Yesterday I noted the dilemma facing Texas Governor and A&M alumnus Rick Perry with the conference realignment situation facing the Texas school.
So far, Perry has professed to staying away from the situation, which I interpreted Friday as meaning that A&M will go with Texas to the Pac-10. (If the Aggies were to go to the SEC, that could potentially end all games between UT and A&M … would he want that to happen on his watch?)
Today, longtime AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN columnist Kirk Bohls noted that despite Perry’s involvement denials, sources told him that the governor would have ultimate say on where his alma mater would land.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry will have a decisive say in which conference his alma mater, Texas A&M, joins and he probably prefers the Aggies link with Texas and other Big 12 schools and accept invitations to the Pac-10 Conference, two long-time political figures told the Statesman.
“Anybody who thinks Rick Perry is not going to sign off on the final decision is fooling himself,” one of the sources said. “A&M will go where the governor wants them to go.”
The second source said Perry, a former Texas A&M yell leader, does not want to do anything to disrupt his re-election plans and consequently might try to push the Aggies toward the Pac-10 to calm the political waters. Perry has said he’d prefer to keep all the Texas schools together.
“Perry’s political team has told him that the one thing that could beat him (in the November election) is to get involved in a football fight,” the long-time political observer in Austin said Saturday. “He doesn’t want to tick off Texas Tech and the Longhorns. The least amount of political downside is for A&M to join the Pac-10.”
That source also said he thinks the Aggies will ultimately side with the Longhorns and accept Pac-10 invitations, probably on Tuesday when the University of Texas board of regents meets in Austin. No meeting of A&M regents has been set, but the Texas Tech board is also meeting Tuesday.
“I think the Aggies are playing it coy,” the second source said. “I don’t see A&M going away from its conference rivals and end those rivalries. But A&M doesn’t want to look like me, too (going with Texas).”
Not that it was a startling revelation at the time, but that was exactly my point yesterday.
In other words, you’ve come to the right place