Posted by Bryan Fischer
Stop if you've heard this before, but it appears that Texas A&M is departing the Big 12 for the SEC. While the move appears all but done to some, to Aggies' head coach Mike Sherman, things around the program could be the furthest thing from his mind. The talk in the media during the week might be all about conference realignment but his team it has been purposefully avoided.
“We’re a very matter-of-fact, work-every-day type of team,” Sherman said. “We don’t think too far ahead – we’re not that smart.”
While Sherman and his team may be focused on their opener against SMU this weekend, other coaches have weighed in on the move and, in particular, the possible affect on recruiting if the Aggies move East. Florida head coach Will Muschamp knows the back roads around the state from his years at Texas but said that his strategy wouldn't change much even if the move occurs.
"If that happens, so be it. I've been really focused on our game," Muschamp said earlier this week. "We're going to recruit the best players in the country. If some of those are in Texas, so be it. It's a great state for high school football. The coaches are outstanding in the state of Texas. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."
Other SEC coaches, many of whom were only minimally aware of recent developments about the move, had no problem commenting on what - if any - affect the move would have on their programs.
"We're always going to recruit the state of Texas," Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said. "We've had good success there in the last three years and we're going to work hard to recruit the best players in the country. I don't really have a lot of thoughts on Texas A&M because it'd be very premature for me to discuss anything about that."
"It's not going to hurt us," Mississippi State's Dan Mullen added. "Texas has not been a huge recruiting area for us. We do recruit a little over there so I'm sure it's not going to hurt us extending the footprint into the Houston area and, really, the whole state."
"I can understand why everybody wants to come to out conference," Ole Miss' Houston Nutt said. "The stadiums are full, you're on TV every game and it's just a competitive, competitive conference. The best in America."
If there is one program who might be looking at a bounce, it's Tennessee thanks to the ties of head coach Derek Dooley.
"I've recruited Texas my whole career," Dooley said. "Coaching at SMU and LSU and Louisiana Tech, I've recruited just about every part of Texas for a long time. We have two commitments right now from that state. There's a lot of talent down there but there's a lot of good teams recruiting them too."