SEC Expansion: Texas A&M 'Intent' on Joining SEC, How Will the Chips Fall?
Rumors and speculation over Texas A&M's flirtation with the SEC have been swirling for days, but on Saturday a high rankings source with the school confirmed to ESPN's Doug Gottlieb that the move is closing in on reality.
The SEC must still vote on whether or not to admit the Aggies into the conference and will also have to admit a 14th team if the move is approved.
While there are a few road blocks in the way beyond the actual vote, such as the Aggies contract with the Big 12, it could only be a matter of days now before the college football landscape experiences a massive shift much as it did a year ago with Nebraska's exit from the Big 12.
The team most likely to join Texas A&M in the SEC is Florida State, with plenty of smoke surrounding the Seminoles in recent days.
According to a report from the Orlando Sentinel, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher and school president Eric Barron both say the Seminoles have not received an invitation to join the SEC — which likely wouldn't come until the admittance vote for Texas A&M anyway.
Should the SEC agree to bring Texas A&M aboard, expect the tone in Tallahassee to change. While Fisher and Barron both made it clear that there's no invitation, neither denied interest in joining the SEC or argued against the possibility.
The third school in the mix, Missouri, took a much more hardline approach when Athletic Director Mike Alden told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch "No, no, no," in response to the rumors.
For now, Alden has taken Missouri out of the mix, but time will tell if his words were true. Either way there's bound to be a serious ripple effect that goes well beyond the SEC.
The Big 12 was believed to be on the verge of dissolution a year ago in the last round of conference realignment talk. Now the possibility of Texas A&M and even Missouri leaving could lead to more doomsday talk for one of college football's most fragile conferences.
Soon, attention will turn to Texas and Oklahoma. Should the Aggies leave it wouldn't be a stretch to assume the year-old talk of Texas to the Pac-12 heats up again. At that point it would only be a matter of time before the rest of the Big 12 starts looking for a new home.
As for the ACC, talk will likely be centered around adding teams rather than dissolving the conference. There's still enough strength football-wise, not to mention perennial basketball powers Duke and North Carolina.
For now, we wait for the SEC to decide the fate of Texas A&M. Once that's settled, everything else will become unsettled.
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