Texas A&M has put out a news release making their departure from the Big 12 official this morning. The new doesn't come as a surprise but it does put into motion the next round of conference realignment, at least that's what most people believe.
"After much thought and consideration, and pursuant to the action of the (Texas A&M University System) Board of Regents authorizing me to take action related to Texas A&M University's athletic conference alignment, I have determined it is in the best interest of Texas A&M to make application to join another athletic conference,"
- President R. Bowen Loftin to Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe in the letter dated August 31, 2011.
What does this mean for Kansas? Hard to say at this point. Texas Tech president Guy Bailey was the first individual from the Big 12 conference to talk expansion a few weeks ago and since then other presidents and commissioner Dan Beebe have also dropped hints. Today the Big 12 responded again.
"The chancellors and presidents of the Big 12 are committed to keeping our conference competitively and academically strong. We have a process in place that enables us to move aggressively regarding the possible expansion of the conference and to assure our members and student-athletes that we will take advantage of the most productive opportunities in the best interests of all."
Where does the Big 12 go next. Stay at 9? Jump back to 10? 12? And with who? BYU, Notre Dame, Louisville, TCU, Pitt, Houston? It's an interesting scenario and if the SEC determines a jump to 16 teams is in the cards, things could get even more chaotic.