FanPost

A Brief, Partial Review Of What Was Said/Reported During the Last Expansion Frenzy

In June of last year, A&M nearly bolted for the SEC after Nebraska split for the Big Ten and Colorado for the Pac-12. A last-hour pledge by Beebe for bigger payouts saved the conference. Asked if he'd been in touch with the SEC, [Texas A&M President] Loftin said, "I've had no contact with the SEC in quite some time."

Loftin added that he understands A&M fans' ongoing interest in the SEC.

"Many people see the SEC as the country's strongest football conference," he said. "Certainly looking at the last five national championships, you get that idea. ... But the Big 12 has had great success, too."

Loftin also pointed to recent A&M athletics success, including national titles in track and women's basketball.

"We don't want to lose that," he said. "The Big 12 is not a bad place to be. It's a good place to be right now. ... The Big 12 has great potential to be a very successful conference in the long term, if we can work through these kinds of issues."

Brent Zwerneman, Express-News, July 21, 2011

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In short, where rumors of SEC membership are concerned, the team from the Show Me State has shown me nothing, culturally, financially, or geographically, that would make me consider Mizzou even remotely attractive as an option. It’s just a rumor, and it deserves as much credence as the claim that Arkansas is considering joining the Big 12, which is to say . . . none.

DawgSports, July 31, 2011

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Make no mistake: the Big 12 is not stable. And at some point, a Big 12 team and another conference will legitimately be linked -- maybe even A&M to the SEC (though if you think the Texas legislature would allow them to leave with ease, with no fights for the other Texas schools, you're crazy; and if you think Texas would just sit back and allow other schools to leverage the current uncertainty to their own advantage, then you learned nothing from the first go-round of MIZZOUEXPANSIONAPALOOZA™). And when this happens, the free-for-all begins. This is not a conference built for longevity, and whether the legitimate rumors begin tomorrow or in 2017, they'll almost certainly begin at some point. But they haven't yet, and we can't force it to happen by passing along mostly unsourced rumors.

I'll admit I'm wrong if I end up wrong. But right now, where there's smoke ... there's some dude trying to start a fire so he can say "Where there's smoke, there's fire!"

Rock M Nation, July 31, 2011

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For those who haven’t heard, there was a minor spectacle circulating the rumors and message boards today that Texas A&M was all but finished packing their bags and on their way to the SEC — the only remaining question at the time being how long the Aggies would hold up a certain "one finger salute" on the way out the door.

Well, according to a very, very credible beat writer, those bags can stay put for just a little bit longer.

Ben Kercheval, College Football Talk, August 9, 2011

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University of Florida President Bernie Machen, the chairman of the [SEC's] presidents and chancellors committee, said the group met Sunday and "reaffirmed our satisfaction with the present 12 institutional alignment."

Associated Press, August 13, 2011

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Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin on Monday dubbed the Aggies’ potential move to the Southeastern Conference a "100-year decision" and asked for the A&M faithful’s patience as he works through the details.

The A&M regents on Monday unanimously approved Loftin to act on "conference alignment," and Loftin said there is no timetable on making a decision whether the Aggies split the Big 12 for the SEC.

"It’s not so much what’s wrong with the Big 12," Loftin said, "it’s what’s right for Texas A&M."

Brent Zwerneman, Houston Chronicle, August 15, 2011

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"There is no bid,’’ [Texas A&M President] Loftin said. "There has never been a bid to invite us into the SEC at any time in the past and if it were to occur in the future, we would certainly want to evaluate that.’’

Associated Press, August 16, 2011

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However, John Sharp, who was named the lone finalist Monday to be the A&M system's chancellor, provided a hint as to what is on the minds of the Aggies in power.

"Yes, I'm for going to the SEC," Sharp said. "I think it's a win-win situation."

Another high-ranking Big 12 school administrator believed the Aggies leaving for the SEC was a given, not if but when.

"They will leave," the Big 12 administrator told the American-Statesman on Monday night. "We'll try to add one or three teams." The administrator added that the Big 12 will try to persuade Notre Dame and Brigham Young to consider joining the league if A&M departs.

Kirk Bohls, et al, Austin-American Statesman, August 15, 2011

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The Big 12 is considering a raid of the Big East for at least two teams and perhaps more.

The names I heard from multiple sources were Pittsburgh and Rutgers, but I have to believe others, including Louisville and West Virginia, are in play.

Jon Wilner, Mercury News, September 2, 2011

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Consequently, Texas A&M officials are left in a wait-and-see mode, releasing a statement from school president R. Bowen Loftin.

"We are certainly pleased with the action taken last night by the presidents and chancellors of the Southeastern Conference to unanimously accept Texas A&M as the league’s 13th member. However, this acceptance is conditional, and we are disappointed in the threats made by one of the Big 12 member institutions to coerce Texas A&M into staying in Big 12 Conference. These actions go against the commitment that was made by this university and the Big 12 on Sept. 2. We are working diligently to resolve any and all issues as outlined by the SEC."

...

Here’s the SEC’s official statement from Florida President Dr. Bernie Machen, Chair of the SEC’s Presidents and Chancellors.

"After receiving unanimous written assurance from the Big 12 on September 2 that the Southeastern Conference was free to accept Texas A&M to join as a new member, the presidents and chancellors of the SEC met last night with the intention of accepting the application of Texas A&M to be the newest member of the SEC," Machen said. "We were notified yesterday afternoon that at least one Big 12 institution had withdrawn its previous consent and was considering legal action.

Brett McMurphy, CBS Sports, September 7, 2011

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If Big 12 can survive, league needs to get Texas to change mind on letting in TCU.

Dave Matter, Columbia Daily Tribune, September 20, 2011

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There is a serious effort being made, led by Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton, to try to save the Big 12, according to a high-placed administrator at a Big 12 school.

Chip Brown, Orangebloods, September 20, 2011

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The Southeastern Conference and the University of Missouri have informally agreed that, barring new developments, the school will join the league and that Auburn University will move to the SEC East Division, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

Birmingham News, September 20, 2011

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The Southeastern Conference dismissed media reports Tuesday that it had informally agreed to add Missouri to the conference and move Auburn to the SEC East.

"The Southeastern Conference has not agreed formally or informally to accept any institution other than Texas A&M, and there have not been conference discussions regarding changes in divisional alignments," SEC associate commissioner Charles Bloom said.

ESPN.com news services, September 21, 2011

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Lest it be accused of torpedoing the Big 12 or expose itself to further legal entanglements a la the Baylor-led movement regarding Texas A&M and the SEC, the SEC almost certainly wouldn't beckon Mizzou unless the Big 12 disintegrates beyond recognition.

Vahe Gregorian, St Louis Post Dispatch, September 21, 2011

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There was some concern early in the day that Missouri might still be entertaining thoughts of joining the Southeastern Conference. But Mizzou chancellor Brady Deaton, as the chair of the Big 12 Board of Directors, has been leading the charge to hold the Big 12 together over the past several days.

Chip Brown, Orangebloods, September 22, 2011

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[Missouri] Chancellor Brady Deaton affirmed his school’s loyalty to the Big 12 in a news conference on Thursday, moments after joining fellow league members in accepting the resignation of Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe in a teleconference.

Pat Iversen, The Maneater (Missouri Student Newspaper), September 23, 2011

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This morning on ESPN's College Gameday, interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas said the following regarding the idea of TCU becoming the 10th team in the Big 12:

"There seems to be some resistance to adding another team from Texas."

Matt Tait, Lawrence Journal-World, September 24, 2011

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Texas A&M's going to be part of the SEC next year, officially: the SEC announced Sunday that the Aggies would be joining the conference for the 2012-13 academic year.

Andy Hutchins, SBNation, September 25, 2011

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Multiple sources have confirmed to The Upset that BYU has an official invite from the Big 12 Conference in hand and is currently poring over all details to make sure its negotiating points are satisfactorily met.

The Upset Blog, September 27, 2011

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SEC commissioner Mike Slive on Tuesday reiterated that the SEC has no current plans to add a 14th team along with new member Texas A&M, saying the conference has no other institutions are under consideration for admission and no applications are pending.

Mike Herndon, Press-Register, September 27, 2011

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TT: [Is TCU] headed to the Big 12?

[TCU President] Boschini: I can probably say nothing on conference realignment. The only reason is because nobody really knows. It changes by the minute. As soon as I know something concrete, I’d be happy to talk to you or anybody.

Reeve Hamilton, Texas Tribune, September 28, 2011

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Interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas says he is confident Missouri will stay in the Big 12.

Associated Press, September 28, 2011

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Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart says the Southeastern Conference will expand again and officials at each school need to have a number of frank discussions before moving forward.

Associated Press, September 29, 2011

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There were no meetings scheduled for Friday to discuss the offer to join the Big 12 conference, according to a TCU spokesperson.

Board of Trustees member Leanne Acuff said the group would meet later to reach a decision about the Big 12 Conference, but that they were leaning towards accepting the invitation.

Lexy Cruz, TCU360, October 7, 2011

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BYU will be in the Big 12.

I'll go it one more: It doesn't matter if Missouri goes or stays in the Big 12

Dick Harmon, Deseret News, October 19, 2011

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The governing curators at Missouri unanimously gave chancellor Brady Deaton the authority Friday to move the school out of the Big 12 if he decides that is in the school's best interest.

ESPN News Services, October 22, 2011

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First: Chancellor Brady Deaton has the authority to do whatever he finds necessary for Missouri regarding conference affiliation, without the approval of the board of curators.

That could mean leaving for the SEC, as previous reports have indicated. That could mean staying in the Big 12 and granting the Big 12 its media rights.

Whichever way you leaned or whatever you believed Missouri would do, it's doubtful that position changed after Friday's news conference.

David Ubben, ESPN.com, October 21, 2011

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Finally, inevitably, the Southeastern Conference on Sunday morning announced it has unanimously approved Missouri as its 14th member.

Mike Dearmond, Kansas City Star, November 7, 2011

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And, finally, something reported a few months ago that might have escaped notice at the time:

Expansion talk is on the table again in the Big 12 Conference, with the addition of at least one new member "very possible," two high-ranking officials told The Chronicle.

...

That report will be an update on where the committee believes things should go next, [Oklahoma State University President Burns] Hargis said. "If there are two schools that we feel meet our various criteria—good academic institutions with good athletic programs and strong fan bases—and that our television network partners think are additive to our conference, it's something we're clearly going to consider."

Brad Wolverton, The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 24, 2012

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