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Texas A&M withdraws from Big 12

Texas A&M has informed the Big 12 on Wednesday that it will submit an application to leave the conference, effective June 30, 2012.

If the application is accepted, the Aggies will be free to join another conference. Texas A&M hasn't yet applied to the SEC, but all indications are that the Aggies are headed that way.

Texas A&M expressed great interest in joining the SEC earlier this month, but the SEC decided soon after not to do anything in regards to the Aggies. The conference, however, left open the possibility of future expansion.

Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin sent a letter to Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe last week stating that the Aggies were exploring their options related to the school's conference affiliation.

In Wednesday's letter from Loftin to Beebe, Loftin stated:

"After much thought and consideration, and pursuant to the action of the (Texas A&M University System) Board of Regents authorizing me to take action related to Texas A&M University's athletic conference alignment, I have determined it is in the best interest of Texas A&M to make application to join another athletic conference," Loftin wrote.

"We appreciate the Big 12's willingness to engage in a dialogue to end our relationship through a mutually agreeable settlement. We, too, desire that this process be as amicable and prompt as possible and result in a resolution of all outstanding issues, including mutual waivers by Texas A&M and the conference on behalf of all the remaining members."

If the SEC does go ahead and add Texas A&M in the future, does the conference also pursue another school to get to 14? If so, which school? And what will this latest domino effect do to the rest of the college football landscape?

What does the Big 12 do? With Colorado and Nebraska leaving after last year and now Texas A&M departing, can the conference survive? Are there other schools out there that would be good fits to join the Big 12?

The Dallas Morning News reported recently that SMU has a strong interest in joining the Big 12. TCU might have been a good fit, but the Horned Frogs are headed to the Big East next year.

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