Texas A&M Makes Big 12 Divorce Official

Here is the release from the university:

"After much thought and consideration, and pursuant to the action of the (Texas A&M University System) Board of Regents authorizing me to take action related to Texas A&M University's athletic conference alignment, I have determined it is in the best interest of Texas A&M to make application to join another athletic conference," President R. Bowen Loftin wrote to Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe in the letter dated August 31, 2011.

"We appreciate the Big 12's willingness to engage in a dialogue to end our relationship through a mutually agreeable settlement," Loftin added. "We, too, desire that this process be as amicable and prompt as possible and result in a resolution of all outstanding issues, including mutual waivers by Texas A&M and the conference on behalf of all the remaining members."

I still maintain that the SEC's 14 program won't come from the ACC (Maryland? Seriously?) and largely agree with both Mr. SEC and Frank the Tank's take here (emphasis added):

"I'll reiterate my belief once again that the ACC is much, much, much stronger than so many people that just see the recent results on the field, current TV contract cycle, and preponderance of hookers and blow in Miami seem to give it credit for. The ACC has extremely strong academics (which, whether sports fans like it or not, actually matter to academic institutions) along with a core of UNC, Duke and UVA that's never going to realistically leave.

Mr. SEC's contention (and I once again agree with him) is that when you're not including ACC schools (although I'll evaluate a few of them as cursory measure in a moment) and it should be assumed that the Big Ten and Pac-12 aren't poachable, then the list of schools that can (1) add value to the SEC and (2) aren't tied down by home state politics (i.e. the Oklahoma - Oklahoma State situation) is cut down to Missouri, West Virginia and Pitt. That's it. As a result, Mike Slive just can't start blowing up other conferences like Emperor Palpatine (not that it's in his best interest to do so, anyway)."

In other words, so long as Boston College sticks it out with the likes of North Carolina, Duke and Virginia, we good. 

Regardless of how this thing shakes out, it will certainly be an interesting few months (year?). I doubt the question of who is #14 gets resolved in short order, which will make the process that much more painful.

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