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Texas A&M's move to SEC not official

September 7, 2011

Southeastern Conference

By LEE ADAMS
sdnsports@bellsouth.net

Texas A&M can't pack its bags to leave the Big 12 Conference for the Southeastern Conference just yet.
On Tuesday night, the SEC presidents and chancellors unanimously voted to extend an invitation to the Aggies. However, in the words of Lee Corso "Not so fast my friend."
After the news broke of the SEC's vote, one Big 12 school changed their minds about agreeing to let A&M leave the conference. According to reports, that school is Baylor, but that has yet to be confirmed, but whichever school it is could possibly be seeking legal action to stop the process. The SEC will not pursue A&M if there is legal action.
Texas A&M was excited about the vote, but were disappointed in the news of everything not being cleared to go through with the move.
"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," Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin said in a statement. "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. We are working diligently to resolve any and all issues as outlined by the SEC."
LSU head coach Les Miles said during Wednesday's SEC Coaches Teleconference that he understood why adding a team from Texas into the SEC.
"A&M has a great historic following and is a traditional power that certainly brings the interest of Texas," Miles said.
If the Aggies, who are currently ranked No. 7 in the nation, finally do join the SEC, they would add to the already tough Western Division. They would also join Mississippi State as a team with the same colors of maroon and white, but that doesn't really matter to MSU head coach Dan Mullen.
"I guess we can have the maroon game," said Mullen jokingly.
Something of importance the addition of the Aggies could bring is more recruiting for SEC schools in Texas, but Mullen isn't going to do any extra recruiting in the state.
"We recruit a little bit over there, and it might give us a better option for kids in that area," said Mullen. "I don't think we would change how we recruit."
One SEC coach doesn't think there will be any change in recruiting as he was in the SEC the last time they expanded.
"When Arkansas and South Carolina joined the conference, it didn't help us in those states," said Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips.
If and when the Aggies do become an SEC school, they will put the conference at an uneven 13 teams. Many question having one team more in the conference, but Mullen isn't one of those just yet.
"It all seems great and I think the leadership of the conference will make good decisions," said Mullen. "I haven't mulled it over too much, because it's not a reality yet."
Numerous conferences have pulled off having uneven number of teams including the Big 10, who had 11 teams for a while. The uneven number of teams will cause scheduling problems throughout the SEC West, but Mississippi State President Mark Keenum isn't worried about that.
"I have complete confidence in the commissioner and all of our athletic directors in the league that we will find a way to make it work," Keenum said in an interview with scout.com. "It won't be easy but we will figure it out."

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