We hate to interrupt the well-deserved basking in the victory over Arkansas, but big news for the SEC moving forward. Forget about the re-commitment of nine current Big XII members, the Aggies are indeed heading east and the SEC confirmed today the admission of Texas A&M effective July 1, 2012. Per the official website of the Southeastern Conference:
The Southeastern Conference Presidents and Chancellors, acting unanimously, announced today that Texas A&M University will join the Southeastern Conference effective July 1, 2012, with competition to begin in all sports for the 2012-13 academic year.
“On behalf of our presidents, chancellors, athletics directors, students and fans, I welcome Texas A&M University to the SEC family,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “Texas A&M is a nationally-prominent institution on and off the field and a great fit for the SEC tradition of excellence—athletically, academically and culturally.”
We'll have more on this one as it develops, but clearly this is very big news and in time it will generate a great impact that will be felt throughout the rest of the conference. No one looks to be in a rush to add a fourteenth team, but even so bringing A&M on board for the 2012 regular season will have a major impact on scheduling, and many (perhaps even all) current SEC schools will see a scheduling change as a result.
In fact, it had been rumored previously that 'Bama would drop its road trip to Nashville next season to play Vanderbilt and replace it with a road trip to College Station to take on Texas A&M. That's a nice sounding match-up, but with road trips already scheduled to Dallas (Michigan), Fayetteville, Baton Rouge, and Knoxville, adding another tough road trip would make for a ridiculously strong schedule for a 'Bama team that will undoubtedly lose several key players. In any event, expect to see more Alabama coaches targeting Texas recruits in the near future.
In the meantime, though, before anyone gets overly concerned with the specifics of expansion, I suppose a welcome is in order for the Aggies. I'm sure we'll be hearing plenty from them in the days ahead, and we'll update here accordingly.