Finally putting an end to unrelenting speculation, rumor and hand-wringing from colleges, media and sports radio, the Southeastern Conference formally accepted Texas A&M University into its conference Sunday, ending A&M's tenure in the Big 12 and leaving the future of that conference very much up in the air.
There will be a formal announcement by A&M on Monday, but the Aggies, beginning in 2012, will join one of the most powerful conferences in the NCAA and leave in doubt the future of their rivalry with the University of Texas, whose Longhorn Television Network was at the crux of not only the Aggies' departure, but other realignment scenarios that now face the NCAA.
While the Longhorns should have their choice of conferences or may even choose to go independent like Notre Dame, teams like Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and TCU have big decisions to make over the coming year. The PAC-10 recently said it was not accepting any additional schools, ending the rumors that UT and Oklahoma could be migrating west and the Big 12 is still very much up for grabs.
A&M's deal with the SEC was initially held up because of a lawsuit from rival Big 12 school Baylor, but it was determined that lawsuit would have little impact on the move.
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As the NCAA moves to what many believe will ultimately be four 16-team power conferences, there will no doubt be upheaval as teams jockey for position to avoid being left out of the possible elite 64-team league. Teams like Baylor, University of Houston and others will be holding their breath, hoping something opens up for them as a lot of money and prestige is at stake with these moves.