I hate to keep beating the dead horse that is the Texas A&M to the SEC story, but there’s simply too much going on not to finesse every fine nuance out of it. While some of us are already picking out who will be their new stablemate, others arequite aware of what such a jump could do to implode college football as we know it. Even yesterday the Aggie administration seemed to backtrack, probably reeling from the vote of the SEC presidents on Sunday to to table the matter for now.
If you’re the SEC, feelers from A&M about possible membership is certainly flattering–or at least it was. There was much more at stake last year–like a conference meltdown. This year it seems that the Aggies have made their bed and should be allowed to sleep in it for at least one season. Before the 2010 season, the SEC was being reactionary with their contingency plan to add teams if the members of one or more conferences were all up for grabs. Even the PAC 10-12 threatened to go to 16. The Big 10(11) threatened to add one to three more schools. If BCS conferences were soon to morph into mega-blob blocks that defied geography, tradition and reason, then the SEC was merely looking to preserve their hard-earned place on top of the heap. And maybe, just maybe, some saber rattling from the big boys in the southeast is what quelled the insurrection that was brewing.
But this year is different. There is no panic. There’s no threat of dissolution to any of the BCS conferences except to the one that started the calamity last year–the remnants of the Big 12. Texas, angered by the defections of Nebraska and Colorado (not to mention the nice try by Missouri), whored itself out to any and all that would listen to finally get what it wanted–it’s precious Longhorn network and the television riches that accompanied it. The Horns probably never realized their culpability in running those two teams off in the first place. Oklahoma and A&M, the two other power brokers in the conference, found themselves in shock and awe over the Horns’ decision. They could have bolted, but in the end, decided to stick it out with the Horned devil who now was holding all the cards.
Getting back to conference meltdowns, there is no longer the risk of Word War I-like implications if team defections started falling like dominoes. I’m pretty sure the SEC is just fine with the way their conference has been working the last 20 seasons since realignment, and now that their position has been tempered from that of reactionary to preemptive, I don’t see the SEC Kaiser taking up arms to declare war on the Allied Powers of CFB just because Arch Duke A&M got their feelings hurt by Texas’s TV contract. The SEC has the perfect formula for this sport. Why would they want to tinker with it in the absence of intense pressure from the rest of CFB?
Besides, A&M, you negotiate from a position of strength, not weakness. Let me get this straight: You’ve had one or two top ten finishes in the last twenty years and you think you have something to add to our conference? Sure, you have to like the way we split all the loot up among all the members, and if you did win the conference, you’d have a shot at a national championship, but we have many better qualified candidate schools a whole lot closer than you if we truly did want to expand. The SEC doesn’t really need the Texas TV market because we already control the national market and have already made serious inroads into your state with recruiting.
The only way the SEC would really want the Aggies was if they brought Oklahoma in a nice two-fer, but that’s not going to happen. OU belongs where they are, especially with recruiting in Texas being their top priority. They couldn’t afford to leave, and honestly, we don’t need nor can we afford to add another historic top five team into our league. It’s a hard enough conference schedule as it is. If you’re looking for parity, the SEC has it in spades.
So adding A&M would necessitate the SEC poaching from another BCS conference, probably the ACC, and that might cause that conference to go into a tailspin, not to mention possibly us too, as the collateral damage shook out. Old scores with teams like FSU and Georgia Tech linger in the shadows, begging to be settled. Maybe we might look at some of them down the road, but in the deep south, we measure time a little differently. Things, i.e. schedules, just move slower.
Besides, with the fickleness that A&M has shown this off season protesting the agreement they signed into with Texas, who’s to say they wouldn’t go running back to mama soon enough? Texas A&M is the consummate ‘little brother’ team, forever dwelling in the Longhorn’s shadow. Auburn fans might be able to appreciate that, having been cast in the same lot by some, but our situation is vastly different. We share our small state with the number one historic team in college football yet Texas isn’t big enough for you and the Horns. Our all-time series with Alabama is close, 34-40-1, while yours is a dismal 37-75-5. We’re a top 15 program in our own right. You’re not.
What you are is fixated on your cross state rival to the point that you almost stalk them and the only way you’re ever going to pass them is to still play them and be by their side, through thick and thin, like a little brother should be. Take the pain, A&M. Then take a long look in the mirror and tell me how you see yourself. Is itgood bull, or b******t?