It would appear that Texas A&M has been accepted to join the SEC conference, barring legal action and such that could tie this up for a little while. Obviously, the people in College Station weren't very happy with big brother (aka the boys in Austin) bullying around the conference formally known as the Big XII. The final straw appeared to be (at least to outsiders such as myself) was the formation of the Longhorn Network, backed by ESPN.
This results in a simple question: Is ESPN to blame for conference realignment?
The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if the puppeteers in Bristol are really trying to blow up the whole thing (NCAA Division 1 Football) to get television rights to everything. They already own TV rights to every single bowl game save two, the Cotton Bowl and the Sun Bowl. Does this precipitate the end of NCAA affiliation for football at the highest level for football? Do these soon-to-form superconferences hold their own tournament to determine a champion?
The next obvious question is who else joins A&M in the SEC. They get a coveted foothold in Texas to increase their demands to CBS for TV revenue and tap the talent-rich high school pipeline. Will the SEC go after ACC or Big East teams? Miami, Florida State, and Clemson would all be obvious targets, as they are basically within the conference footprint right now.
Does Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State join the Pac-12? Does the Big Ten clean up the left-overs? Most importantly to readers of this blog, where does Notre Dame end up in all of this? Does conference affiliation become a foregone conclusion with the soon-to-be conference musical chairs?