What was considered a shaky period for the Big 12 could get a lot worse. Already reeling from the defections of Nebraska (Big 10) and Colorado (PAC-10), word came down from Texas Governor Rick Perry that Texas A&M could bolt the conference for the SEC.
Governor Perry confirmed to the Dallas Morning News that "conversations are being had" on the subject, but referred all questions to the university.
Texas A&M released a statement, which read in part: "President Loftin is committed to doing what is best for Texas A&M not only now, but also into the future. We continue to have wide-ranging conversations regarding all aspects of the university, including both academics and athletics."
In other words, the Aggies would leave the Big 12 at the drop of a hat for the right opportunity. The question is would it be the right move for the school and what would happen to the Big 12.
Moving to the SEC certainly wouldn't be a bad move for Texas A&M. Although the Aggies could potentially lose natural rivalries with in-state opponents Texas or Texas Tech, competing in the SEC will widen its recruiting base and give it more exposure. As successful as the Big 12 has been, no conference can rival what the SEC has done since the BCS was established.
The SEC has won seven BCS titles since the system was established in 1998, including the last five. The Big 12 has two titles, with the last in 2005 (Texas).
As for the Big 12, losing the Aggies would be a devastating blow in the short term. The conference would only be nine teams deep, which would prohibit the league from having a championship game, although odds are that the Big 12 is probably already trying to convince other teams to join them.
Nothing has been etched in stone, but obvious places the Big 12 may look to for a replacement include Houston (close proximity), Pitt or West Virginia (for an east coast presence).