Will it be the PAC 16?
That’s what the “smart” money is saying.
The bottom half of the Big 12, sans Baylor, goes to the PAC.
Sixteen teams. Arizona and Arizona State, along with the Big 12 renegades, form a western division of the conference.
Conventional wisdom also says A&M will go because they are tied at the hip to Texas. Because of politics. Because of money. Because of tradition.
Heck, even A&M’s fight song is all about beating one team...the Longhorns.
But things change. Time passes. The wheels of time roll on.
Maybe it is time for the Aggies to come out from under the shadow of the guys in Austin and strike their own deal. Maybe it is time for the Aggies to join the SEC.
Why the SEC?
A&M is closer to the SEC in both geographic and cultural terms. The money is certainly there. And it might offer them the chance to actually improve their profile and program by, as aforementioned, leaving behind the Longhorns.
They could still keep the rivalry game on Thanksgiving. It would just be a non-league, rather than a league game.
Because, let’s face it, the greed and arrogance of the Longhorns has now destroyed two conferences in two decades.
It was the insistence of Texas to keep all of their gate receipts and rewrite the revenue sharing in the old SWC that was, along with the rampant cheating, a major cause of its downfall.
Their perceived bullying has now also caused the downfall of the Big 12. Nebraska has been quite open that the dominance of Texas was a major factor in them seeking another beau in the form of the Big Ten.
Texas is kind of like the punk kid who keeps getting everyone thrown out of the bar. And now they want to drag along A&M into another saloon. One that is suddenly looking kind of seedy.
Sure, the PAC has the lucrative California markets. It also has just had its premier football program, USC, put on a major probation. That's not good.
The PAC also represents some pretty heinous travel for all of the Texas schools, worst of all A&M which is located the farthest east. We are talking some pretty long trips to Seattle and Pullman for the various other sports that the schools sponsor.
So why tag along again with the Longhorns? So you can get involved with a conference whose crown jewel just got tarnished and get to play the likes of Washington State, Washington, Arizona, and the hemp lovin' Oregonians?
Given their constant search to be numero Uno, top dog, big Kahuna and Grand Pooh Bah, it should take Texas about ten to fifteen years to tick off everybody in the PAC and blow that up anyways.
Because, after all, Texas will need mo' money, mo' money, mo' money, and also a monopoly on all the power.
This is making the other schools that follow them like obedient pups the Flying Dutchman of conference affiliation.
So what if Texas decides they are big and bad enough to create a super, duper conference in ten or fifteen years. One that channels most of the moolah and power to them, of course.
Should A&M continue to be football versions of Johnny Cash's "Riders in the Sky" just because the Longhorns are long on ego needs and short on principles?
The SEC, on the other hand, would offer drivable games for A&M to Arkansas, LSU, and the Mississippi schools, and even the Alabama schools are doable for a weekender.
Indeed, the Aggies used to play the Hogs in the old SWC and had a non conference rivalry with LSU.
By taking in the Aggies, the SEC could gain a foothold in the lucrative Texas market. And by not taking Texas, they could avoid the bully on the block and maintain a fair and equitable relationship amongst their members.
This would allow the SEC to do one of two things.
Kick out Vandy and stay a manageable 12 team conference.
Or raid the ACC and Big East for Florida State, Miami, and South Florida to also capture the Florida market.
Either way, the SEC and A&M would end up winners.
So, as I said, maybe it is time for the Aggies to go their own way.
And get rid of those bad boy Longhorns.
Because if you lay down with dogs long enough, you'll get some fleas.