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Blog Entry

SEC expansion: Who's No. 14?

Posted on: September 7, 2011 2:44 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2011 2:51 pm
 
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Baylor's
last-ditch legal effort to save the Big 12 is cute and all, but let's be realistic: Texas A&M to the SEC is something that A&M wants, the SEC wants, and even the Big 12 seems to want in an effort to put the Aggies behind them. Baylor, being Baylor, is not going to be able to hold back a tide that strong for very long. (For a visual representation of the effectiveness of the Bears' efforts, click here.*)

Which means, yes, A&M is going to become SEC school No. 13 and yes, before long the SEC is going to add school No. 14. No. 14 may not be able to join the Aggies in their new digs as soon as 2012 (it's possible -- arguably even likely at this late stage -- the SEC goes one season with an unbalanced divisional setup), but there's no way Mike Slive and Co. will stay at 13 one day longer than they have to.

So who's got next in the SEC expansion race? Breaking down the candidates in no particular order (and reminding you that a "gentleman's agreement" is in place that will prevent any expansion into states where the SEC already has a school):

MISSOURI

Pros: Excellent academics is a major plus for SEC presidents. Ties to both St. Louis and Kansas City television markets. Could be a candidate for Big Ten expansion as well. Well-supported basketball program.

Cons: Despite recent successes, not a traditionally nationally-relevent football program. Zero competitive history with any current SEC member and not even much with A&M. Little to gain in SEC recruiting by expanding to Missouri. Debatable how much impact in those major markets Mizzou actually has. Trickier to add team to West than East; would either require ignoring geography or moving current West team (Auburn?**) to the East.

WEST VIRGINIA

Pros:
Rabidly supported, traditionally strong football program with plenty of success vs. SEC. Hoops program would give SEC a boost, too. Adding school for East division would bring geographic balance opposite A&M.

Cons: Not connected to any major market and expanding into West Virginia does nothing for SEC recruiting. Presidents sensitive to SEC's reputation may not want a university not considered a strong academic school.

N.C. STATE

Pros:
Access to Raleigh TV market and fertile North Carolina recruiting grounds. More geographically accessible than other candidates. "Sleeper" football program enjoys high level of financial/fan support. Would join the East.

Cons: Despite that support, school has rarely fielded championship-level teams and won't move national needle. Academics aren't a minus, but may not be a Mizzou-style plus, either.

VIRGINIA TECH

Pros:
Most powerful, recognizable football program among potential/likely candidates; would hypthetically compete for East championships from moment of arrival. Sizable (if not national) following in Virginia and along Eastern seaboard. Could offer potential inroads in Virginia recruiting. Would join the East.

Cons: Swears up and down school is loyal to ACC. No real history with any SEC school.

OKLAHOMA

Pros:
Just hear out the scenario here: with the Sooners poised to force Texas's hand by jumping to the Pac-12 -- taking Oklahoma State with them and destroying the Big 12 in the process -- Mike Slive makes a preemptive strike against the potential Longhorn/Sooner Pac-16 by inviting the Sooners, Cowboys, and a third Big 12 castoff (Mizzou?) to form a 16-team SEC. Auburn and Alabama both move East and leaving the new SEC West looking like this: Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Missouri. The blockbuster move secures the SEC a gigantic new TV rights deal, keeps the Sooners and Aggies out from under the Longhorns' thumb, and even approaches competitive divisional balance.

Cons: This is exceedingly unlikely.

But if Texas really is planning to join the Sooners in the Pac-12, that may be Slive's best option. With all due respect to the other four teams mentioned here, not one is a slam-dunk choice to justify its addition as a 14th team, much less a 15th or 16th if Larry Scott's new league redefines the college landscape. When all is said and done, the guess here is that either Missouri (or possibly N.C. State) gets the invite ... and then the SEC stops to catch its breath to figure out if 16 is a luxury or a necessity.

*Via CBSSports.com's own Will Brinson.

**The Tigers are the easternmost West team and most of their traditional rivalries -- Georgia, Tennessee, Florida -- are in the East. The issue would be what to do with the Iron Bowl with Auburn and Alabama in separate divisions; would the league risk having the Tigers and Tide play each other on consecutive weeks?




Comments

Since: Oct 23, 2009
Posted on: September 7, 2011 5:15 pm
 

BAYLOR!!!! 14th team.

Baylor will actually fit in nicely. think about it. The weird Political powers in Texas are Baylors' Puppets. IM surpised about the Other Schools mentioned not by Baylors actions.



Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: September 7, 2011 4:36 pm
 

OK, OK St., Mizzou best option

This final sceniro is not that far-fetched at all. What makes the PAC any more attractive to those three schools then the SEC? From a travel standpoint, accepting that those three + TA&M would make up half of the SEC West, along with Ole Miss, Miss St., LSU and Ark, then travel would be significanly lights in the SEC. Even trips to Gainesville or columbia are shorter and less expensive then trips to Corvalias and Seattle.

From a competition point, the SEC is obviously superior in football and basketball is fairly close, with both conferences in a bit of a down cycle right now.

Amon other sports, the PAC participates in and excels in more sports then most conferences (including the SEC), but the three Big 12 (-3) schools current athletic offerings are more in-line with the SEC. I don't believe any of those schools offer crew, volleyball (men's or women's), water polo or men's soccer.

But the bottom line will of course be the bottom line. An 16-team SEC with those three shools added I believe would be a much more attrative property to CBS, ESPN and ABC then would a PAC 16 with those schools, even with Texas instead of Texas A&M. Plus, the Longhorns do not seem interested in giving up their Network, and if UT refuses to share revenue equally, as all conferences save the Big 12 (-3) do, then why would those three want to follow Texas?



Since: Apr 14, 2008
Posted on: September 7, 2011 3:53 pm
 

SEC expansion: Who's No. 14?

Jerry, A couple of points....specifically about Missouri. I understand that the SEC is considering them for the 14th slot.  However, you list of pros is quite inaccurate.  First, adding Missouri doesn't delive the KC market.  That is a KU town.  They would get St. Louis, I guess, but that really is a pro sports town and not very active with college athletics.  Missouri is stuck in the middle of both of those markets, but doesn't really have a hold on either one.

Secondly, did you really type that Missouri basketball is well supported?  Have you ever seen one of their games on TV?  There are alot of people dressed as empty seats.  They only sell out when KU comes to town.  The rest of their games are played in front of sparse crowds.

Again, I understand that they are being looked at and may even end up there.  Why, I'll never know.  They aren't relevant in either of the two major sports and won't deliver a ton of tv sets.   



Since: Jan 24, 2007
Posted on: September 7, 2011 3:51 pm
 

blountco.bob

Please remove post ASAP-your post looks like you have been in the hills all your life and have NO schooling. The corrections are accept,know, SEC fans do not,guess,coming and 16 is too many. You live in a cave?  How can a 2 sentence post have that many errors!



Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: September 7, 2011 3:37 pm
 

SEC expansion: Who's No. 14?

I always felt that there were too many conferences in college football. In an economic downturn...downsizing just makes too much sense not to do it. But I do wonder how teams from Oklahoma and Texas can be considered "western". Lol. I would like to see Utah/BYU/Boise State join the PAC conference. We know that within the next 5 years that the two premier conferences will be the SEC (east coast conference with a heavy abundance of hype-well deserved or not) and the PAC (that has teams that are highly ranked due to playing opponents that are not mostly second tier football programs ala the SEC).



Since: Jul 6, 2008
Posted on: September 7, 2011 3:21 pm
 

SEC expansion: Who's No. 14?

SEC acepts TEXAS unbelievable i no most SEC fans doesnt want expansion but i geuss its comming i hope the SEC votes on a 14 team limit !!! 16 is to many teams it stinks and would be a nightmare for current fans



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