The Houston Chronicle reports that aTm will hold a press conference, today, announcing the anticipated move to the SEC. The invitation was finalized, yesterday, and there seems to be no question that it will be accepted.
More interesting is an article on the Chronicle's sports page that says that the Longhorn network can be "unplugged" should it be necessary to enable UT to move to another conference.
An examination of the school's contract with ESPN provides provisions in which UT could walk away from its deal if it joins a new conference.
One thought would be a regional network to contain the other teams rumored to be headed to the Pac 12, OU, OSU, UT and TT. My concern is how that money will be split.
I am not in favor of adding UT for reasons I've mentioned elsewhere. Our conference is egalitarian in terms of the division of revenue. I don't want a self-centered, selfish school to join the mix. It was UT that played Scott the first time around to end up with its own network. I don't trust the school to play fair if it joins us.
However, one incentive for UT to follow OU is that Stoops announced that the Red River Rivalry game between Oklahoma and UT would end if the teams are not in the same conference; that game has been played 105 times, is a huge draw and a great rivalry.
This story seems to be accelerating to a decision point that may come soon.
UPDATE (N): According to ESPN's Joe Schad, "legal threat" is currently delaying Aggie's move to SEC. Schad specifically called out Baylor for not providing "assurance" to SEC's presidents about abstaining from lawsuits for "Kual interference." I am guessing the Texas legislature may get involved in this as well. LOLOL.
UPDATE II (N): John Wilner- who probably has the best read of this situation from the Pac-12 perspective - thinks that Pac-12/Texas marriage is unlikely as the Longhorns will not appreciate being just one of the guys in Pac-16. He also refers to "cultural" and "political" issues:
"It has a different culture," one source said.
Another suggested UT’s future conference affiliation is more about state political aims than football revenue. And the Lone Star State’s true power-brokers have always looked east — to the halls of Washington in particular.
This is the state that produced LBJ and the Bushes … and now has another presidential candidate, Gov. Rick Perry.
The university, which has one of the nation’s finest law schools, considers itself the academic equal of the Ivies, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins.
(Not that Stanford and Cal aren’t academic powerhouses. It’s just that they aren’t east coast academic powerhouses.)
Would the state’s power brokers — and that includes Perry — really allow the state university to move its center of gravity to the west coast?
That, not The Longhorn Network, could be what keeps Texas out of the Pac-12. One source believes UT will do whatever it takes to keep the Big 12 breathing, even if that means making fiscal and Longhorn Network concessions to Oklahoma.
And in the event of departures by Texas A&M and Missouri and the Oklahoma schools?
The Longhorns — with the aid of ESPN, which wants the Big 12 to survive — would attempt to reconstitute the conference with Texas Tech, Baylor, Kansas and Kansas State, Iowa State and a handful of newcomers (Houston? SMU? Pittsburgh? Louisville?) before throwing in the towel.
Good luck with all that 'Horns. GO BRUINS.