SEC Expansion: As Texas A&M leaves Big XII, Saban shares some thoughts

The New York Times reported late Monday evening that Texas A&M officially notified the Big XII that it “will formally withdraw—very likely on Tuesday.” The New York Times said, “This is the latest step in the Aggies’ effort to join the Southeastern Conference.”

With Texas A&M so close to joining the SEC, Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban was asked about the addition of the Aggies to the Southeastern Conference. Saban offered some advice to explain what newcomers to the SEC should expect: passionate fans and quality players.

“Football is football. I think sometimes our style of play may be a little bit different than some other part of the country,” Saban said. “That doesn’t make it better or worse, I do think there are probably a little better cover people and maybe a little better pass rushers. And I think when you come and play somebody in this league you better be ready for those things.”

For present SEC fans, Saban indicated expansion is not necessarily a bad thing and pointed to his experience in the Big Ten as an example.

“I think if you understand the dynamics of college football and what’s happening then you understand that there are teams and programs that could become assets for other conferences based on the circumstance in their particular conference, and I don’t necessarily see expansion as a negative thing,” Alabama’s football coach said. “People have heard me talk before about the fact I was in the Big Ten when Penn State came in, and there were a lot of naysayers about all that. The fact of the matter is Penn State made the league better and opened up the Big Ten to the East, and it helped us all recruit better in the East because those kids got exposure in the East from Penn State. The east became one of the best recruiting areas for us as a far away recruiting area at Michigan State whereas before we could never get a player there.”

Could the addition of Texas A&M yield a bounty of football recruits for SEC schools like Alabama? Possibly. There is little doubt that is the biggest fear in Austin and with Texas fans. It could be justified, as football coaches already recognize the quality of football in the state.

“I do think there are a whole lot of folks in Texas, and there’s a whole lot of good football over there,” Saban said. “I do think there would be some assets that a team from Texas would bring to our league. That doesn’t mean I’m for or against it. It means I’m for the people who are in positions to make those decisions, to make them. I’m not going to call them. I’m not going to call the president to ask what play to run on third down, so he doesn’t have to worry about getting a call from me, or getting my opinion on whether we should expand or not.”

Saban places his trust in the conference leadership to make the final call on SEC expansion.

“I really do feel like we have a lot of people in the SEC, Commissioner Mike Slive and his whole staff, a lot of great administrators at many institutions in the SEC that can really make much, much better decisions and have a much better opinion on this than I can as a coach, especially in-game week worrying about the game,” Alabama football coach Nick Saban said. “I have all the faith, trust and confidence that all the presidents and administrators will make the best possible decision for our league moving ahead.”

16 Comments

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  1. 1
    # 1 al. fan

    I still say that ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. A& M had the opportunity to come into the league awhile back but gave in to their ‘big brother’ demands to stay put and thats what they did. The SEC is doing just fine the way it is, so why change it? If they let A&M in, then they’ll have to let another team in, which could be Fla. St. from the ACC, who by the way had the chance to come in few years ago, but chose the ACC.. No! I say stay put just the way you are, everything will even out in the end…….

  2. 2
    Brandon

    Al Fan: SEC wasn’t broke when they added teams to create SEC title game and that was met with a lot of question marks at the time… yet that worked out pretty well I would say

  3. 4
    BAMAToNE

    Agree with Brandon. The SEC needs to get out in front of all this expansion mess. A&M is a solid school with a good program that will only get better when included in the SEC. This is going to happen. The only real question is who the 14th team will be.

  4. 5
    Crimsonite

    Who today would have chosen South Carolina as a partner to Arkansas. But it worked out fine. Just hope we get as much quality for the East. Don’t want Fla St unless we go to 16 teams. A&M opens up Texas to recruiting. We already have Florida. We need Virginia Tech to open up the Northeast and they have been much better than Fla St for the last 10 years or so. Man, A&M is going to put us in recruiting heaven in Texas. Hell, look at the bright side – we’ll get to kick hell out of 3 cow colleges every year. Barnturds, Bulldogs and Aggies. RTR!

  5. 6
    Crimsonite

    Kind of reminds me of the Wizard of Oz, ie: Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my! Barnturds, and Bulldogs and Aggies, oh my! Bwaa haww haww! RTR!

  6. 7
    Crimsonite

    Hey, just realized that Lions and Tigers and Bears works too. We got Penn St Lions, LSU and Barnturd Tigers and now the Ole Miss Bears. Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my! Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my! Ah those innocent childhood memories. Now days we got Bad Boyz, Bad Boyz, Miami Vice and Transporter I, II and III. Where did we go wrong? LMAO! RTR!

    • 8
      almightytmc1

      Hey except for one of there bloggers I like the Aggies. They gave us the Bear and took Franchione. In other words they have been good to us……

    • 10
      almightytmc1

      I look forward to the possibilites. It should be great. But a word of warning to Texas A&M fans. There has always been class, mutual respect and sportsmanship when the AGGIES played the SEC. That will end when you play Auburn at Jordan-Hare. You will learn to hate Auburn as much as everyone else in the SEC does. So there is an upside and a downside.

  7. 11
    madmac

    If it wasn’t for our former coach Bear Bryant, were would the Alabama program be now?
    And something I always thought was funny is how did Florida end up with all that gulf coast beach underneath Alabama? Funny.

  8. 12
    Crimsonite

    Whoever you are azzhole, go back where you came from and don’t come back until you get some education. First place dumb phuck, all Ag schools are cow colleges, including Auburn and Mississippi St. And if you’re an A&M fan don’t act so phucking stupid. Texas has been calling you a cow college for a 100 years. As for Bear, your phucking school had nothing to do with Alabama, retard. Bear played at Alabama and before he got his azz in trouble with the NCAA at that crooked “Cow College”, he was first coach at Maryland and then at Kentucky where he did just as good as at A&M. So that’s not saying a whole lot for A&M considering the pathetic football history at those two schools, and he didn’t even need a dozen boosters to buy players for him at Maryland and Kentucky either. Tell you what Aggsy, you’re already getting off on the wrong foot here. I live in Texas, sort of, and I know what kind of shyt Aggsy’s catch from the Shorthorns so I’ll warn you that you ‘aint seen shyt till you get Bama fans on your azz! RTR!

  9. 13
    Crimsonite

    Hey guys, in case you didn’t catch it, in USA Today, Sagarin has Bama a comfortable preseason #1. Not that it means shyt, but it’s better than #2 and it’s way ahead of Oklahoma. Braggin rights is braggin rights. Whatever. RTR!

  10. 14
    Crimsonite

    Oh excuse the hell out of me! I never think of them as such, but LSU is an phucking Ag school too. That makes 4. Damn, the SEC West is gonna be crowded with chickens, pigs and cows. Maybe we should rename it to Old McDonalds Farm! Bwaa haww haww! As far as beaches moron, we didn’t need a whole lot cause the Alabama gulf coast is a hell of a lot prettier than Florida’s. And it wasn’t too many years ago that Pensacola and all of Escambia County Florida wanted Alabama to buy them from Florida. Scared the hell out of a lot of people in Tallahassee. Bwaa haww haww! RTR!

  11. 15
    almightytmc1

    Wait just one second….. Is this the same New York Times that keeps reporting negative baseless lies about the greatest school in the Universe. (The University of Auburn?). If so, we know that Texas A&M will be staying in the Big 12 coz everyone knows that The New York Times dont know a thing. And compared to the Birmingham News and AL.com they are relative newbies in the world of Journalism. ( read: Sarcasm for Bama fans, Gospel for Auburn Fans.)

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