Conference Wars Part II: If Texas A&M Heads to the SEC, What Will Occur?
Yesterday afternoon, Aggieyell.com (h/t CBS Sports) reported that the Aggies have accepted a deal to move to the Southeast Conference.
While nothing official has been announced, Aggieyell.com reported this as a done deal, with an announcement coming no earlier than August 22, when the Board of Regents meets.
If this move happens, the dominoes are about to fall. What happens to the Big XII? Who else goes to the SEC?
Is the ACC or Big East next on the implosion chart, or are those schools already positioning themselves to survive the second salvo in the Conference World War?
Will the Pac-12 react and grab Boise State or BYU?
Does the Mountain West go after the northern Big 12 schools?
So, the rumors of Texas A&M now appear to be a prelude to war for College Football.
Now, if A&M leaves, what will happen?
What Happens to the Big 12?
With the exits of Nebraska, Colorado and possibly Texas A&M, the Big 12 would be down to nine member schools, and this could be a very temporary number.
Rumors of the northern schools talking to other conferences are rampant, and the big-name schools will be looking for homes in safe super-conferences.
Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe must act quickly to shore up the conference and invite BYU and Air Force. While not Texas A&M, BYU opens the west to the Big 12, and Air Force once again delivers the Denver market.
If A&M is actually leaving for the SEC, the clock is ticking, and odds are the Big 12 as we know it is gone forever.
Baylor is on the outside looking in this time, and unlike last year, there is nothing standing between the Bears and Conference USA. Can you hear the violins playing in Fort Worth?
Who Else Goes to the SEC?
With the addition of Texas into the SEC footprint, the question becomes: Does the expansion continue west, or does it consolidate South Carolina with the addition of a tradition rich Clemson?
On the table are Oklahoma, Missouri, Clemson, Florida State and others.
So do the powers grab one more, or go straight to 16 with an additional three schools? If this is the case, a school that is outside what anyone could consider the South might come into play.
The one thing for sure is this is not over...not by a long shot.
Who Survives, the Big East or the ACC?
The Big East grabbed TCU to shore up what was considered the weakest of the BCS auto-qualifying conferences. This move alone gives the conference a realistic shot at the BCS Championship game over the next few years. But is it enough to stave off the Big Ten and ACC from robbing the conference of the best football schools?
Is the ACC in danger of losing one or more of its top football programs to an expanding SEC?
Or do we one of them go away and a Northeastern Super conference form out of the top schools in a remodeled Big Atlantic Conference?
Pac-12 Rumors and What the MWC Must Do To Survive
Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech have all been reported to be in talks to go west at some point, but that is a stretch, and the MWC must react by grabbing the northern Big 12 survivors or risk losing their gains to the vacuum that is the Big 12.
The west is a little easier to figure out: A Super-Pac conference with the strongest remaining Big 12 schools moving west will form, with the strongest MWC schools moving the Big 12. This leaves the WAC/MWC leftovers back where they began a decade ago before the split.
Who Makes the Next Move?
Oklahoma is the key to how this all plays out.
If Oklahoma goes to the Pac-12, so does Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, plus one more school from either the Big 12 or Mountain West.
If this happens, Texas goes indipendent and the Big 12 is over.
If Oklahoma Stays put, look for the Big 12 to start raiding the Mountain West and/or Conference USA.
OR...Oklahoma could go east to the SEC with Texas A&M, and the Big 12 is mortally weakened and goes away totally.
The most likely scenario is Oklahoma leaving and the Big 12 going the way of the Big 8 and SWC.
The next month is going to be very interesting...very interesting indeed.