don’t. Congrats, Vanderbilt, you won’t be the whipping boy anymore!

About Krysten Oliphant

I'm the prep sports editor at The News-Star in Monroe, La. I graduated from LSU in 2008 after working for three years at The Daily Reveille, and I've also worked in Houston, Detroit and Mississippi. My teams of choice are the Astros, the Saints, the Texans and the Rockets, and of course the LSU Tigers. I'm a baseball and football fanatic, but I'm also very into cooking, working out and shopping.
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