Poor little tink-tink.
When the news hit the street that Texas Agriculture & Mechanical University's athletics program would allegedly be 'Taking Their Talents' to the Southeastern Conference, the five stages of grief were experienced by college football fan nation. The first three were felt by Big 12 fans.
Denial - Literally, B-Lew texted me and told me that he called Kenny to tell him the news, and Kenny acted like the conversation never happened.
Anger - This is the face Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe made when he heard the news.
Bargaining - This was me, as I figured what the hell...maybe the Big 12 could get TCU, Houston, and Colorado State to hop on. Yeah, right.
Yet, when the SEC came back and said....naw, we're cool. The good folks of Texas A&M carried the torch on the final two stages of grief.
Depression - The face Texas A&M fans made when the news came down that the SEC would pass on bringing them in the conference.
Acceptance - The bitter pill to swallow for A&M fans, as the realization has hit them in the face that they are a mid-tier Big 12 (minus two) program that has no business trying to enter the fray of the powerhouse SEC.
It's this acceptance that makes the curious case of Texas A&M all the more perplexing. What the fuck were they thinking?
Well, we all knew what they were thinking...they were going for the money. Simply put, the big money TV deals that the SEC and the Big Ten (+2) secured over the last couple of years has scared every other BCS conference straight to their bones. With the Big 12 chucking the deuce to Nebraska and Colorado (big loss in Nebraska, no big deal at all losing Colorado) the Big 12 (minus two) was still good to go. Yet, when ESPN and the University of Texas decided to join forces and create 'The Longhorn Network' and creating another strong revenue stream for the boys in Austin...the boys in College Station were not pleased, but still...no big deal.
Then ESPN said that they might make A&M play Texas on The Longhorn Network, instead of on ABC or ESPN. This sent A&M over the edge, and they got their Twisted Sister on and screamed, "WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT!" So they finagle some cockamamie scheme to try and pry their way into the SEC. The SEC basically said it'd be more work than what its worth and they kept it moving, leaving Texas A&M to look like a bride left at the alter.
Hey Texas A&M...let me holla at you all for a minute.
Look, I know that it sucks to be the number two institution in the state of Texas. I see Oklahoma State consistently try to spend their money and do boisterous acts of grandeur all the time. Oklahoma State is a great institution, yet no one will ever take them serious until they consistently beat Oklahoma and actually win something worth a damn. You know...a Big 12 championship would be a nice start. It helps to win a National Championship, too (don't believe me? Look at Auburn.) Otherwise, you're just not going to command the respect you think you deserve.
You haven't won anything since the first-ever Big 12 conference championship back in 1998. I was 15 and just figuring out how to shave properly (don't shave against the grain.) You have one of the best fan bases in all of college football, you have access to some of the best talent in all the land, and yet you are a mid-tier football program. You would've been better off lying to us and said that the real reason you wanted to join the SEC was because of the women's basketball team.
You wanna know something though....its okay. You know why? Because we, the Big 12 delegation, want you back. You fit the culture of our conference, we value your fan base and the quality of competition you provide (basically, you're really good, but you're not better than Oklahoma or Texas consistently...perfect.) Yet, if you find the magic elixir, the potion, or the cure to your mid-tier-ness and become an elite program, then that path lies in the Big 12 (minus two), not the SEC. We'll figure the money out (renegotiation of the Big 12's TV deal is coming up in a few years) and get you straight.
There's nothing wrong with being ambitious, and Texas A&M tried to make something happen to trump the Longhorns' move. Unfortunately, A&M tried to holla at the prettiest girl at the club, felt on her booty, and she (the SEC) threw her drink in your face in front of everybody. So come on in the house and get you some milk and cookies. It's going to be okay, Texas A&M. Home is where the heart is. It's the Big 12, not the SEC.
Poor little Tink-Tink.