Texas A&M could announce its official move to the Southeastern Conference as soon as Wednesday, according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
The newspaper, citing sources, said one final hurdle must be cleared before the deal is sealed. That didn’t stop the school for preparing for a major announcement at Kyle Field on Wednesday, according to the report. But there a chance the announcement may not come until Thursday or even as early as next because of some complexity of key issues, a source also confirmed.
The SEC presidents met Tuesday night to discuss extending an invitation to the Aggies. It isn’t clear if A&M received the necessary votes during the meeting for entry.
But it seems only a matter of time before an invitation is extended after Texas A&M sent the Big 12 a formal letter of intent to part ways with the conference on June 30, 2012. The Aggies had become increasingly frustrated with Texas and its Longhorns Network over the past year.
The SEC, which has not made any formal announcement about expansion since saying a few weeks ago that it had no immediate plans to expand beyond its current 12 members. But that was largely believed to be a smoke screen to allow Texas A&M time to separate from the Big 12 before the SEC would extend a formal invitation to the Aggies.
There had been some talk of Texas A&M heading to the SEC in the summer of 2010 when the Big 12 seemed on the verge of imploding after Nebraska left for the Big Ten and Colorado made its exit to the then-Pac-10.
But the Aggies along with Texas and Oklahoma agreed to remain in the Big 12 as a 10-member league. A&M, however, started to have a change of heart after watching the ESPN-backed Longhorn Network come together. The feeling is that the LHN gives Texas too much of a competitive and recruiting advantage.
Now with Texas A&M departure comes more doubt that the Big 12 can survive even with a new member to replace the Aggies. Their appears to be at least some interest in Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech joining the newly formed Pac-12 to make it a 16-team power conference.
Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have come out in recent days and admitted they are going to explore their options.
“Of course, we have some great partners in the existing Big 12. We have interest from other conferences and other universities, so it’s really a tribute to the strength of our program at the University of Oklahoma that there is so much interest in us,” Oklahoma president David Boren said. “So, we have to carefully evaluate the various comments that are being made to us and the various possibilities that are being shown to us before we decide what’s best for the university to do.”