Wednesday, February 9, 2011
A&M invite to SEC? Hardly 'open'
By ESPN.com staff
Texas' recent announcement of the Longhorn Network has brought the issue of Texas A&M leaving for the SEC back to light, after Aggies fans voiced their displeasure at its creation.
My thoughts on the issue are clear, but SEC commissioner Mike Slive addressed expansion briefly in a Q&A with colleague Chris Low over at the SEC blog.
One of the issues that would be a hangup for a possible move for Texas A&M is whether the invitation that was reportedly issued this summer still stands. Common thought is, without the threat of a Pac-16 forming, it doesn't stand unless future expansion occurs.
But where does the SEC stand?
"It’s hard to answer that," Slive said. "I can’t tell you what other conferences or commissioners are thinking. We can take what they say. But whether it’s the final whistle in the game or just a timeout, I don’t know. I think all of us tried to balance all the issues, and we have an obligation to do things to strengthen our respective conferences. Maybe the best metaphor of all would be to say what was clearly a front-burner issue on high is now a back-burner issue on low for most of the conferences."
That doesn't sound like a commissioner that's very gung-ho in bringing in new blood.
Later in the Q&A, he has this to say:
So are you going to tell us how close you were to getting Texas A&M and Oklahoma?
MS: No [laughing].
Did you ever think it was going to happen?
MS: As I said, I was going to be thoughtful and strategic, and I was both [laughing harder].
Oklahoma's administration and fans sound content on attaching itself to Texas, and as nauseating as that is for some in the crimson-and-cream, it's the right move big picture for the program.
As for the Aggies, that's not necessarily the case. But until a new incident prompts movement, it looks like Texas A&M won't be leaving for the SEC any time soon.