The SEC’s treatment of Texas A&M should serve as a warning to every Aggie that in the eyes of the conference they are no different than Arkansas or Missouri.
Because of its size, Texas A&M is secure regardless of however college athletics, and football, exist, and change in the coming decade.
The Aggies will always be a part of big-time college football.
On Monday, Texas and Oklahoma issued a joint statement that it plans to leave the Big 12 when its media rights agreement expires after 2025. It also issued the dreaded, “However” sentence that suggests they want to get out of this ASAP.
Joint statement from Texas and Oklahoma:
"The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Oklahoma notified the Big 12 Athletic Conference today that they will not be renewing their grants of media rights following expiration in 2025." pic.twitter.com/tfi8eEq03z
— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) July 26, 2021
The Texas A&M Board of Regents met at 5 p.m. Monday to discuss Texas and Oklahoma’s move to the SEC. This meeting is a formality, and the subject should have been removed from the docket.
While A&M leaders, such as athletic director Ross Bjork, now welcome the addition of UT as a fellow conference member, it’s too late.
Their first reaction was their genuine feeling about this. They don’t want UT again for the logical reasons, and it reeks not of pettiness, but fear.
On Tuesday morning, the SEC issued a statement from commissioner Greg Sankey that acknowledged the league is considering adding both Texas and Oklahoma.
There was never anything Texas A&M could do to stop this, because in the eyes of the SEC, the Big Ten, the Pac-12, the ACC, Fox Sports, or ESPN, the real prize in Texas is the University of Texas.
Because, much like Auburn will never be Alabama, Texas A&M will never be the University of Texas.
Every single Aggie knows what is coming, and the return of second-class treatment by both the conference, and everywhere outside of College Station.
Of course, it will be fun to watch for the first time in its history when Bevo pushes out his belly and tries to bully the room when Alabama says, “You’re adorable. We’re not doing that. The adults are talking. Now sit down and eat your orange slices.”
The SEC is an Alabama/LSU/Georgia/Florida league first. Ask Ole Miss about this.
UT isn’t even in the conference yet and its already received preferential treatment by a league A&M has been a member of since 2011.
There are few bigger T-shirt schools in America than the University of Texas; whereas A&M has created a level of solidarity and community on the strength of its alums that is virtually unseen by other every big university in the country, UT has both its exes, and a legion of fans and supporters who never attended that university.
The value in that is no different than the Catholic who loves Notre Dame, buys the Fightin’ Irish hats and sweatshirts, and has never once visited South Bend, Indiana.
You can’t put an exact value on that type of support, and only a few schools in the nation actually have it.
Texas is one. Oklahoma is another.
Hence the reason the SEC cannot wait to have them.
Texas A&M got away from the University of Texas in 2011 for several valid reasons, and had successfully cultivated an SEC niche in the state that was distinct and marketable.
The Aggies now have to deal with the Longhorns again, and if they sincerely believed they are as good as they say the last thing they should fear is the University of Texas.
They should welcome the return of one of the greatest college football games in America. But they don’t want the game, nor do they want Texas, or Oklahoma, as conference partners, for a reason.
In the last two years, Texas A&M has been a better football program than Texas, but we know what is coming.
Both Bevo and Boomer will make Reveille’s life more difficult, and that much harder to win a conference, much less a national title, in football.
When they were all paired together in the Big 12 South between 1996 and 2010, A&M went to two Big 12 title games, and the last one was 1998.
Texas or Oklahoma reached the conference title game every other time, and A&M was firmly behind both rivals.
The same has been true in the SEC West; the Aggies have yet to reach a conference title game, and the best it has finished in the division is a couple of second-place finishes since 2011.
Texas and A&M should both be more concerned about Oklahoma than each other, but that’s another rant.
The Aggies spent millions to be where they are, and believed they were done with “tu” because the SEC was watching out for them.
Because, in the end, the SEC’s priority was Texas rather than Texas A&M.