May 16th, 2012 11:48 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Texas A&M
Tags: Joe Dean, Longhorn Network, SEC, Yesterday Stallings
When the SEC and Texas A&M first started talking about a marriage during the realignment crisis of Summer 2010, ex-Aggie and Alabama coach Gene Stallings was one of the men pushing for a union. Stallings was serving on A&M’s board of regents at the time. (As we’ve pointed out numerous times on this site, A&M and the SEC had actually been flirting off and on with one another since the days of John David Crow, Joe Dean and Harvey Schiller back in the 1980s.)
Yesterday Stallings opened up again about the Aggies move, why they made it, and why he believes fans will need to be a little patient:
“First I didn’t want to go to the Pac-10. I would have rather kept the (Big 12) conference intact (in 2010). Since it wasn’t going to be intact, I would rather go the SEC than anywhere else.
I think the Longhorn Network made it an uneven playing field (in the Big 12). I could care less what Texas does. If that is to their advantage, that is fine. I thought it was to the advantage of Texas A&M to go the SEC…
You talk about going into the SEC… It’s a tough conference to play in. There are just no easy games. I don’t want expectations to be high. (The Aggies under first-year coach Kevin Sumlin) are going to do as well as they can. Let’s give it a little time.”
Cue the Texas and Texas A&M fans to bash one another over who started what and who’s in better shape moving forward. That argument will rage on for years. And if the Aggies struggle in Year One of their SEC era, you can bet they’ll have to listen to a lot of people say, “I told you so.”
But give it time — as Stallings suggests — and A&M should be A-OK in the SEC. If Arkansas and South Carolina can become Top 10 programs in college football’s toughest conference, a school with the recruiting base of A&M should be just fine, too. Long-term.
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