July 3rd, 2012 01:07 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: Bowen Loftin, John Thornton, SEC, South Carolina
Officially, Missouri and Texas A&M joined the Southeastern Conference at midnight on Sunday morning. Ceremonially, they joined the league yesterday.
Both Missouri and Texas A&M held flag-raising ceremonies yesterday to celebrate their entry into a brave, new world. At A&M, some 500 fans showed up to watch flags of all 14 SEC schools go up on campus. At Mizzou, the school raised an SEC flag on its campus in front of a group of athletic department staff and campus administrators.
Tiger AD Mike Alden said as the flag went up:
“I can guarantee you this — based upon what I’ve seen on that chain, that flag ain’t going anywhere. It looks like it’s pretty secure…
It will be different for us to go to Columbia, South Carolina or Knoxville, Tennessee instead of Ames, Iowa or Manhattan, Kansas. But… that difference, while something that you think about, is also pretty exciting. There are new venues, new opportunities and we’re going to challenge ourselves at the highest level…
It’s going to take us several years to really feel like we’ve oriented ourselves to the SEC.
(But) as an institution, as an athletic program, what it means is that we’ve now stepped into a league that is regarded as the strongest in the country. We’re going to have our plate full every day…and certainly, there are a lot of challenges ahead. But it’s going to be pretty exciting.”
In College Station, A&M associate athletic director John Thornton said:
“It’s the conference of champions. We’re entering a new conference but also joining an incredible family built on respect, tradition, spirit and competition at the highest levels.”
And Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin added:
“It’s a great fit for conference stability. The SEC has been around a long time, and it will be around for a long time. We are ready here at Texas A&M to take our place.”
Everyone’s said the right things. The flags have been raised.
Now let’s play some football.
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