Texas A&M University was officially accepted into the Southeastern Conference on Monday, making the 13th member institution in the conference.
Beginning in July of 2012, Texas A&M will compete in all sports in the SEC, leaving the Big 12 conference.
Initially, SEC commissioner Mike Slive said that he and the conference were not actively seeking an expansion, but when the opportunity to add Texas A&M to the conference arose, it was worth a hard look into.
And now, it’s a reality.
“We were very happy at 12,” Slive remarked. “When Texas A&M came to us and indicated their interest in joining the SEC, we said to ourselves: ‘That is a great institution, academically, athletically, culturally and in every way, and a real fit.’ So we decided even though we were content with 12, that we had the opportunity to have Texas A&M as part of the SEC was something that we just did not want to give up.”
And with Texas A&M leaving, the Big 12 conference will now be left with just nine teams, as this is the third team from the Big 12 to part ways with the conference in the last year. Colorado went to the Pac 12 while Nebraska went to the Big Ten.
“I wish it hadn’t happened, but I still believe we have a very strong and powerful league,” Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops said. “When you look at the rest of the teams and the quality of football teams and in the Top 25. When you look at the fact that we’ve been able to — when you look, we’ve been in a bunch of championship games and have won a couple of them. Anyway, it’s still a very strong league with a lot of great players in it and excellent coaching.”
But now the question remains whether or not the SEC will add another team to make it an even 14 teams with seven in each division. It is likely that the SEC West will be the new home of the Aggies, while the East will remain with six teams.
There have been several teams interested in joining the SEC, with one Missouri of note.
The expansion talks in college football do not appear to be coming to an end anytime soon, with all six BCS conferences affected thus far in some way.
But as the season continues this week, it’s the Alabama Crimson Tide who are on top of the latest BCS Championship Betting Odds. The SEC has won five-straight national titles.