Texas A&M to SEC: What it Means for College Basketball

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This rash of realignment in college athletics all revolves around college footballNebraska to the Big Ten, TCU to the Big East, Colorado and Utah to the Pac-12; these moves benefit the action on the gridiron but water down the college hoops scene.  With Texas A&M moving to the SEC, there will be another domino effect in how the major conferences look and as a result, more shakeup on the hardwood.

texas a&m CheerleadersUnlike the moves involving Nebraska, TCU, Colorado, and Utah; Texas A&M actually adds value to the level of basketball in the SEC.  Utah might be the exception in that group due to their level of success in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, but they have only been dancing once in the past six seasons and are currently undergoing a massive re-building project.  The Aggies program is on the rise having earned berths into the NCAA Tournament each of the past six years and winning at least 22 games per season during that span.

The first domino has fallen, but now what?  There is a Big 12 Conference that has only nine teams meaning they will have to try and expand back to ten, possibly twelve teams (Houston? Tulsa? UTEP? New Mexico? SMU?) or the league could possibly disband.

The SEC now has an odd number of teams meaning they will look to add one or more than likely three teams to reach sixteen.  This will almost certainly reignite rumors of another Big 12 team like Missouri leaving for the SEC.  That move would benefit the conference and add another quality basketball program but serve as another huge blow against the Big 12. It could then result in Texas going independent or to the Pac-12 along with Baylor, Oklahoma, or Oklahoma State if the Pac-12 was interested in expanding to sixteen teams.  That would ultimately doom the Big 12 and leave programs like Kansas, Kansas State, Texas Tech, and Iowa State in limbo.

ACC teams like Florida State and Clemson could also bolt for the SEC which would further strengthen the level of basketball since the Tigers and Seminoles are year-in and year-out tournament caliber teams.  That would eliminate two teams from the ACC who can potentially keep up with North Carolina and Duke, and create the possibility of the ACC looking to bring in two programs to replace Florida State and Clemson.

Texas A&M’s decision to bolt the Big 12 for the SEC will likely lead to several other programs jumping conferences.  Unlike the movement of the first go-around with conference realignment, this next phase may actually benefit college basketball in the SEC and possibly the Pac-12 as well.  However, the Big 12 is in line to suffer huge consequences while the ACC could also lose a couple of quality teams.  But then again, who cares about college basketball in all this?  It’s all about the pigskin which is sad and unfortunate.

Let the games begin and the rumors run rampant!

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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