Stallings reportedly is one of the individuals serving on the A&M board who wants the school to consider SEC conference affiliation. His comments today to Finebaum, though guarded, did confirm his interest in that prospect.
During the interview Stallings said, “it may be to our (A&M) advantage” to join the SEC but the former Alabama coach also didn’t rule out any conference affiliation for the school. When asked by Finebaum if he’d talked to anyone affiliated with the SEC about A&M joining the conference, Stallings said, “I’ve talked to one or two.”
Stalling noted that the A&M Board of Regents had not met recently and that he did not know the desires of some of other board members - including the chairman.
When trying to get a feel for just how hard Stallings will push for A&M’s entry into the SEC, his comments about the school’s relationship with Texas were much more telling.
When asked by Finebaum if it would bother him if Texas and Texas A&M were no longer together in the same conference, Stallings said:
“At one time it would. Now it wouldnt. There was a time when I thought Texas and Texas A&M should be in the same conference but at the same time I think A&M is now big enough to stand on its own. We don’t need to piggyback on Texas.”
As I noted earlier today, if A&M doesn’t go along with Texas to the Pac-10, the Longhorns reportedly might consider cutting all ties to College Station school.
When told of the reports of Texas electing to join the Pac-10, Stallings said:
“I think that’s accurate. I think that’s their desire.”
The Texas Board of Regents will meet Tuesday to discuss the school’s conference alignment. UT Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds said in a statement today said that no decision has yet been made in regards to what league the Longhorns will occupy in the future. Dodds:
“Our goals and hopes all along have been to keep the Big 12 Conference intact. The league has been great for its members. We also have been honorable, up front and forthright with regard to our work and responsiveness to all the possible and now definitive changes to conference landscapes.
“We are entrusted with the responsibility of administering our university athletics programs. That requires careful examination of any and all options. It is both premature and inappropriate to speculate on what our UT System Regents will discuss at next Tuesday¹s meeting. But, as the dynamics of the Big 12 continue to change around us, we will utilize additional time to continue our work and evaluate our options.”
Meanwhile, Berry Tramel of the DAILY OKLAHOMAN reports Friday:
The University of Oklahoma is headed for the Pacific-10 Conference but will wait until Texas declares its intentions, an OU source told The Oklahoman Friday after Nebraska announced it will leave the Big 12 for the Big Ten.
Tramel reports that Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione has hoped to keep the Big 12 together and was working to that end as late as Thursday evening, but the Sooners have committed to mirroring whatever move Texas makes.Tramel also notes, a that Big 12 AD said Friday that Dodds told him, “We don’t think the Big 12 without Nebraska is real viable.”
As for Oklahoma State, a source told Tramel, “Wherever they go, that’s where we have to go. Texas has the most cards in this, if not all of them.”
Apparently Texas’ closest neighbor isn’t in full agreement with that assessment.