I wanted to share a piece I wrote for the Boston Globe's Angle on how Rick Perry's role as a major Texas A&M booster may cost him support from Iowa State Cyclones fans if Texas A&M's move to the SEC is successful.
UPDATE from desmoinesdem: I've added an excerpt after the jump.
Last Thursday, after weeks of rumors that the university was planning to bolt the Big 12, Texas A&M made it official. The College Station university is moving to the SEC in hopes of higher television revenues and to avoid being over-shadowed by its arch-rival, the University of Texas, which just started its own cable network this year to showcase Longhorn athletics.
To fans of other Big 12 schools like Baylor, Texas Tech, and Iowa State, the fear now that the departure of Aggies will cause the Big 12 to implode – and that when the dust settles, their teams may wind up in a second-tier conference. […]
And the governor can hardly claim to be just a bystander to the process. Perry, who served as the “yell-leader” at the school as an undergraduate, has taken an active role overseeing his alma mater. In fact, it was Perry, and not the university’s president, who was first to leak the news that Texas A&M was seeking to join the SEC. […]
Perhaps the most vulnerable member of the Big 12 if it breaks up is Iowa State. In fact, Iowa State’s fate became a major political hot potato when Colorado and Nebraska left the Big 12 last year and Iowa politicians from both parties were ready to use whatever leverage necessary to keep the Cyclones in a BCS conference. Further, Iowa State’s fan base is concentrated in the more conservative western third of the state, where, incidentally, there are also a disproportionate number of GOP caucusgoers.