Conference realignment: Texas A&M posturing
So Texas A&M is making noise about going to the SEC. Regent Gene Stallings — who would be regarded as a double agent if his character wasn’t so pristine — is pulling for the Aggies to walk away from the proposed Pac-10 expansion and go to the Southeastern Conference.
You can understand A&M’s feelings. The Aggies don’t like to be told what to do by an arch-rival. Texas is calling the shots and has put together this conference expansion. So whereas Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have sort of shrugged their shoulders and let Texas do all the heavy lifting, A&M takes a little umbrage.
But look past the process and study the destination, and you’ll see Stallings and the SEC supporters are nuts. Stallings coached Texas A&M 40 years ago, then coached Alabama to the 1992 national championship. He’s a Bear Bryant protege’, and the Bear is revered even in College Station, Texas, where he last coached 53 years ago.
Stallings naturally is an SEC proponent, but no way is the SEC the best thing for A&M. Not even if its Big 12 South partners were headed there.
Culturally, A&M is a better fit for the SEC than it is for the Pac-10. I’ll give you that. It’s not that from the Brazos over to SEC country.
But the idea that A&M should go to the SEC and allow the barbarians through the gate? What are the Aggies trying to do? Make sure they never get good in football again.
SEC programs like LSU, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Alabama stand at the border like hungry dogs, waiting for an open door into Texas. The SEC West Division cobras would love access to Texas recruits through regular trips for games in the Lone Star State.
A&M would be sleeping with the enemy if it joined the SEC. Join the Pac-10 — as Texas, OU, OSU and Texas Tech are going to do — and you haven’t opened your fertile recruiting territory to infidels. Arizona State and Arizona will try and have some success, but it’s not like USC and Oregon are going to land paratroopers in Dallas every week.
Not so with the SEC. Those western SEC schools would flood Texas like ants, seeking some of the best talent.
Look what the formation of the Big 12 did for the recruiting of OSU and OU. OU always has recruited well in Texas and continues to do so, as good as ever. OSU is recruiting Texas in a big-time way
A&M’s recruiting in Texas might be a wash. Fewer games in Texas would be offset by the lure of the SEC. But those teams A&M has to beat would be fortified by Texans.
Besides, A&M is much better off with familiar faces Texas, Tech, OU and OSU. The quality of the opposition isn’t much different, but the quality of the brotherhood is enhanced if you stick with your Big 12 South friends.
A&M is better off in the Pac-10.
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