Yeah, that’s exactly what they did that broke the camel’s back, after years of rather arrogantly treating A&M and the rest of the SWC like crap, they finally went too far, and A&M gave them both fingers and bailed to the SEC, putting themselves on a longer-term upswing, and leaving UT flailing around in an arguably second-rate conference with Oklahoma.
I’m not interested as an Aggie in bringing UT into the SEC. I mean, it would be entertaining to see them show up and acting like the SEC should be glad to have them and that they are the biggest fish in that pond, and get checked hard by the rest of the conference, but in the long term I’m not convinced it buys the SEC much really, and as far as my own school is concerned, having UT in the Big 12 is a better bet for us; we have a recruiting advantage versus them in-state by virtue of being part of a better conference, and we get more attention from the sports press than we used to, now that we’re not in UT’s shadow. Adding UT would likely make things a lot more difficult for us in that sense- recruiting and everything else sports-related would become more challenging, as it would be a direct choice between A&M and UT, not a more complicated one between the schools AND conferences.
And OK State is seeing what happened when the SWC broke up- four teams (A&M, Tech, Baylor and UT) joined with the Big 8 to form the Big 12 and stayed relevant. The other teams (SMU, UH, TCU and Rice) all took an immediate drop in prestige, and ended up in second-tier conferences, with only TCU clawing their way back into the big time. UH, Rice and SMU are all still mired in the AAC or Conference USA. OK State doesn’t want to go from being a Power 5 school to being the biggest turd in the Conference USA bowl, just because UT & OU bailed and left them in the lurch.
It’s a big piece of their internal mythology; they have it in their heads that they should be a perennial top 5 team, and that something is seriously wrong if they’re not, even though that hasn’t been the case in a long time.
That’s why I’m against it as an Aggie; the two schools (A&M & UT) are finally on something approaching a level playing field in terms of recruiting, money, popularity, etc… and I’m loath to upset that applecart in favor of our biggest in-state rivals who rode that gravy train for more than half a century already. (although in an academic and legislative sense, the two schools are staunch allies versus everyone else in the state, so there’s that to consider I suppose).