By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams
Where should I start?
Cyclone Nation – It is back.
What looked like a sketchy Internet rumor on Monday, suddenly looks very, very real.
Texas A&M to the SEC? That depends on what you’re reading and who you’re talking to. But there is a lot of smoke in the air right now. There has to be some fire somewhere causing it. Now the question is, how big is this fire? Can it be put out with a little bit of baking soda, or is it on the verge of destroying the Big 12 Conference?
Like pretty much everybody out there, I don’t have any answers right now. The point of this roundup is to clarify some fact from rumor and give the casual Iowa State fan a view of where things are at as of Friday morning, August 12. Here’s my best effort.
— Everything picked up steam on Thursday afternoon, when AggieYell.com (of the Rivals.com network) reported that A&M’s departure to the SEC was essentially a done deal. But as you’d expect, other stories soon came out to contradict this report. That always happens during realignment. You haven’t forgotten already have you fanatics? We have all attended to this rodeo before. Get ready. Your boots are about to get a little muddy.
By now, everybody should know to not trust everything that you read on the Internet in regards to realignment. In fact, there is very little out there that you can trust.
I go based off of track record and to a lesser extent, feel.
For instance, someone I trust is Chip Brown of OrangeBloods.com (Texas’ affiliate on the Rivals.com network). You all should know Chip by now. He’s the guy who owned this story last summer, when the Big 12 nearly blew up the first time. He has a track record. He is credible and the man has a reputation to live up to.
I’m not sure about AggieYell.com. I don’t know who these guys are. I found the following tweet that was put out by Aubrey Bloom of Texas A&M’s 24/7 site to be especially curious.
CLICK HERE to read Brown’s take on the current situation. Here are some major bullets from Brown’s report that Iowa State fans need to know.
*** His sources are telling him that A&M’s regents are leaning towards a move to the SEC but have not decided yet.
*** Brown reports that sources are telling him that the SEC will hold an emergency meeting on Saturday to discuss Texas A&M.
*** Of all of the information inside of Brown’s report, the following is what would ultimatley affect Iowa State the most, should it turn out to be true.
"Two officials at separate Big 12 schools said Oklahoma and Oklahoma State would stay in the Big 12 as long as the other schools were willing to stay together. A third official in the Big 12 said the remaining nine schools were "solid."’
*** Matt Hayes of the Sporting News was quick to shoot this "done deal" rumor down, as an SEC source of his says that it is "just not true."
Chris’ Take –
Try not to panic Cyclone fans. This isn’t uncharted territory for Iowa State or any other school. The entire country went through this exact same thing just over a year ago.
Having said that, this is a very serious situation when it comes to the future of Iowa State athletics. That’s not to say that the outcome will be negative. At the end of the last realignment craze, it appeared that Iowa State had gotten an awesome deal. The same could happen again. Or not. Who knows?
Here are a few things that I’ll be watching for especially over the coming weeks.
— The obvious one – What will Texas A&M do? The Aggies have a regents meeting on Aug. 22, where this very topic will be discussed and ultimatley, it appears that a decision will be made. With all of these rumors and reports flying around the Internet, I still can’t get my mind off of how powerful the Texas legislature actually is. Will politics actually allow this to happen? I have doubts.
— Let’s say that it does. Which other school (or schools) will the SEC attempt to poach? Florida State and Virginia Tech seem to be popular candidates. If you’re an Iowa State fan, you’d root for that. Not Missouri. That would be bad.
— If the SEC does expand, what will the Big Ten and the Pac-12 do? Will they sit on their hands or will these conferences get back in the market?
— My guess is that the Pac-12 will smell blood. They are a bunch of sharks out west.
— Ultimately, it would come down to the remaining nine Big 12 schools and their commitment to one another. Do they want to make this work or not? I believe that they do. The current Big 12 is a best-case scenario for Texas. Plus, the Horns have stated repeatedly that they do not want to be independent. Independence makes no sense for Texas. Oklahoma is in a perfect situation to win national championships. Beat Texas and Oklahoma State and bang! You’re playing for a title. Oklahoma State will side with Oklahoma. Other than Missouri, none of the other schools appear to be threats to up and leave on their own. With the incoming television money, it makes sense for the league to add another team and live happily ever after.
— I’m not even going to get into scenarios for Iowa State. There’s no point in getting people worked up about hypothetical situations. It stinks – but that’s where Iowa State sits at this point. Wait and see…
A few more links for you…
— An important development from Thursday – The NCAA ruled that the Longhorn Network cannot air high school football games on it. This is one of the major reasons that Texas A&M was upset in the first place.
— Some Oklahoma perspective on this mess from one of my favorite writers, Berry Tramel of the Daily Oklahoman. Tramel writes that Oklahoma would likely not be interested in the SEC. He also gives a grim forecast for the future of the Big 12.