Tokyo Rose, err, the mouthpiece of the Texas Longhorns Chip Brown reports via twitter: “Texas A&M turned down invite to join P10 in mtg today with P10’s Larry Scott and Kevin Weiberg in College Station, a Big 12 AD confirms.”
With this report it appears Texas A&M is determined to join the Southeastern Conference. Reports of Mike Slive being in College Station over the weekend have fueled talk that a deal is close for the Aggies to join the SEC.
It appears Texas is in a panic and could try to save the Big XII as some form of Big 12 Lite with only ten teams remaining. Brown floated this possibility on Orangebloods.com. This idea appears stillborn.
A revised Big 12 with only ten members would create a less attractive property. It would not have a conference championship game. While this might be popular with some, it has been a significant benefit to the SEC. The SEC Championship Game in Atlanta has been the de facto national semifinal over the last few years. It would inevitably reduce interest in the television rights for the conference. How much of a reduction is uncertain, but it likely would increase tensions over money—something at the heart of this fight between Austin and College Station.
Another drawback to saving the Big XII is the fact that it would not address funding inequities in the conference. Money is a big issue for Texas A&M.
When asked via twitter by a fan, Billy Liucci, the reporter close to A&M who broke the Slive in College Station story, indicated A&M would not be interested in staying in the Big XII Lite. The tweets said: Question: “Any chance A&M stays in the Big 12 Lite?” Answer: “no chance.”
It doesn’t provide many details, but the short answer would indicate relations between Austin and College Station have frozen in the last few days. It is clear, the Aggies are tired of Longhorns telling everyone what to do.
UPDATE (4:25 p.m.): Not so fast on Texas A&M turning down Pac-10?
Billy Liucci via twitter reports: “Just received word from two sources that Aggies have NOT turned down Pac-10 and are still weighing P10/SEC option.”