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Texas A&M To Join the SEC; Why This Affects Georgetown

Texas A&M school officials are confirming that they plan to make the move to the SEC, pending a vote of approval by the SEC Presidents scheduled for tomorrow. (ESPN Story

Why are they leaving?  Because, unlike in the Big Ten, PAC-12, and SEC, where each school shares an equal portion of the pie, the Big XII has an unequal revenue sharing system... so Texas gets a higher cut of the TV money than Missouri or Texas Tech. And just this summer, it was announced that Texas had signed its own deal with ESPN for The Longhorn Network, which will pour even more money into Texas' coffers. (Even before the deal, Texas has been, for the last half-decade the highest-grossing collegiate athletic program in the country.) Texas A&M feels like a "little brother" already, and this newest move just exacerbated the indignation. 

What will happen next?  Assuming the SEC Presidents vote, "Yes," tomorrow, the SEC will begin exploring which other schools to add. They're not going to stay at 13 teams, and all signs point to the emergence of several 16-school super-conferences with their own Big Ten Network type of arrangements. The SEC is said to be most interested in Florida State, Clemson and Missouri, the first two of which are already in the Conference's footprint, with in-state rivals South Carolina and Florida already in the SEC. Missouri makes less sense until one remembers that a lot of this is about TV markets, and the current SEC footprint only boasts a single Top 10 market (Atlanta), but will add two more with Texas A&M in Houston and Dallas. They'd love to add St. Louis to the pile. And don't be surprised if the University of Miami gets mentioned, since they're likewise in Florida and bring a more esteemed pedigree than Clemson or Mizzou. 

Then what? The other conferences are already trying to figure out whom they can add to get to 16 teams; both the B10 and PAC-12 Commissioners have already acknowledged that they were seeking to continue the expansion. What's left of the Big XII will probably try to add Houston, SMU, or Tulsa. But that will probably fall short, because the PAC-12 wants Texas, and the Big Ten wants Missouri, so each member school will almost certainly start entertaining offers from the other leagues. The ACC will try feverishly to keep its members from leaving, but there's simply no reason for them to stay in such a lousy football league. The Big East will enter full-on panic mode as it waits to hear which of its members get poached by the other conferences. 

Rumors involving the Big East... The Big East has already been in talks with Kansas, and word on the street is that Kansas State's now in the fold, too. They already added TCU, so it's hardly relevant that there's neither a geographic proximity nor historical rivalry between Kansas State and Connecticut. Once the Big East members can get a minimum of 12 FBS schools, they'll feel more secure that their automatic BCS bid will be safe the next time it comes up for a vote, but if the other leagues are trying to go to 16, then they'll probably look to do that as well. They'll unquestionably jettison the non-FBS members of the conference (Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's, Marquette, DePaul, and depending on whether Villanova makes the leap or not, 'Nova). 
I'd expect the Big East and ACC to be jockeying hard to stay (relatively) intact after the Big Boys (PAC-12, SEC, and Big Ten) have had their pick. It's entirely possible Pitt will get an invite to the Big Ten, and it wouldn't shock anyone to hear that the Big Ten also went after one of the NY market schools in Syracuse, UConn, or Rutgers. 

What happens to Georgetown? Hard to say, because there are so many unknowns right now. They could try and plead their way into a depleted ACC, if the ACC saw the writing on the wall and recognized it simply wouldn't be able to be taken seriously as a football league. (Of course they'd still have to play football in an FCS league). They've already got a connection with the Patriot League, so they could very well wind up there for other sports. They might also entertain conversation with the Colonial Athletic Association. It's possible they are permitted to stay on as a non-football member of the reconfigured Big East, but very unlikely. They simply don't bring enough to the table. 

Stay Casual, my friends.

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