A 100-year decision - it's what Texas A&M's move to the Southeastern Conference has frequently been called. A decision of this magnitude is one that was made because it is the best choice for Texas A&M.

The road to the SEC 100-year decision is one that began in late spring 2010 after the departure of the University of Nebraska and the University of Colorado from the Big 12 Conference, but picked up speed in 2011 after additional issues arose. On Aug. 25, Texas A&M officially notified the Big 12 that it was exploring options related to the institution's athletic conference affiliation.  Less than a week later on Aug. 31, Texas A&M notified the Big 12 that it would submit an application to join another athletic conference. Texas A&M's application letter was received by the SEC on Sept. 5, and on Sept. 25, the SEC presidents and chancellors voted unanimously to unconditionally accept the Aggies as the 13th member of the storied conference.  The university formally celebrated its new conference affiliation on campus on Sept. 26.

As a member of the SEC, Texas A&M will have national visibility, greater financial opportunity and conference stability-and culturally, the conference is also a great fit, a sentiment echoed by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.

"Texas A&M is a nationally-prominent institution on and off the field and a great fit for the SEC tradition of excellence-athletically, academically and culturally," he said.

The SEC is the most widely broadcast conference in the country, providing an opportunity to raise Texas A&M's national profile now and into the future. In the SEC, nearly all Aggie football games will be broadcast nationally via CBS or ESPN, and other varsity sports will enjoy increased visibility as well.

In addition to projected conference distributions, Texas A&M envisions enhanced future revenues from sponsorships, ticket sales and collegiate licensing. In fact, since the university announced its move to the SEC last fall, licensing revenues have increased by 27 percent-compare that to an average growth of 7 percent by our peer institutions.

The SEC is the dominant player in collegiate athletics and should shape the national landscape well into the future. Like Texas A&M, 10 of the soon-to-be 14 member conference owe their origins to the Morrill Act of 1862, which revolutionized higher education through the creation of land-grant universities.  And, like Texas A&M, SEC members have achieved national and international academic prominence. For example, three universities - Vanderbilt University, the University of Florida and the University of Missouri - are members, with Texas A&M, in the elite Association of American Universities, which has just 61 members in the United States and Canada.

Our counterparts in the SEC are much like Texas A&M in other fundamental ways as well:  they celebrate their rich histories and perpetuate their unique traditions, they are passionate on the playing field and in the stands, and they are united in their commitment to instilling core values that will prepare future generations of leaders for our nation and world.