The millions upon millions of dollars that are at stake at the highest levels of college football make it important to note from the outset that a school doesn’t make a move like Texas A&M leaving the Big 12 without already knowing what’s going to happen at the very end. Thus, the announcement Monday evening that the Big 12 had officially filed the papers with the Big 12 announcing its intention to leave should dispel any doubts that the Aggies are leaving for greener — read: richer — pastures.
The Aggies are now free agents and available to go to another conference. That’s the baseline definition of their current position, although there are a myriad of hoops to jump through. The Aggies must negotiate an exit fee from the Big 12, likely a sum north of $10 million. They must also figure out how their exit will affect the mega-television deal that the Big 12 signed with Fox in the last year. But these are minor obstacles in the path of what will obviously happen.
At this point, it’s a given that A&M is headed to the SEC, giving the Southeastern Conference 13 teams. The uneven number now has speculation running rampant as to who else will join the powerful conference. But this much is certain: Texas A&M will now be the newest member of the most powerful conference in college sports.