Texas A&M is now officially a member of the Southeastern Conference.
The SEC presidents and chancellors officially voted Texas A&M into the conference Sunday after leaving the school dangling for the past few weeks while the potential legal ramifications were figured out. Texas A&M will leave the Big 12 on June 30, 2012, and will become full members of the powerhouse SEC the following day.
The Aggies will become the 13th member of the SEC, fueling speculation there will be at least one more invite in the next couple of months to keep the East and West Division with the same number of schools. This is the SEC’s first expansion since inviting Arkansas and South Carolina in 1991.
"Texas A&M is a nationally prominent institution on and off the field and a great fit for the SEC tradition of excellence — athletically, academically and culturally," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.
The move threatens to shift the college football landscape yet again with schools such as Big 12 member Missouri and West Virginia of the Big East as potential candidates to join the SEC.
The Big 12, which is now down to nine schools after the departures of Texas A&M, Nebraska and Colorado may look to add schools like BYU, TCU, Louisville, Air Force or Memphis to get back to a 12-member league.
A week ago, the Big 12 seemed on the verge of completely breaking apart with Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State exploring joining the Pac-12. But after the Pac-12 voted down expansion the schools recommitted to making the Big 12 a stronger league even without Texas A&M as a member.
"I am personally saddened to see Texas A&M depart from the Big 12, and wish I had the opportunity to visit the campus to sit down and talk with their administration," Big 12 Conference interim commissioner Chuck Neinas said in a released statement. "We will continue to work diligently in securing the long-term stability of the Big 12. Now that the status of Texas A&M has officially been determined, the membership can focus on the desired course for the conference moving forward. Although no timeline has been established, an expeditious pursuit is anticipated."
(Photo: Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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