Would the SEC look to the ACC in expansion?

 New York—Had a fun night covering the first round of the draft. There were a lot of surprises but Tim Tebow going in the first round to Denver certainly had to be at the top of the list. It was a good night for the SEC (with seven picks) and ACC (four picks).

But it’s Friday which means all of us have permission today to go a little off the wall. So here is my contribution to the effort.

If the Big Ten expands to 16 teams, which is certainly a possibility, everyone in the business I’ve spoken to agrees a series of dominoes will fall that will completely alter the landscape of college football and college athletics.

What follows is simply an exercise in speculation. All of it may happen. Some of it may happen. None of it may happen. Judge for yourself. Feel free to add your own expansion scenarios. But I believe the expansion dominoes will fall something like this:

 BIG TEN: The Big Ten never asks formally, but Notre Dame says no, no, a thousand times no to joining the Big Ten. So the Big Ten decides on a scorched-Earth policy and goes to 16 teams. It takes Syracuse, Rutgers, and Pittsburgh from the Big East to grow its footprint to the East. Then it adds Missouri and Nebraska from the Big 12 to grow to the West. A whole bunch of new people now want to subscribe to the Big Ten Network. That’s the idea.

BIG EAST: Having been raided for the second time in this decade, the Big East decides to get out of the football business. The seven Catholic schools that don’t play Division I-A football (DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Villanova, Seton Hall, St. John’s) go off to form their own basketball league. They offer Notre Dame a place to play men’s basketball so that the Irish can remain a football independent. Connecticut, South Florida, West Virginia, Louisville and Cincinnati begin looking for a home.

SEC: Calls Texas and the Longhorns decide to stay put. The SEC decides the best way to compete with the Big Ten is to put a lock on the South. So it takes Clemson, Florida State, Miami, and Georgia Tech from the ACC. Now the new SEC looks like this:

New East Division: Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida, Florida State, Miami, South Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee.

New West Division: Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Vanderbilt.

ACC: After losing four teams, the league goes back to its basketball roots and adds West Virginia and Connecticut in order to make it’s men’s basketball tournament a marquee event again. There will be a fight about taking South Florida because the ACC doesn’t want to give up that state as part of its footprint. There will also be a fight about going back to 12 teams because the strongest schools in the league, Duke and North Carolina, still don’t like being in a conference that big because they believe it dilutes the basketball product.

BIG 12: After losing Nebraska and Missouri to the Big Ten, this league taps former Southwest Conference members TCU and SMU to further lock up the Dallas market. They will pick up the phone and ask Arkansas if they want to come back. Arkansas will say no because the money it makes in the SEC will be significantly more than in the Big 12.

Louisville and Cincinnati go back to Conference USA. Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino is not happy.

PAC-10: Looks at the landscape and the options on the table for expansion and decides to do nothing. But the league does petition the NCAA for the right to go to divisional play and hold a conference championship game with only 10 teams. The ACC will support this move because it may want to do the same thing.

After the smoke clears we still have 10 Division I-A conferences but the Big Ten and SEC have further separated themselves from the pack financially.

What do you think?

 Please follow me on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/MrCFB

443 comments Add your comment

If that happens...

April 23rd, 2010
9:11 am

I’d say Georgia would have a tough time time.

jumbeauxtiger

April 23rd, 2010
9:15 am

I find it interesting that Tebow and Moreno will be in the same backfield.

I predicted yesterday that Tebow would go in the first round and I used the terms “charactor” and “work ethic”. So did ESPN’s Tom Jackson last night. The Bronco fans have to be happy.

Geaux Tigers
Go SEC

Kramer2009

April 23rd, 2010
9:23 am

I hope non of this happens. I just want ND to join the Big Ten, as they should. I dont want super confrences.

Jeremy

April 23rd, 2010
9:26 am

You have OM and Mississippi in there? Are the Rebels going to play everyone twice? Also, I don’t think Texas says no.

rocksteadyfreddie

April 23rd, 2010
9:26 am

Ga Tech has no business being in the SEC. I’d take Va Tech over them every day of the week.

Grey Ghost

April 23rd, 2010
9:26 am

I think it is a stupid idea. The SEC is the best conference right now. They should stand pat at 12 and not dillute the product. The Big 10 will find out quickly that a 16 team conference is unwieldy and will crash and burn. The BIG 10 is upset because they have become a second rate recruiting conference compared to the SEC and are loosing the national recruiting wars. This proposed mega expansion will take college football down the primrose path to nowhere.

Daniel Monaghan

April 23rd, 2010
9:27 am

so typical…you dont even include mississippi state and you include TSUN (aka OJC) TWICE!!! UGH!

Adam

April 23rd, 2010
9:27 am

Tony,

Can’t we get over this speculation mess and talk about more than just Tebow going to Denver? The pinnacle of many of our favorite college football stars was met last night, and here we are talking about what the lousy Big 10 MIGHT possibly do. By the way, it’s not going to happen…

Clmsntgrs

April 23rd, 2010
9:27 am

I say, Let’s gitter done. Clemson is probably the most SEC’ish of the ACC schools. I think most Clemson fans would welcome the move. May get our butt knocked around a bit, but I think it might open up some more doors in recruiting. We need to be playing UGA every year anyway. This Tiger is on board!

jumbeauxtiger

April 23rd, 2010
9:27 am

The new SEC East looks pretty tough Tony. I am not so sure the existing members would go for all 4 of the new teams in that division. There would have to be some sort of realignment if those 4 came aboard. A logical scenario would be FSU in the West. I believe someone pointed out here earlier in the week that FSU didn’t join the SEC in 1992 because they didn’t want to play Bama and Auburn every year. I’m not sure if that was true but if it was maybe that was Bobby Bowden’s preference.

I would love to have Texas and Texas A&M if the SEC expanded but I agree that it doesn’t look like that will happen. I like the SEC as is but if the BIg Ten goes to 14 or 16 schools then the SEC will be forced to expand as well. I would hope that the SEC could expand its southern boundaries but only with a big time program.

I agree that Notre Dame will probably stay as an independent but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Longhorns go to the Big Ten.

Geaux Tigers
GO SEC

Gator Alum

April 23rd, 2010
9:27 am

SEC should definitely add Charleston Southern and Agnes Scott to the SEC East.

Brian

April 23rd, 2010
9:28 am

The Big Ten talks about expanding its footprint, but Big Ten Network is already available on cable providers in most of the country. The thought is, I guess that more big teams = more ad revenues, but that model hasn’t exactly worked for ESPNU. They have great SEC games, but their commercials still look like a mid-day talk show.

Going to 16 will bankrupt the Big Ten, not separate it financially from the pack.

ATLBadger

April 23rd, 2010
9:29 am

I’m guessing Bronco’s fans are pretty ticked that they traded away their 2, 3, and 4th round picks on a NFL quarterback “prospect”.

KR

April 23rd, 2010
9:30 am

Tony, if your vision for the SEC East is correct, that will be one mighty tough division.

How about this: leave Vandy in the East, give Kentucky to the ACC (they’d be a better fit in a basketball conference). Next add Clemson, Miami and Georgia Tech to the East. Then, add Florida State and South Florida to the West.

If this occurs, the East will have these in-state, in-division games: UT-Vandy, UGA-GT, USC-Clemson,UF-Miami. In the West, you would have FSU-USF, AU-Bama, Ol Miss-MSU and a mixed state game of LSU-Ark.

Just one man’s opinion…

rocksteadyfreddie

April 23rd, 2010
9:30 am

also, Tony, outside of Miami, those teams don’t add TV sets. Va Tech would.

Roman

April 23rd, 2010
9:31 am

Why would the SEC takes teams from a conference that doesn’t support its own championship game? No Way! The SEC will add Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Clemson.

Tony Barnhart

April 23rd, 2010
9:35 am

Fixed Mississippi State. Thanks for the catch.

TB

DP

April 23rd, 2010
9:42 am

Texas stays put after Nebraska and Missouri defect to the Big 10? I don’t see it. If the Big 12 was to get hit like that Texas would have to pick between the Pac 10 and the SEC.

More Expansion « The Grit Tree

April 23rd, 2010
9:44 am

[...] Published April 23, 2010 Uncategorized Leave a Comment Tony Barnhartt takes a wild ride on the expansion train. He’s all over the place with this one, but in the crazy world that is college football, who [...]

Eric

April 23rd, 2010
9:44 am

That would make Georgia very, very unhappy. I don’t think they could consistently compete in that division.

South Georgia Nole

April 23rd, 2010
9:45 am

“Why would the SEC takes teams from a conference that doesn’t support its own championship game? No Way! The SEC will add Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Clemson.”

The ACCCG is a victim of the conference having a football/basketball divide. FSU/UM/VT and Clemson are the only 4 schools in the 12 team ACC where football is king. For the other 7, BC/WF/UNC/NCST/Duke/Maryland/GT basketball is #1. For UVA, who cares.

I think picking off FSU/UM/Clemson and VT would be better for the SEC than adding GT.

SimpleDawg

April 23rd, 2010
9:47 am

I, too, hope that the only change is that the Goldie Domers join the rest of the Rust Belt schools to form the Rust Belt Athletic Conference……RuBAC.

Texas will not leave it’s traditional rivals in Texas and Oklahoma. I don’t think Nebraska would leave it’s traditional rivals either.

GIT doesn’t want any part of joining the SEC….their players may get injured again…..and besides they like being in the ACC for weak Football and strong Basketball. It’s easier to recruit 5 guys than 22.

The PAC-10 does need to expand by including Utah and BYU, or Boise State and Fresno State, or some combination of 2 out of the 4.

Dan

April 23rd, 2010
9:48 am

Would the ACC players who moved to the SEC be granted SEC Speed when they switched?

collegeballfan

April 23rd, 2010
9:50 am

New East Division: Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida, Florida State, Miami, South Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee.

This is NOT the way to do it. You leave all present members in their current division. Then assign the 4 new members to a division; say Clemson and Miami to the East and FSU & GT to the West.

The SEC is a wonderful product so you would want to do very little tinkering.

The SEC coaches may not want to do any expansion. It is hard enough to win a 12 team conference, a 16 team conference is just that much harder.

Alphare

April 23rd, 2010
9:56 am

If market share is a concern, I’d take West Virginia and Virginia Tech, which gets the WV and Virginia market. SEC already has GA/SC/FL/AL/LS/MS/AR.

Getting TX would be a long shot at the best.

Dan

April 23rd, 2010
9:57 am

The SEC couldn’t take VT without taking UVA. There are state politics involved here too.

Angelina

April 23rd, 2010
9:59 am

No ACC team is going to leave and enter the SEC. Having players arrested may be a common thing in the SEC (see UGA, for example), but it’s not common in the ACC. SEC teams are far more accepting of crap like public intoxication, driving without a license, assault and battery, and even grand theft.

There’s just no way any ACC schools are going to align themselves with schools like UGA that recruit illiterate goons and morons.

RxDawg

April 23rd, 2010
10:01 am

Good for Tebow. This Dawg thinks he will make a fine QB in the NFL.

How freaking talented was Oklahoma! Geesh, you know their fans have to feel pretty burned about last season. If only Sam hadn’t of gotten hurt..

SEC: Calls Texas and the Longhorns decide to stay put. The SEC decides the best way to compete with the Big Ten is to put a lock on the South. So it takes Clemson, Florida State, Miami, and Georgia Tech from the ACC. Now the new SEC looks like this:

New East Division: Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida, Florida State, Miami, South Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee.

New West Division: Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Vanderbilt.

Holy smokes! That’s almost too many roosters in the hen house.

Mikey

April 23rd, 2010
10:02 am

I hope none of that realignment speculation occurs. Just like all the Mel Kiper / Todd McShay mock draft speculation that blew up in their faces last night.

I agree with the comment about diluting the current product.

Re: Tebow, I’m so glad he got picked. Now we don’t have to listen to all the talking heads go on and on and on and on about his mechanics, etc…ad nauseum……at least until summer camp begins.

LonghornSean

April 23rd, 2010
10:05 am

I’d say you don’t know what you’re talking about if you think the Big 12 would replace Nebraska and Mizzou with TCU and SMU. Seriously? First off, with Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Baylor, the Dallas Market is ALREADY locked down. What value does TCU and SMU bring? It’s not like they are crawling with more alums in D/FW than the 5 schools I just named above. Moreover, why would the Big 12 go the way of the old SWC and become more regional by adding TCU and SMU? Being too regional and not having enough national appeal is one of the many reasons the SWC died. And you’re wanting to go back to that? Finally, should the Big 12 conference stay in tact, there’s no way the conference is adding another school from Texas. The old Big 8 schools are already mad at the success the Texas (specifically UT) schools are having and how much power they have within the conference.

I still like your style Tony and love reading your columns!

CMS

April 23rd, 2010
10:07 am

I think people would be surprised how Georgia Tech with CPJ would fare in the SEC. Although UGA beat them last year his offense has proven to be a handful for a number of defenses. Look at the man’s overall record it speaks for itself. Men lie, women lie…numbers don’t.

Reptiles Rule

April 23rd, 2010
10:08 am

To ALL the HATERS AND DOUBTERS (and you know who you are)….HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

zebra

April 23rd, 2010
10:09 am

Would the ACC players who moved to the SEC be granted SEC Speed when they switched?

Yes but it takes a couple of years.

Alphare

April 23rd, 2010
10:12 am

I’d agree 16 is too many teams. If SEC ever expand, WV and VT would be the best choice. SEC gets 2 big-time schools and good market too, which only lead to 14 teams.

sugarpikegang

April 23rd, 2010
10:12 am

I hope that GT stays put. We would get creamed in that sort of set up. And though they don’t like to admit it, so would UGA.

Matthew

April 23rd, 2010
10:13 am

The SEC would want Florida State, but not Miami.
The Big 12 would never add TCU and SMU. Heck, they’d dump Baylor and Texas Tech if they could.
If the Big 12 needs another team or two, they’ll look at BYU and Utah (assuming the Pac-10 is too hidebound to expand itself), and maybe New Mexico.
And my Big Ten wild guess… Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Nebraska. They’ll stop at 14 for now.

Mike

April 23rd, 2010
10:13 am

Tony, if the BE becomes a basketball conference only, ND still needs a home for all of it’s olympic sports so they have to join a conference somewhere, right? I still think they end up in the B10 because of this.

Roman

April 23rd, 2010
10:14 am

Move Auburn and Clemson to the SEC East. Add Texas, Tex A&M and Oklahoma to the West. The SEC grows huge market share and the Tex-A&M-OK-Ark rivalries remain. This is best for everyone. Just imagine the money that conference would generate. You would always have 3or 4 schools in the BCS to fund the conference. Not to mention TV revenue.

kaput

April 23rd, 2010
10:17 am

Miami, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and Clemson in the SEC East? That’s insane, it’ll never happen – that’s completely unfair when you look at the SEC West’s roster of teams.

Ain’t happening like that.

Ron Mexico

April 23rd, 2010
10:18 am

Big 12 may add Utah instead of SMU. Can’t see the SEC picking up FSU and Miami; one would stick with the ACC or go independent like the good ol’ days, leaving a slot for halfway decent USF in the SEC East.

Catholic Basketball league widely discussed on TSN’s sporting blogs, you forgot to mention them picking up some A-10 schools (Dayton, Xavier).

Have not heard from a single happy Broncos fan so far (but I’ve only spoken with a dozen, so there may be one out there).

HawkeyeFB

April 23rd, 2010
10:23 am

If the Big Ten goes to 16, how is the SEC “falling behind”? Will the Big Ten start producing better BCS bowl entries and winning 2/3 of the time? I doubt it. If anything, an expansion to 16 with Nebraska + mediocre Big East schools doesn’t improve the football product. Overall revenues will obviously jump a bunch, but with 5 additional mouths to feed, the individual school revenue share only edges up a little. Say from its current $22M per school to $27M per school. What does that matter? How does that effect the SEC?

The SEC has a really good thing going. No need to rock the boat.

TommyJack

April 23rd, 2010
10:24 am

How about this, TB? Do nothing.

HugoStiglitz

April 23rd, 2010
10:24 am

This is all working with the assumption that the SEC can go get whoever they want, when they want. I dont think it would be that easy. Im not sure the ACC is interested in dismantling itself so a few of the teams can join a football conference. I think there is a better chance that the ACC expands as well.

RxDawg

April 23rd, 2010
10:24 am

sugarpikegang , If that happend the entire SEC east would cream each other. Not one team would come out of that unblemished. W/e happens, it won’t be what Tony said. Winning the SEC with 12 teams is already hard enough. The current members won’t allow that to happen.

I agree with the early poster that Notre Name needs to join the Big 10. It’s where they belong then all will be right within the college landscape. The Pac 10 can add 2 if it desires.

RAMBLE ON!!!

April 23rd, 2010
10:24 am

GT would bring class and integrity that the SEC so desperately needs.

How long did it take UGAg to surpass GT after we left the conference in championships Tony, 30 years or something+/-?

It would probably take about 10 years for GT and Paul Johnson to surpass UGAg in SEC championships.

It would be great for GT too. We’d sell out every game since this is in the heart of SEC country. We’d pick up the hundred of thousand of fans who detest the UGAg bandwagon fans living on the other side of the tracks with the sidewalk diplomas screaming go dawgs and barking like idiots while UF or UT is running up the score on them.

It’s an obvious win-win for GT and the SEC.

G8R GRAD

April 23rd, 2010
10:31 am

“New East Division: Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida, Florida State, Miami, South Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee.”

Ugh. Well, at least UF won’t get criticized for our “creampuff” schedules anymore!

G8R GRAD

April 23rd, 2010
10:32 am

Chrimeny!
It’s like the shootout at the OK corral!
You’d have to be dang lucky just to left standing!

Reptiles Rule

April 23rd, 2010
10:34 am

Wow…No “Teblow” comments today???

CMS

April 23rd, 2010
10:34 am

Why are a number of supposed UGA fans saying that they would get creamed in this set up!? Yeah they would get one or two bruises but they have the talent to match up with anybody in the country. They just have to overcome the mental block of beating Florida consistently and play disciplined football.

CMS

April 23rd, 2010
10:36 am

Normally when UGA loses its because they beat themselves.