Expansion: What Will This Week Bring?

The expansion train plowed right on through the weekend, with SEC Commissioner Mike Slive reportedly visiting with Texas A&M officials and his Big 12 counterpart, Dan Beebe, forsaking sleep as he tries to salvage what’s left of the league.

And according to a report by Orangebloods.com this morning, Beebe might have succeeded. But we’ll wait and see on that.

Why? Because Joe Schad just tweeted that it’s all but official that Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will be joining the Pac-10, to which Colorado has already defected. So either Schad or Chip Brown is wrong, although Schad’s report confirms an earlier report by The Oklahoman. Either way, it seems that Texas and OU aren’t headed east.

As for A&M, it’s apparently got enough votes among the school’s regents to join the SEC, and that could happen as early as this week. Early on in this expansion madness, it was thought that Texas was a prime candidate, and Oklahoma had reportedly expressed great interest in coming to the SEC as well. Oklahoma State – read: team owner Boone Pickens – was apparently content to stay put.

So, a question to ponder: Would picking up Texas A&M be wise for the SEC? Not if that’s the only school that’s picked up. I don’t see how the Aggies would greatly enhance the league, especially since that would make for unbalanced divisions. I don’t think Slive would extend an invitation to A&M without already having another team – from the Big East or ACC – already in the bag.

Let us turn now to Tony Barnhart of the AJC, who’s always got a clear, reasoned perspective on big issues such as these. This morning he ran down five things we know and five things we don’t know about expansion.

As he wrote, we should get a lot of clarity this week.

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