While Nick Saban did not directly address the Texas Longhorns, the meaning behind some surprising statements made this week aren’t exactly unclear. The head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team took the chance to comment on the addition of Texas A&M to the SEC as well as address the changing landscape of NCAA football. In the process, he presented his feelings on the current state of the Big 12.
In some comments over at the Capstone Report, Saban describes his feelings on the league. "I feel every conference should provide equity and fairness for its league," Saban said. "I think if there is an inequity for the members of the league, then I think the members should have the right to do something else. I don’t know the specifics of the Big 12 and why people are leaving that conference, but that is just my opinion."
The inequity that Saban is undoubtedly referring to is the idea that the Longhorns control the entire Big 12. They have their own television deal versus a Big 12 one and the rest of the league has to bow to the national power and draw of the Longhorns. In other words, every other team is in orbit around the University of Texas in the Big 12 and they have to be okay with it. It’s no surprise to Saban, then, that Texas A&M is leaving.
Even with so many powers in the SEC, the structure there is definitely more balanced than the Big 12 has ever been and Texas A&M should enjoy life in the SEC for that very reason. The kickback for people like Saban is the deeper ties into the rich recruiting soil of Texas that A&M brings along with them. The demise of the Big 12 can only help a conference like the SEC at this point, even if it doesn’t offer up any more teams for their expansion.