The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Mexico fans react after Mexico F Julián Quiñones 73rd-minute goal during the MexTour match between Mexico and Brazil at Kyle Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
‘The stuff of dreams’
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • June 11, 2024

As soon as the Mexico-Brazil soccer match at Kyle Field was announced, Jacob Svetz and Caitlin Falke saw an opportunity.  The match was scheduled...

The Fighting Texas Aggie Band performs at halftime during Texas A&Ms football game against ULM at Kyle Field on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.
Gridiron glory to multi-event marvel
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • June 7, 2024

Special teams: Special events  “My favorite thing about an event is seeing the people come into the stadium and seeing their excitement...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Oregon at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
One step away
June 8, 2024

New horizons

Few words over the course of the 2011-12 school year resonated quite as powerfully as Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slives introduction to A&M as the SECs 13th member.
The ecstasy that followed represented the Aggies triumph in a two-year grudge match to free itself from the confines of the Big 12 and the shackles of marketing redundancies.
Arguably, no A&M administrative decision will have quite the seismic impact on the University since women were admitted in the early 60s. And while the thought of admitting women was met with disdain and reluctance by the long-time all-male military institution, the move to the SEC was embraced wholeheartedly by a vast majority of the student body and former students.
The attitude of A&Ms passionate constituency regarding this conference switch shows Aggies have begun to welcome a concept they had been so fearful of before change.
A&M, with its administration, former students and student body, has clearly shown the nation its willingness to rebrand and redefine itself on an unparalleled platform. Century-long rivalries with Texas and Baylor are being scrapped, football coaches are being replaced, facilities are being upgraded and athletic directors, even successful ones, are being questioned.
From a marketing standpoint, the move was a masterstroke of genius. According to the 2011 Nielsen ratings, SEC football had nearly 4.5 million viewers more than one million more viewers than the second-place Big 10 conference and more than two million more viewers than the Big 12. Add the fact the Big 12 just inked a $2.6 billion television deal with ESPN, and theres no telling how much the SEC will make after adding the nations third most populous market to its collection the state of Texas.
Marketing, though, is but the first step. Then there is recruiting.
By offering the greatest level of competition and, by no coincidence, the greatest level of exposure recruits theoretically would be chomping at the bit to play in the SEC. With Texas being one of the nations recruiting hotbeds, A&Ms exclusive offer as an in-state SEC school has and will pay huge dividends. A Rivals top-15 football recruiting class added to a historically strong basketball class is but the tip of the iceberg of A&Ms recruiting potential.
Finally, winning and reestablishing rivalries await. Bear Bryant connections exist with Kentucky and Alabama. Arkansas, a long-time SWC rival, should continue to be a memorable series. Most notably, the LSU rivalry has been on hiatus long enough. Cotton Bowl aside, the Aggies and Tigers havent met on the gridiron since Lectric Leeland McElroy torched LSU in 95 the last regular season game of one of college footballs most heated hole-in-the-wall rivalries.
Without a doubt, its an exciting time to be an Aggie. Welcome to the SEC.
Chandler Smith is a sophomore communication major and sports editor for The Battalion

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