Sports
1:07 pm
Mon August 15, 2011

Aggies To Stay In Big 12 For Now

For the time being, it seems, Texas A&M will not be leaving the Big 12 for the SEC.

Over the weekend, the presidents and chancellors of all twelve SEC institutions met and released a statement 'reaffirming their satisfaction with the present 12 institutional arrangement.' They did, however, leave the door open to future expansion. 

According to some analysts, the move is a way for the SEC to limit its liability for any economic harm caused to the Big 12 by A&M's departure.

It doesn't mean the SEC isn't interested in having A&M join.

Of course, the real story is not in College Station or Birmingham (SEC headquarters) but right here in Austin and in Bristol, Connecticut (home of ESPN).

For some, A&M's conference shopping is seen in part as a response to the creation of the Longhorn Network, an ESPN-owned channel that will air some University of Texas football games and other related programming.

The creation of the network will erode the bargaining power of the Big 12, already weakened by the departure of Colorado (to the PAC 12) and Nebraska (to the Big Ten), meaning less revenue for the other schools in the conference when TV contracts are renegotiated. 

Some schools, like Oklahoma, have responded by exploring the possibility of creating their own sports networks.

A&M has opted to try and join a stronger conference.