For the fans and the high-finance guys, Texas A&M's seemingly imminent move from the Big 12 to the Southeastern Conference represents a cataclysmic change, a historic new course for the university's athletic program. Yet for several future Aggies, current high school seniors who have already verbally committed to becoming part of football coach Mike Sherman's highly regarded incoming freshman class of 2012, it doesn't appear to be such a big deal. Galena Park's Tyrone Taylor, in fact, said he had only recently become aware of the SEC move, never mind that his brother, Tyrell, is a freshman linebacker at A&M this season. South Houston defensive back Kenneth Marshall confessed he didn't know a lot about the SEC's vaunted reputation. [...] while the powerhouse conference has claimed five consecutive BCS national championships and six in the last eight years, Marshall suggests the Aggies are bringing plenty to the table themselves. To be an Aggie is to have a visceral need to beat the University of Texas, and the 117-year-old rivalry that dates to 1894 is imperiled with the schools apparently heading in opposite directions. Especially now with what's happening and all the trash talking we're hearing from their recruits in the media about me and our (recruiting) class. Three of Glen West's Brenham Cubs are headed up the road to A&M. West turned 50 this week, making him old enough to already have lamented the breakup of the Southwest Conference - never mind the Big 12.
While UH basketball remains in run-down Hofheinz Pavilion, Tech plays in 12-year-old United Spirit Arena, a quality 15,000-seat facility. Is potential sufficient currency in today's unstable college athletics atmosphere? TV networks aren't cutting checks on spec. Last week at an on-campus fund-raiser, much of the talk around the poker tables was whether UH would receive an offer to join the Big 12 after A&M's departure. Indications are that the Big 12 will start at BYU, an independent in football, as a potential replacement for A&M. The conference would love to have Notre Dame, but the Fighting Irish have long had little interest in joining a conference in football. While it would be easier for Houston to increase its budget and get to that point competing in a league like the Big 12, it must remain committed to a facilities upgrade if that opportunity doesn't present itself this go-round. Not being in a BCS conference didn't stop TCU from building a strong enough football program to make it a wise invitee to the Big East and a lock for the inevitable superconference restructuring.