(I'm speaking only for myself here, so I wrote this as a FanPost. It has absolutely nothing to do with USF, but since I've lived in Texas for almost a decade, I figure that gives me the right to put my two cents in about Texas A&M. Because what's more Texan than butting in with your own opinion about something?)
When AggieYell.com skipped at least a half-dozen steps in the process and decided to report that Texas A&M had accepted an invitation to join the SEC, I was skeptical right away. It doesn't make any sense to me for several reasons.
-- If A&M was really leaving, why would they let the news of their departure get out a full 11 days before they were planning to announce the move? I can understand news leaking out ahead of time, but that's so far out in front of the event that it doesn't seem like a leak at all. It seems completely intentional. Which leads me to...
-- Does anyone remember how badly we all got played by Chip Brown and Orangebloods.com last summer when Texas was threatening to join the Pac-10? We all believed everything they were reporting, and then it turned out that the story kept changing day to day until it turned into something completely different in the end. It slowly dawned on people that Texas was using the Orangebloods as a tool to help them get what they really wanted -- a conference where they ruled supreme and could set up their own ATM of a television network.
Well... how do we know Texas A&M isn't using Aggie Yell the same way? Couldn't they be feeding stories to that site, knowing full well that the word will spread like wildfire because everyone is interested in news about conference expansion? They could frighten Dan Beebe and the other eight teams into finally making a stand against Texas, or at least leveling out the playing field a bit. Whatever they can get, which is more than they think if they all stick together.
-- It's funny that Texas A&M is thinking of basically seceding from the Big XII, because their most prominent alum likes to make speeches about how maybe his state should secede from the United States. They might both sound like a good idea on paper, but I think if you were to actually do either one, they would turn out to be just awful.
If Texas decided to go ahead and secede, they'd suddenly find themselves dealing with an endless list of hassles that they don't have to think about as a state. They'd have to draw up a constitution and laws and decide how to rule themselves. They'd have to figure out how to pay for A LOT of things that they get federal money for now. Basic stuff like roads, schools, education, border protection, and all of that. They'd have to negotiate trade terms and other types of contracts and maybe even peace treaties with every country they want to do business with. They'd have to build their own military, including manpower and equipment. They'd have to figure out what to do if they run out of water or electricity (both of which have been a problem this summer). They'd have to figure out what to do about immigrants, people who want to visit the country, and people who want to leave the country. They'd have to create and valuate their own currency, set up their own banking system, decide what kind of economy they can put together, create social services... on and on and on, and eventually it would just be a giant pain in the ass.
Which brings me to Texas A&M. Sure, it might be great to have the yoke of Longhorn tyranny thrown off their shoulders. And the money might be better in the SEC. But that's about the only good parts of the deal for them. They'd surely end up in the SEC West with Alabama and Auburn and Arkansas and LSU, and good luck with that on a year-to-year basis. The Aggies would be allowing all of those schools to start coming into Texas and competing for the recruits that they currently have no trouble getting to come to College Station. They would have a bigger fight for national exposure since they wouldn't win as many games. Playing in the SEC might seem like a good idea for Texas A&M, but when you think carefully about what that means, it really isn't.
And by far the biggest problem -- they could lose their long-standing rivalry with Texas, a rivalry they care about so much that "Goodbye to Texas University" is the first line of their fight song. (Believe me, deep down Texas doesn't really care about A&M. They consider Oklahoma their rival, and Texas A&M a nuisance.) It would take a really long time for Texas A&M to feel the same way about an SEC school as they do about Texas, if it ever happens at all. For a school that is as devoted to its traditions (including their dislike of UT) as anyone outside a service academy, it would be such a shock to the system that I don't know if they could be the same after that. Like, I think Nebraska is going to feel an emptiness about being in the B1G for awhile, maybe for a few years or so. But it won't be nearly as much of an emptiness as I think Texas A&M would feel being in the SEC.
That's why I think this is all really a bid to get some reforms out of the Big XII. But what do I know. I thought Chip Brown was some kind of savant last year. Hopefully I (takes off sunglasses)... won't get fooled again.