Archive for Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Translation: A&M will still bolt

August 16, 2011


Reader poll
Do you think Texas A&M should remain a part of the Big 12 conference?

or See the results without voting


Two days ago, the easy answer to the question, “Will Texas A&M; leave the Big 12 for the SEC,” was “Definitely.”

But now? Don’t be fooled. That’s still the answer. It’s just a matter of how and when.

A&M;’s board of regents met Monday to discuss conference realignment, and, when the doors to the meeting room flew open, we learned very few details and heard only ambiguous answers from A&M; president R. Bowen Loftin.

To me, there were a couple of telling responses in the president’s address.

Loftin cautioned that, either way, this would be a long, drawn-out process and asked for patience from the Aggie nation. Translation: We’re working our butts off to make this happen so bear with us.

Loftin said that, if A&M; were to leave, they would love to continue to play Texas in football on an annual basis. Translation: We’re gone, but we’d like you to know we still care.

And, finally, in the event that the Aggies are no longer in the Big 12, Loftin said the conference would have no problem finding a suitable replacement. Translation: Better get started.

Loftin’s postgame speech was a masterful job of a man saying so much while saying nothing at all. It’s clear where the Aggies stand, and it has been from the minute news of their courtship with the SEC surfaced. Whether it’s one man driving the ship, such as Texas governor and A&M; graduate Rick Perry, or an entire department, all that matters is that enough Aggies are ready to uproot.

But that’s only half of the equation. And, for folks around here, it’s the unimportant half. The question now shifts to what will become of the Big 12? Curiously, Loftin addressed that, too, though I hesitate to waste more space on those thoughts. The abridged version? “We’re also very concerned about the members of the Big 12. We don’t want the Big 12 to go away. We have no intention of doing anything that might precipitate that.”

Thanks. Good night. And good luck.

What’s missing in all of this is a dose of reality. If the Aggies want to leave, no one’s stopping them. Not the Longhorns, not the Texas Legislature, which actually postponed a meeting set for today because it deemed the threat to be over, and not the Big 12.

That’s reality. And now it’s time for everyone to move on. Insider reports from Texas indicate that the Aggies will announce their departure in the next 20 days. So let ’em.

While they’re doing that, the Big 12 can and will begin preparations for its next move, one that should include throwing everything at Notre Dame and adjusting accordingly from there.

A&M; believes it’s the one making the bold move right now, but how will the Aggies feel if they see Notre Dame’s golden domes in their rearview mirror?

Talk about a power play.


rtwngr 6 years, 10 months ago

Notre Dame? Your dreaming. I would guess that SMU or University of Houston would be the invitee. Heck, the Big 12 may become the Not Quite as Big 9 and play on.

mae 6 years, 10 months ago

This has been going on for how long? No sports reporters are questioning why WSU isn't being asked? Could it be that KSU would be seriously threatened by being beat a couple times a year in bball? Would that take money away from both schools by adding a 3rd?

dinglesmith 6 years, 10 months ago

WSU? Really? Let's start with the fact that WSU has no football program, the thing that is driving this bus. If basketball were in play, KU, K-State and WSU would all be in better position. Then lets throw in that if WSU played in the Big/Pac/SEC 16 with KU and K-State that would be tacit acknowledgement that WSU is their peer. That is never going to happen. Never.

Football is in charge here. WSU does not play football. Thus, WSU is not a player in this game.

Richard Payton 6 years, 10 months ago

Time Dan Beebe thinks about 16 teams. My top teams to talk about getting added to the dwindling Big 12 would be Notre dame, Arkansas "dreaming", BYU, Boise State, TCU, Air Force, Arizona and Colorado State. Most of these schools traditional have good football programs or a national base of fans.

Jim Williamson 6 years, 10 months ago

Wichita State? Seriously?

This isn't about anyone worrying about anyone beating them a couple times a year in anything. This is about money, and Wichita State will not bring a nickel to the Big 8/9/10/12. An Arkansas or even a Southern Methodist would.

You think Texas A&M thinks they've got a legit shot at winning an SEC title? They're not that delusional. Instead of losing to Texas and Oklahoma every year, they'd get to get their arses kicked by Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee every year. But at least the university would be getting well-compensated for it.

I doubt that Wichita State's entire athletic budget matches Alabama's football budget. Again, it's not about sports. It's about money.

firebird27 6 years, 10 months ago

This entire issue is about money in football - some TV revenue and a great deal of filling stadiums (money) A&M has previously experienced the fall of the Southwest Conference, and given its ability to gain revenue in away games with opponents in regard to revenue procedes from that game. Face it. A&M can make more money playing SEC opponents with its average game attendance than it can in the Big 12. A&M can only conclude that it loses revenue every time it plays in Kansas. This is why the University of Houston was not invitied to the Big 12. UH won Southwest Conference championships in football but it limited revenue production for other universities in the SWC.

Losing A&M is a loss of revenue for Kansas and K-State. Colorado State is an interesting addition, but its revenue generation is low in comparison.

It is most unfortunate that athletic revenues are all that count these days. Historic rivalries are eliminated, and a sense of worthy regionalism is lost. But using the famous movie line, the issue is: "Show me the money."

jhawkinsf 6 years, 10 months ago

We've already set a bad precedent in allowing Texas to get a bigger slice of the pie. Yet some writers say that it's still in K.U. best interest to stay in the Big-12 because K.U. will get more money from this arrangement than if we were able to go to another conference like the Big East. Assuming this is true, I say invite Notre Dame and give them an even bigger slice of the Big-12 revenue. Even bigger than Texas'. And invite BYU giving them a slice equal to Texas or maybe just a hair less. Add a couple of other teams and have a 16 team power conference. The revenue generated would increase substantially, leaving K.U. with more dollars than we now have (but less than Notre Dame, Texas, BYU, etc.).
Let's face it, football is the driving force here. And K.U. will never, I repeat, never, compete with Texas, Notre Dame, BYU. The best we can ever hope for is to compete with Iowa State, K-State and Missouri. The only thing keeping K.U. in any discussion about sports, at least on the national level, is basketball. That's our signature. We need to keep that at the very top or we fade into oblivion. Use the extra money generated by Notre Dame's inclusion and set it up for basketball. Keep that tradition at the top and we'll be fine. BTW - I've always thought that if the football team went 2-9 every year, with those two wins coming against K-State and Missouri, then the coach should be rewarded with a raise.

Maracas 6 years, 10 months ago

No school worth a hoot will be interested in signing on to the USS Bevo as it careens toward the iceberg. We'll probably end up with Rice, SMU and Houston to make Commissioner Dodds and and his sock puppet happy. We'll rename the conference to SWC Redux.

Hammertoe 6 years, 10 months ago

The Big 12 is over? "It's not over until we say it is. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? hell no"...

Commenting has been disabled for this item.