Saturday Update: Texas A&M to SEC & SEC #14 Options
Been a busy morning.
So here’s where we stand from the initial SEC talks:
This thing is moving pretty fast.
* TAMU will indeed get the invite and will accept with Monday as the expected announcement date.
* Contrary to reports that it might be a slower timeline for #14, it COULD be decided as soon as tonight with a school that the SEC publicly stated they were not interested in last year (more on that).
* There seems to be only a single source right now that is being used for virtually all of the “SEC to expand to 16” talk…and the schools mentioned are TAMU followed by Florida St., Missouri and Clemson.
* BUT…the vote to permit TAMU MIGHT, and I stress MIGHT, be contingent on the SEC AGREEING BEFOREHAND that if certtain schools vote YES for TAMU, then NO OTHER schools from the current SEC member states will be considered for #14 (or 15 or 16 if indeed 16 school happened).
* The only in-state options that are not being met with resistance are Clemson and Louisville (South Carolina and Kentucky already in the SEC). Both would remain top options presumably with an expansion to 16. One school would be the #14 option assuming all top options passed (Florida St., VA Tech, Miami).
* TAMU will be #13.
* As of this morning, the SEC and Missouri had not had any talks with Missouri officials adamant about that, including references to “egg on their face from last year” (lobbying the Big Ten for an invite).
* Florida St. does appear to be the desired #14 school and formal talks could be initiated. BUT, there is a potential problem as the informal straw vote in the SEC COULD be leaning towards a situation where the SEC schools vote “yes” for TAMU but ONLY, again, if it means NO new SEC schools from CURRENT SEC states.
* There is nothing to confirm about Oklahoma other than that they appear content remaining with Texas and the rest of the Big 12.
* The SEC MIGHT have an invitation for Missouri by the end of the day in which case Missouri would need to accept PRIOR to TAMU being officially invited/accepted. The rationale is that Missouri would push the footprint into Big Ten territory while giving what the SEC schools are rumored to want: no new SEC schools from current SEC states.
* If the SEC schools hold strong on the “No current SEC state members” stance, then it makes expansion to 16 unlikely unless a hail-mary happened like Oklahoma and Oklahoma St.
* Virginia Tech was/is a top target but it is assumed at this point, through various channels, that VA Tech would say NO.
* Despite the Florida St. rumors created by ESPN Dallas last week as the final member of SEC expansion to 14, it appears that even if extended an invite today, that Florida St. also MIGHT say no. Recent reports by FSU admins have been direct in saying there has been no contact, which is true. But they have also, like VA Tech, gone further with extended praise for the ACC.
So that’s where we’re at:
TAMU in for #13, still finalizing plans today for next step (14 or 16 members), if it’s 14 members total, Missouri is likely the school to beat.
As for the Big 12…
They have been working on scenarios of remaining at 9 or replacing TAMU with a new 10th school (Houston, BYU, Louisville, Air Force). If Missouri were to leave as well, then that likely changes from 0-1 new schools to 1-2 new schools. There would be more support for a BYU and Air Force combo in that case, but the media negotiations might force the Big 12 to go with a more spread approach like Houston and BYU.