Texas A&M joining SEC in 2012

The Southeastern Conference officially 13 season.

The school previously announced its decision to leave the Big 12 on August 31 with intentions of joining the SEC, but reports indicated Baylor had considered blocking the move.

Sunday's announcement quelled further speculation that Baylor would take any action.

"The Southeastern Conference presidents and chancellors are pleased to welcome Texas A&M University to the SEC family," said Dr. Bernie Machen, chair of the SEC presidents and chancellors and president of the University of Florida. "The addition of Texas A&M University as the SEC's 13th member gives our league a prestigious academic institution with a strong athletic tradition and a culture similar to our current institutions."

Texas A&M becomes the third school to defect from the Big 12 in just over a year. In June 2010, Nebraska announced its decision to leave for the Big Ten and Colorado decided to move to the Pac-10, now the Pac-12. Both of those departures took place effective this academic year, leaving the Big 12 with just 10 teams.

"The Southeastern Conference provides Texas A&M the national visibility that our great university and our student-athletes deserve," said Texas A&M University president R. Bowen Loftin. "We are excited to begin competition in the nation's premier athletic conference. This is a 100-year decision that we have addressed carefully and methodically, and I believe the Southeastern Conference gives the Aggies the best situation of any conference in the country."

It's unknown what the future of the Big 12 will be as rumors swirl about the futures of powerhouses Oklahoma and Texas. It's also possible that the Big 12 could stay intact and replace Texas A&M with a school like Southern Methodist University.

Texas A&M reportedly flirted with the SEC during last summer's major upheaval in conference realignment, which also affected teams in the Mountain West and WAC. When Nebraska and Colorado defected, the Aggies were apparently talked into remaining in the Big 12 when Texas also decided to stay.

Now that the Aggies have become its 13th member, it's likely the SEC will add another school to balance out the conference. It's unknown for certain when and if that would occur.

Texas A&M had been a founding member of the Big 12, which formed in 1996 after the dissolution of the Southwest Conference and the Big Eight.