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How the SEC could pry Texas A&M from the Pac-10

With so many at Texas deadset against moving to the SEC, the SEC must accept that they likely will not be able to get UT and A&M. However, A&M is a prize in their own rights. The Aggies would deliver a new market and open Texas to SEC recruiting. The problem is how to get A&M when the Pac-10 move seems like a done deal. However, the Pac-10 has left an opening if the SEC moves quickly.

The Pac-10 wisely decided to resist pressure from Texas legislators to substitute Baylor for Colorado. Colorado is a much better fit for the conference, and the school offers more than Baylor both academically and athletically. The only problem for the Pac-10 is leaving out Baylor gives the SEC an opportunity to exploit Texas politics and possibly get A&M into the fold. The SEC should let it be known that they want Baylor and Texas A&M, but only as a package deal.

There is reportedly some interest among Aggie power-brokers and Aggie fans in a move to the SEC, but it is expected that state politics will dictate that they follow the Longhorns to the Pac-10. Making an offer that would protect Baylor from being shutout in the cold would suddenly create pressure for A&M to move to the SEC from a cadre of Texas lawmakers interested in protecting the Waco institution. That could be enough to get Texas A&M to move to the SEC. The Pac-10 would simply invite Utah to get to their sixteen team league.

While Baylor brings nothing to the table for the Pac-10, the potential for the SEC to swoop in and grab the second biggest prize in the Big 12 makes the Bears very valuable to the Southeastern Conference. A second Texas school gives even more exposure to SEC programs who would look to build new recruiting pipelines in the Lone Star state, and the Bears would not threaten anyone in the sport that matters most. As others have pointed out, there is something to be said for adding conference depth rather than another power program to what is already a murderer's row of football powers.

The fact that Baylor is currently decent in basketball and traditionally competitive in baseball is just icing on the cake. If you are the SEC, you take your medicine to get Texas A&M and the Houston market.