Several Big 12 sources also expressed a growing frustration with A&M's wanderlust and its impact on a conference trying to rebrand itself after losing Nebraska and Colorado. For the past several months, A&M was the most vocal critic of Texas' startup Longhorn Network with ESPN and its plans to televise high school games and Big 12 football contests.
Conference athletic directors and presidents gave A&M almost all of what it wanted last week, imposing at least a one-year moratorium on Longhorn Network high school games. The opponent and league office must approve any conference game carried by the network. Apparently, A&M was not appeased.
Sources indicated that no other Big 12 team is considering an exit and the league would continue with nine teams if A&M left.
While sources said that A&M is intrigued about the SEC's possibilities, the Aggies remain troubled by the Longhorn Network and its effect on Big 12 stability.
Proponents of a move to the SEC suggest that Texas A&M could finally escape Texas' shadow and forge a separate national identity. With five consecutive BCS titles, the SEC represents the gold standard for football. A&M would be joining the elite.
But A&M would presumably join the SEC West and face a football schedule that includes Alabama, LSU, Auburn and Arkansas annually. The Aggies have lost their last six meetings against SEC opponents. The SEC maintains a conference title game. The Big 12 does not, providing an easier path to a BCS appearance.
A&M would also lose long-standing rivalries. The Aggies have played Texas and Baylor more than 100 times. The Texas Legislature could get involved.
Yet none of that may matter given the direction A&M is moving.
Staff writer Robert T. Garrett contributed to this report.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.