Texas A&M’s road trip to the SEC had major brakes put on it this week. Baylor has refused to waive their right to sue the SEC over the recruitment of Texas A&M.
This is in contrast to their verbal agreement not to sue given two weeks ago. But at that point, it looked like the Big 12 Conference would survive A&M’s departure. With OU looking west, that won’t happen.
I can’t blame Baylor for taking this stance. They haven’t been offered anything for their waiver, so why should they grant it?
Also, if the Big 12 dissolves, Baylor will be shuffled off to probably either the MWC or the WAC. The decrease in revenue would be substantial.
So, they’re looking out for their own interests. Just like Texas A&M is.
The outrage by the Aggies is unfair. Baylor’s action is no more unethical than Texas A&M’s breaking of the contract they signed last year when Nebraska and Colorado left.
And the Aggies should have taken care of all this last spring, rather than waiting until the season was upon us.
In any case, you should realize that no one really knows everything that’s going on. There are at least five camps here:
- Texas A&M
- The SEC (whose interests are closely aligned with Texas A&M, except that they don’t want any legal exposure)
- Baylor and the other small Big 12 schools (there are reports that Iowa St. is siding with Baylor)
- Oklahoma and Oklahoma State (who are a package deal, whichever direction OU wants to go)
- Texas (who is mostly sitting back and letting things happen right now)
And, no one knows what’s going to happen. The situation is just too fluid. And each camp isn’t showing all its cards to the other camps.
In the long run, I think this is just posturing by Baylor and Iowa State. As long as Texas A&M pays the exit fees that will be negotiated eventually, they don’t have much of a case. And the long run is probably just a few weeks.
Clearly, Texas and OU aren’t as tied at the hip as I thought a couple of weeks ago. I still think that our going somewhere together is the most likely outcome. We both gain by working together on this.
An interesting development has come from a Northwestern University message forum. An apparently well-respected user there has posted supposed terms for Notre Dame and Texas joining the Big 10.
While I’d rather go to the West Coast, adding the Irish and the Longhorns to the Big 10 would make for a heck of a conference.
And the meltdown by Bo Pelini and the Cornhusker fans if we joined their conference would be fun to watch.
So, I still think it’s most likely that Texas and three other Big 12 teams join the Pac 12. That’s clearly what Bill Powers wants, and it’s ultimately his decision (for Texas, a least). OU seems to be aligned that direction, which makes it even more likely.
The move to the Big 10 is an interesting Plan B, but I just don’t have enough data to evaluate its likelihood at this point.
Texas going independent is the rumor that won’t die. I hope it doesn’t happen, but it’s at least the third most likely course.
One thing that is clear is that the Big 12 is not going to survive. It was dead the moment OU started looking west on their own. There was a rumor that Notre Dame might join the Big 12. I didn’t buy it at the time, and if there was any truth to it, OU wouldn’t be looking around.
I also think that the idea of the Big 12 merging with the Big East is DOA. It has all the negatives of joining another conference, and few of the positives. It would be a hell of a basketball conference, however.
So, sit tight. Things are changing quickly. It’s going to be a heck of a ride.