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SEC Expansion: Texas A&M Informs Big 12 It's Exploring Conference Options

The SEC's presumed 13th member officially told its current conference it's looking to make a move. The Texas A&M Aggies released the news Thursday that they've told the Big 12 they're looking at other conference options, which means the SEC, unless you're thinking they'll pull a fast one and wind up as the crown jewel of the Mountain West Conference. You sneaky Aggies.

According to the statement, A&M president R. Bowin Loftin sent a letter to Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe outlining the following:

If the university withdraws from the conference, Texas A&M would do so in a way that complies with the Big 12's bylaws. Additionally, Texas A&M would be supportive of the Big 12's efforts to seek a new member of the conference.

"As I have indicated previously, we are working very deliberately to act in the best long-term interests of both Texas A&M and the State of Texas. This truly is a 100-year decision," said Loftin. "While we understand the desire of all parties to quickly reach a resolution, these are extremely complex issues that we are addressing methodically."

"Ultimately, we are seeking to generate greater visibility nationwide for Texas A&M and our championship-caliber student-athletes, as well as secure the necessary and stable financial resources to support our athletic and academic programs," Loftin added. "As a public university, Texas A&M owes it to the state's taxpayers to maximize our assets and generate additional revenues both now and well into the future."

The process of onboarding the Aggies could still take quite some time, but they appear to have put the ball in the Big 12's court. Since the SEC had reservations about bringing on a new school without full legal clearance, A&M's public request for insight into how to leave the Big 12 is a clear sign they're approaching the move according to Mike Slive's wishes.

For more on the SEC be sure and check out SB Nation's SEC blog Team Speed Kills.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.