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Big 9? Texas A&M Reportedly Set To Leave Big 12 Within Several Days

It's all smoke at this point, but there's enough to assume a fire around the conference rumors.

"Sometime this week" are the words that Big 12 fans are fearing most -- at least those afraid of the upcoming changes that are expected to take Texas A&M out of conference play for reportedly the 2012-13 season. After rumors that the Aggies would take their act elsewhere -- mostly rumored to the SEC -- the Aggies are at least expected to announce their intentions to depart before deciding on a new home.

As of now, ESPN is reporting that A&M is reportedly set to announce its intention to leave this week. However, those plans have only been inferred at this point, and they haven't been explicitly laid out. A source told the AP that "A&M didn't say they were leaving, but certainly gave every indication that's what they plan on doing."

At this point, it's only a rumor, but where there's smoke there's fire. A&M certainly wouldn't be flirting publicly with leaving if they wanted to maintain conference ties. It's also reasonable to believe they already have a destination set up and are merely jumping through the publicity hoops it takes to do things in the right order. You don't play lightly with major conference affiliations in which millions upon millions of dollars are involved unless you already know where you're going. It's akin to your father teaching you not to quit one job until you have another lined up.

After the furor surrounding the instant A&M-to-SEC rumors, every source has backed off and the story simmered a bit. Now they will do things in the "proper" order, with A&M announcing its exit first. The SEC might even publicly flirt with other schools to give the appearance that they are okay with adding several or perhaps none at all. But when the dust settles, you can expect the Aggies and their Texas-sized reach to marry the SEC soon enough.