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LJWorld.com weblogs Tale of the Tait

Big 12 universities line up contingency plans as A&M regents push the pace

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4:45 p.m. Update:

Texas A&M's board of regents has moved its meeting up from Aug. 22 to Aug. 15. That's Monday folks, one day BEFORE the Texas legislature is scheduled to meet.

Gotta think that only means that A&M officials are trying to ram this thing through... Ought to be interesting to see where it goes from here.

Here's a copy of the board's agenda

Stay tuned... Closely.

Original Post:

The dominoes might not have fallen yet, but they’re lined up all nice and pretty.

All it will take to send them tumbling is a light breeze of the flick of a finger. That finger could come from Texas A&M, who, according to multiple reports, is seriously entertaining the idea of leaving the Big 12 to join the SEC.

Should that happen, there’s no telling what the rest of the country would do. Although nothing’s even close to official yet, universities everywhere are getting things in order to make sure they’re prepared for any number of scenarios that could unfold.

That includes Kansas University, which, under the leadership of new athletic director Sheahon Zenger, has done everything possible to stay on top and in front of a situation that changes quickly.

While most schools are simply laying low and getting things in order behind the scenes, some have been a little more open about their goings on. And then, of course, you’ve got those trying to play the middle. Make it look like you’re happy where you are while talking feverishly to others on the other line.

That’s where our first couple of links come in.

The first is an audio clip from the Dan Patrick Show, which had Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples on this morning to talk about all things college athletics. The A&M to the SEC talk gets going around the 3:00 mark, with talk about the SEC adding a 14th team coming around 4:30. That’s where it gets real interesting, as the name Missouri comes around the 4:45 mark.

We all know that Missouri has been in love with the Big Ten for years now. But after being denied entry last year, when the Big Ten added Nebraska, it looks as if Mizzou may have turned its focus toward the SEC. Take a listen.

The next stop comes from the south, where this report from Fox Sports indicates that Florida State may be examining a jump to the SEC to become the conference’s 14th team, assuming A&M actually goes.

Speaking of that, Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle writes that A&M has to leave the Big 12 this time or risk getting egg on its face.

I tend to agree. And I know the Big 12 won’t cry over losing the Aggies as long as Oklahoma and Texas remain committed to their current conference, which it appears — at least for now — that both are. And why not? Texas is king in the Big 12 and gets to do whatever it wants. OU, while not nearly as powerful in the overall scheme of things, is in a great situation for its mighty football program. Why would Bob Stoops ever want to take his show to the SEC or anywhere else, for that matter? The answer? He won’t.

There’s still a ways to go in this mess and, although it has the feel of what went down last summer, the guess here is that this thing will be resolved much more quickly and won’t drag on for weeks and weeks.

We should know more as soon as next week. The USA Today has this report about the Texas legislature’s special meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

A lot can happen between now and then, and, as we’ve seen before, emotions can turn things ugly in a hurry. For now, though, it looks as if the remaining nine Big 12 schools are keeping their cool and simply waiting for A&M to make its move. All the while, I’m pretty certain that there is some communication with other schools and conferences going on behind the scenes in case it becomes necessary for the Big 12 to invite a school or three into the fold to replace A&M or maybe even Missouri.

Houston? Notre Dame? Arkansas? BYU? TCU? All are possibilities.

Stay tuned for more...

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