Texas A&M Aggies on their way out of Big 12, but to where?
Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill may be the last quarterback to skipper the Aggies as members of the Big 12 Conference.
August 31st, 2011
12:35 PM ET

Texas A&M Aggies on their way out of Big 12, but to where?

Texas A&M University took another step Wednesday in its bid to leave the Big 12, notifying its conference that it had submitted an application to join another league, according to a news release.

There has been ongoing speculation that the Aggies might join the Southeastern Conference, a premier athletic conference that can boast the past five national football champions. However, the Texas A&M news release did not say which conference it had applied to join.

Should the application be accepted, the Aggies will vacate the Big 12 Conference on June 30, the university said.

University President R. Bowen Loftin told conference Commissioner Dan Beebe in a letter that it was in the school's best interest to join another conference.

"We appreciate the Big 12's willingness to engage in a dialogue to end our relationship through a mutually agreeable settlement," Loftin wrote. "We, too, desire that this process be as amicable and prompt as possible and result in a resolution of all outstanding issues."

The Aggies have been a part of the Big 12 since the conference was expanded from the Big Eight ahead of the 1996-97 season. The 49,000-student institution situated in College Station enjoyed record athletic success last year, scoring nine conference championships and four national titles, according to the university.

In his letter, Loftin wrote that the school was hoping for more visibility from the move and hoped to "secure the necessary and stable financial resources to support our athletic and academic programs."

The president did not share a timeline for the move, but the university said Loftin has indicated that he didn't want a drawn-out process.

Over the weekend, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that the Big 12 Conference board of directors had made enough progress on the Aggies' departure that a league source said he "wouldn't be surprised" if A&M was part of the SEC by the end of the week.

One of the sticking points, according to an A&M source cited by the newspaper, is how much money the university will be asked to forfeit. Sources told the Star-Telegram that the number could be at least $20 million.

The SEC is the only major sports conference not to be realigned in recent years. The Atlantic Coast Conference added the Miami Hurricanes and Virginia Tech Hokies in 2004 and the Boston College Eagles in 2005. The Big East added the DePaul Blue Demons and the Marquette Golden Eagles to its basketball lineup in 2005, while the Cincinnati Bearcats, the Louisville Cardinals and the South Florida Bulls joined its football schools. The Texas Christian Horned Frogs football team is slated to join the Big East next year.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers will join the Big 10 this year. The former Pac-10 is adding the Utah Utes and Colorado Buffalos this year, making it the Pac-12.

The Big 12 has lost Nebraska and Colorado but added no teams. Widespread reports indicate that the conference would like to add the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Arkansas Razorbacks or Brigham Young Cougars to its ranks.

SEC Chairman and University of Florida President Bernie Machen was quoted two weeks ago as saying, "The SEC president 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."

If Texas A&M were to join the SEC, it would join a league with a storied sports history, particularly in football. The Auburn Tigers, Alabama Crimson Tide and Louisiana State Tigers have all won the BCS National Championship in the past five years, and the Florida Gators have won it twice in that time.

Though the Aggies haven't won a football championship in more than seven decades, A&M is no slouch in athletics. The school's track, softball, golf, equestrian and women's basketball teams have all won national championships in the past 25 years. Also, the football team enjoys such a fervent following that the fans are regarded as the squad's "12th Man."

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Filed under: College football • Education • Football • Sports • Texas • U.S.
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. rik

    Well the Big 12 is in trouble. I can see nebraska going to the Big Ten but Texas A&M is a weak sister in the big 12 let along going into the SEC. Good luck and good riddance Aggie nancies.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • KUJayhawk4Life

      Agreed.. Good riddance.

      August 31, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • SECwelcomesA&M

      rik, why such the hater? Jealous?

      September 1, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. KM

    The key phrases in this article:
    "Though the Aggies haven't won a football championship in more than seven decades" (that's 70 years!!) and "The school's track, softball, golf, equestrian and women's basketball teams have all won national championships in the past 25 years. (an an average of 1 every 5 years)"

    Translation: They win games, but not consistently and not very often

    Good luck in the SEC shark tank aggies. You've gone from being a small fish in a big pond to a small fish in a shark infested ocean. Epic fail.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aggie95

      The writer of this article need to provide all of the facts. True A&M has not won a National Championship in football since 1939, but since then it has won 12 Conference Championships (11 in the Southwest and 1 in the Big 12) during the years of 1940, 1941, 1956, 1967, 1975,1985,1986,1987, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1998

      August 31, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • SECwelcomesA&M

      KM your understanding of college football is an epic fail.

      September 1, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. PotFace

    There's nothing southeastern about Texas. Everyone that has anything to do with this "school" should be jumped by Rand and McNally. I don't want them in the SEC, but at this rate, it won't take much of a pounding to make them want to back out of that conference too.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • SECwelcomesA&M

      And who really cares what you think and "want"?

      September 1, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. Chuck Jones

    Arkansas to the Big 12? Never gonna happen. Sombody is totally out of their mind. Why would a school go backward?

    August 31, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bubba2bu

    good bye aggies you failed in the big 12 and now wanna go to the sec you just make all the aggie jokes reality

    August 31, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • SECwelcomesA&M

      bubba you so clever and funny...I bet you know them there jokes real good.

      September 1, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. Texas S & M

    Where are WE supposed to go?

    August 31, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer


      August 31, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bimbo the Birthday Clown

      You can stay in my basement. But don't make a mess.

      August 31, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • SECwelcomesA&M

      Well, at least Jennifer thinks you are sooooo funny.

      September 1, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. SECwelcomesA&M

    Great move! Gig 'Em!

    August 31, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. gung hoe

    I am a MICHIGAN FAN BORN AND BRED SECOND BEST IS MICHIGAN STATE THIRD BEST IS TEXAS AND NOW THE AGGIES i have a reason to watch the SEC now go AGGIES AND ALSO HOOK EM HORNS for our michigan teams we dont need to say anything

    August 31, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • hyperionsix

      Michigan fan you say? The same team that lost to Appalachian State? At home no less.

      August 31, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mac

    Arkansas to the Big 12? Yep thats what it said! Dream On! GO HOGS! No to AM. Don't need em!

    August 31, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Aggie

    I'm not going to another "league" I'm getting as far away from you as possible. FU and your basement.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Idiots

    Football oblivion, that's where.

    August 31, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Texas A&M (Jim Jones Campus)

    It's best for everyone.

    August 31, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • SECwelcomesA&M

      Was your momma a survivor of the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project? You must have gotten some of that juice when in utero.

      September 1, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bulldawg

    C'mon down for a southernfried bottwhuupin'!

    August 31, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • SECwelcomesA&M

      From 19th ranked Georgia?! Muahaha. Btw, they are the Bull"dogs".

      September 1, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  14. mjh


    August 31, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rainbowsix

    Bwahahahahaha! Appalamechian St. beat Michigan. Bwahahahahaha! Yeah, wolverines blowchunks.

    August 31, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
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