If the SEC asked, would/should Georgia Tech say yes?

Not long after the conference expansion issue really started to heat up, I found myself in a charity golf foursome with a couple of Georgia Tech guys. We were waiting to hit, so I just asked them point blank:

“If Georgia Tech got an invitation to leave the ACC and join the SEC, would you vote to go?”

Response No. 1:  “In a New York minute.”

Response No. 2: “Can we go today?”

Now look, Georgia Tech has had a very good football home in the ACC since 1983. It is the defending ACC champions.  And the situation got a lot better on Monday when the ACC landed a very good television deal with ABC/ESPN that will pay the league $155 million per year. In this economy, the ACC essentially doubled their money from the previous contract and that is quite an accomplishment. A number of people (this writer included) thought that the numbers might be lower so give the ACC kudos for getting that deal done.

Having said all that, there are two questions we will ponder today:

How/Why does Georgia Tech get on the SEC’s radar?

Why would/should Georgia Tech even consider leaving the ACC?

First, some history: Georgia Tech was a charter member of the Southeastern Conference in 1933 and remained in the league through the 1963 season, when the school withdrew and became a Southern Independent. We won’t debate the reasons why or the wisdom of Georgia Tech’s move. The fact is that Tech was a member of the SEC for 31 years.

People of a certain age will remember going to Grant Field and watching Georgia Tech, as a member of the SEC, play in some of the best rivalries in all of college football. The Georgia rivalry you know about, but did you know:

That Georgia Tech and Auburn have played 92 times? Tech first played Auburn in 1892 and from 1904 to 1987 the schools met every year but two (1905, 1943).

That even after it left the SEC, Georgia Tech also kept playing Tennessee? Between 1964 and 1987 Georgia Tech and Tennessee met every year but three (1974, 1975, 1978).

That there was no fiercer rivalry in the 1960s than the one between Alabama and Georgia Tech? Bear Bryant and Bobby Dodd were friends until the 1961 game, when Tech’s Chick Graning received a blow to the head from Alabama’s Darwin Holt. It broke Graning’s jaw and nose and put him in the hospital. The episode touched off a war of words between newspapers in the two states and drove a wedge between Bryant and Dodd. A year later Alabama came to Grant Field with an 8-0 record and ranked No. 1. Georgia Tech handed Alabama its only loss that season, 7-6. After the 1964 game the two teams did not play again until 1979. They played six straight years until 1984 and have not played since. They were scheduled for a two-game series in 2013 and 2014 but those games have now been postponed.

The point is that Georgia Tech has a lot of history with the current members of the SEC.

Here is how Georgia Tech could get an invitation from the SEC: If the Big Ten expands to 16 teams and exponentially increases its revenue (now at about $22 million per team), the SEC, which pays about $17 million per team, will have a decision to make. If the SEC decides that it must expand as well, some teams from the ACC could come into play if the SEC wants to strengthen its Southeastern footprint.

Whether or not the SEC would extend an invitation to Georgia Tech is a matter of some debate. The argument could be made that with the University of Georgia, the SEC already controls the state’s market place. But the same argument could be made about Clemson (because of South Carolina) and Florida State (because of Florida).

Why Georgia Tech would say yes:

1)      More money. Georgia Tech needs it. Even with the ACC’s new contract, there will be about a $4 million gap in shared revenue per team. If the SEC expands, that gap could grow.

2)      Easier scheduling. If Georgia becomes a conference game, then Tech has another non-conference game to play with. That would guarantee at least seven home games a season. That is also more money.

3)      Better attendance: Bobby Dodd Stadium holds 55,000. With Paul Johnson in place, attendance is picking up as over 50,000 turned out for five of six games last season. The year before (2008) only one game drew over 50,000 (Florida State). But what if Georgia Tech were placed in an SEC division that included Clemson, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Miami, South Carolina and Tennessee? How great would the demand for tickets be? How much more would people pay just for the right to buy them? More money.

Why Georgia Tech would say no:

1)      The school has 27 years invested in the ACC. It has become a good fit for the Institute, both philosophically and academically.

2)      Winning the ACC football championship is hard. Winning the SEC is harder. That’s just a fact. Writer Rick Bragg once said that every SEC game “is like a knife fight in a ditch.”

3)      You can’t go back. As much as the old guard romanticizes about good old days the fact remains that it’s been 47 years since Tech left the SEC and the world has really changed.

So if you’re a Georgia Tech fan and you got a vote, would you vote to go back to the SEC if the invitation came? Or do you think the ACC is still the best place for the Yellow Jackets?

If you’re an SEC fan, would you like to see Georgia Tech come back?

The floor is yours.

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661 comments Add your comment


May 18th, 2010
10:18 pm

Big UGA fan here that would love to see GT back in the SEC.


May 18th, 2010
10:22 pm

To H3!! with georgia tech!!!!!


May 18th, 2010
10:30 pm

i think it’s a great fit regionally, and since they used to be in the SEC and play UGA every year it makes sense, just as much as Clemson and FSU make sense for the location and rival games. Academically, Ga tech make little sense. FSU makes the most sense because it would probably improve their recruiting stance being in the SEC, and could compete better than Clemson and Ga Tech. I think Clemson would benefit from the move more than it could hurt them with the exception of record, but since they are usually better than USC, it would hurt USC more than Clemson, Clemson would probably finish right ahead of USC most of the time, sometimes ahead of UGA.

Now to keep it even Vandy would move to the west, and the east will pick up two of the three ACC schools, so we’re a 14 team league, our logo doesn’t change and we’re still the SEC and not the SW&SEC, or even the Big SoCon.

If the sec picks up Texas and Texas A&M, Auburn will likely make the move to the east since they’d be the closest geographically, and then you end up with LSU Bama and texas in the same division? that can’t be good for anyone, it would work better if Bama moved to the east to split up the powers, but that would be ugly too.

another option is all three acc teams coming over, as well as louisville, ut and vandy moving to the west, then no east west games during the regular season, so no rematches in the SEC championship game ever, and higher chance of two undefeated teams, LSU and Bama won’t ever have to play UF in the regular season which is a plus for those three teams and helps UF if FSU is added to their division

Quincy Carter

May 18th, 2010
11:24 pm

Can I get some crack?

Quincy's Adviser

May 19th, 2010
12:02 am

Sure you can Quincy. The Tech cheerleader are passing out their crack on North Ave. It comes with a free coke and hot dog.. the greatest tech marketing tool ever!


May 19th, 2010
2:08 am

or we can bring tulane and tech back to the SEC, both will boost the academics of the sec, tulane plays a lot of SEC teams anyways, perfect placement geographically. tulane would be the new whipping boy of the sec, both divisions would have an easy win each season. and every team would get to come to new orleans and play in the superdome at some point. give the lower teams a taste of the sugarbowl atmosphere. Lord knows New Orleans would love having SEC crowds 4 weeks a year

SEC ties

May 19th, 2010
2:52 am

Georgia Tech Athletic Director Dan Radakovich worked in the SEC for eleven years, five with LSU and six with South Carolina.
He knows the advantages of the Southeastern Conference and that is where Georgia Tech belongs.


May 19th, 2010
3:07 am

What a freaking joke Tony.

Georgia tek QUIT The SEC because it did not want any of the twenty million dollars a year SEC Revenue Sharing. I mean Georgia tek LOSES MONEY in its Athletic Department, not turning ANY PROFIT. Why indeed would Georgia tek want any of $ 20,000,000 SEC Revenue Sharing.


Of course, with its

Georgia tek FOOTBALL Graduation Rate LESS THAN 50 PERCENT

and, with its

Georgia tek MEN’S BASKETBALL Graduation Rates AT ONE-THIRD

Georgia tek’s Athletic Department is a TOTAL ABJECT JOKE.

Does that sound like a Georgia tek fan,


Drexel Gal

May 19th, 2010
3:26 am

Tech cannot return to the SEC, so this is the ideal situation — which, I realize, is impossible, but read it anyway: Tech joins the BIG TEN in FOOTBALL, and remains in the ACC for BASKETBALL.


May 19th, 2010
3:43 am

How is Georgia tek going to pay to go play all those games up North in the frozen tundra, when Georgia tek QUIT The SEC because it said it was TOO SMART to take $20,000,000 dollars a year per school in SEC Revenue Sharing.

Georgia tek cannot even beat UGA in Men’s Basketball with Paul Hewitt a LOSING RECORD by several games to UGA in his career. Note please that these were the very worst UGA men’s basketball teams, in the history of basketball.

Georgia tek is a small school, of mostly Asian Men, in fact with more Asian Men than Georgia tek has TOTAL WOMEN.

Oh, yeah right. It will look really good playing Michigan and Ohio State

or Alabama, Florida and LSU every year.


Did I say how SMART it is to NOT WANT $20,000,000 dollars a year SEC Revenue Sharing. Did you know that that is the ONLY REASON why Georgia tek QUIT The SEC, because it is too smart to want that when Georgia tek LOSES MONEY EVERY YEAR IN ITS ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT and also cannot compete in EITHER MAJOR SPORT in the classroooms nor in the games in the STINKING ACC.

Run the football in your high school offense in the Big 10, Drexel Gal ? You have GOT TO BE KIDDING.


May 19th, 2010
6:49 am

I don’t get how expansion will necessarily mean more money or this $17 you guys talk about. That would assume ESPN/CBS would give more money for additional teams I think that is a false assumption. They payed through the nose.. It is $17 million now if you add more teams and the ACC stays at 12 teams and gets that $13 million it might mean the same payout when you factor in spreading the pie slices to additional teams. I think in the final analysis neither the ACC or SEC expand they have just enough teams to have a conference championship. It is also about the ego of the teams involved who get to play for a conference championship more with much less effort involved in winning it. It can mean going to a BCS bowl game and having a top twenty five ranking. Ga Tech is relevant again would they really be so in the SEC I don’t think they would be in football.

Alabama Jack

May 19th, 2010
7:06 am

It would be great for Tech to be back in the SEC and the dawgs back in the Southern Prison Coalition where they belong.


May 19th, 2010
7:19 am

Dave, gtu is not relevant again, they finally made their 1st BCS bowl and were blown out. They lost their 4 best players to the NFL, and have begun their losing cycle to UGA again after only one fluke win with the best players they have had in 20 years. The mediocrity has begun another cycle.



May 19th, 2010
7:22 am

Merge ACC and SEC in total – call it SEC.
Why do you think Big10 and Big12 are already talking about it ? It is all about the $s. The SEC needs to stay ahead of that move and maximize market share and fan base. Be as aggressive as you are on the field. The SEC could have its own conference playoff system that would be the envy of the country and pressure the BCS [by example] into giving the fans what the fans want.

The SEC can and should lead all others.


May 19th, 2010
7:29 am

Not yes, but YES! I’m old enough to remember the Wreck Tech Express. I never wanted them to leave and would take them back in a ‘hotlanta minute’!

Tech's # 37

May 19th, 2010
7:54 am

Zack M. may have grabbed a couple of Valdosts gals but the APD takes me in for what i do.

When I am on the street …………female jackets had better be scared, very scared.

To: Why tech left

May 19th, 2010
8:01 am

What ???????????????

Tech leads the world in assualts, muggings and students that are bogus, hence the school having to forfeit games. GT stands for G un T oters or Go Taliban.

Tech is over rated acemically. Grads end up either as career researchers ( draining the US taxpayers on bogus GREEN projects) or as teachers at tech or as career, low level Ga Power execs or as GROUNDED NAVY PILOTS that end up pumping gas in Yemen.


May 19th, 2010
8:37 am

Tech to the SEC – yes! I’ve been saying this for YEARS. They are a founding member of the conference, and SEC play belongs in Atlanta, period. For SEC fans who live in Atlanta – can you imagine how much excitement this will bring to our city?

Switch Vandy out to the ACC if you must, but we need to get this done.

the real Old Gold

May 19th, 2010
8:51 am

As long as Tech is playing football.. and as long as it’s against other teams in the Southeast.. I think the ACC and SEC are both a good fit. The only way I’d want to jump to the SEC is if the ACC gets dissembled by another conference expanding. Basically it’s worth going, if we would be the only good football program left in the ACC if we didn’t.

Joshua Barlowe

May 19th, 2010
8:53 am

You know why the SEC is ultra-competitive? Because they have the dumbest “student” athletes in all of the NCAA. Seriously, look at the NCAA SAT score averages and graduation rates. The SEC is at the bottom in all of them.

So obviously that’s why “every SEC game “is like a knife fight in a ditch,” because the teams are filled with thugs who shouldn’t be in college in the first place, and wouldn’t have been 40 years ago. I mean seriously — FOUR UGA players have been arrested this spring alone.

So while Tech and other schools actually have kids who can read, the SEC is filled with kids who are only there to play football and be trained for the NFL. It’s an unfair fight and the NCAA needs to tighten the belt.


May 19th, 2010
9:31 am

I prefer to stay in the ACC. It better fits our academics and frankly the ACC is better in virtually all sports than the SEC except for football.


May 19th, 2010
9:34 am

Its an arm’s race. If the Big10 expands, then the sec looks to follow suit, whoever isn’t in one of those conferences is missing out on a lot of money and a strong influence on the sport. One of the major issues is that the SEC or Big10 super conferences will dominate college football, a one loss or two loss team in one of those will be automatically considered better than an undefeated team from another conference. So basically everyone else will be missing out. Tech is a relevant football program with a rich tradition, so it would definitely behoove them to go to the SEC if all this started happening.


May 19th, 2010
9:49 am

Joshua Barlowe

May 19th, 2010
8:53 am

Amen brother


May 19th, 2010
9:56 am

Tech to the SEC would be a win- win situation for all, the State, Atlanta,GT,UGA and the SEC.
The SEC will not own Atlanta untill it has a team playing there every week.
I for one would like to see the ACC expand with some of the Big East teams and go to a North/South
Div. I think that would be the best case for GT.

Jack this

May 19th, 2010
10:03 am

IF GT did join the SEC, do they get the option out clause like UGAY? In other words, do they not have to play LSU and BAMA as well?

I hate to burst your bubble, all you dogtards, but if GT did join the SEC, they do not need your permission.

Also, are they suppose to show up to the games trembling in fear when facing: Vandy, Ole Miss, Ms St, Arkansas, Auburn, TN, SC? just wondering..

Jack this

May 19th, 2010
10:06 am

if GT can beat their ACC Coastal division opponents, they have a chance to be ranked in the top 5, unlike if they beat Ole Miss, Vandy, Ms St, SC, etc..they won’t be ranked at all..


May 19th, 2010
11:22 am

If Missouri goes to the Big 10/11/? Then the Big 12 would ask Arkansas which will make the SEC one short and needing to get back to 12 schools. People are sprouting about GT, VT, Clemson, Miami, and FSU so let’s look at it one at a time;
What does GT bring to the SEC – a rival for UGA and not really much more (TV Market?)
What does VT bring to the SEC – nothing but sports (no real TV Market)
What does Clemson bring to the SEC – a rival for USC and not really much more (TV Market?)
What does Miami bring – a rival for UF and the Miami TV Market
What does FSU bring – a rival for UF (no real TV Market)
For the SEC to widen its TV Market they would need to get into NC, VA, or Maryland, now let’s look at these;
What would NC bring – Charlotte TV market more recruiting but would any leave without another school leaving? Probably not.
What would VA bring – possibly an opening into the DC TV Market and new recruiting grounds again would either VT or UVA leave without the other? Not real sure as the climate in VA has changed.
What would Maryland bring – DC TV Market, down side is that it’s not really in the southeast.
What does that leave? South Florida bring in the Miami TV market also and is an up and coming football power (lower case letters) in a conference that they would leave in a heartbeat. Conclusion, look for USF to be invited and accept bringing SEC back to 12.


May 19th, 2010
11:24 am

GT Grad – GT Girl – Why Tech left, I am so glad someone else can see further than just football and I say you are right on the mark.


May 19th, 2010
11:25 am

Joe Fan, might I ask you what you are smoking when you state “It (Big 10) is a much better fit academically” GT is the 6th ranked school in the ACC ahead of such notables as Miami, VT and FSU, although you would then crack the top 3 with the Big 10/11. WOW you must really be impressed with yourself.


May 19th, 2010
11:26 am

Milky, I doubt that the ACC would fall apart with the loss of one school even if they were a Miami, FSU, Clemson, or VT. My question would be why Clemson, they really haven’t been good for along time. The ACC would pick up another school with ties to basketball and football, such as maybe U Conn or Pitt.

All the way turnt up

May 19th, 2010
11:30 am

A Georgia Tech student, walking to his car in the Home Park neighborhood just north of campus, was robbed Tuesday night.

According to a crime alert sent out by Tech police, the student, whose name has not been released, parked his vehicle at 11th Street and Atlantic Drive in northwest Atlanta shortly before 10 p.m., and “began walking away when he realized that he forgot something in his vehicle.”


May 19th, 2010
1:07 pm

I vote Big 10, the SEC is to dumb of a conference for the caliber type school of Georgia Tech.


May 19th, 2010
1:21 pm

Florida State and Virginia Tech are suddenly academic powerhouses?
The only school in the SEC with better academics then VT and FSU is Florida, so both schools would be considered academic powerhouses in the SEC.


May 19th, 2010
1:35 pm

I’m an Auburn fan who misses the Tech rivalry. I think it is sad that two schools so close together who got Southern football started don’t play each other every year. I know people who live in Auburn who commute to Atlanta. Depending on where the schools are that we add I don’t have a problem with moving to the SEC East if it makes sense.


May 19th, 2010
2:14 pm

I would to see tech go to the SEC. The ACC is holding Tech back with teams like wake, duke, and virginia. If we want to become a legit national contender we have to play in a more legit conference. It may mean a couple mediocre seasons but eventually it will pay off. THWG.


May 19th, 2010
3:48 pm

It seems to me that there is a prepackaged option for the SEC. Absorb Tobacco Road. It gets the SEC to 16 teams, improves academics, the geography works, dramatically improves the SEC’s basketball brand, & it doesn’t turn the football schedule into a complete murderers row.


May 19th, 2010
5:04 pm

GTFan, we’re going to wipe the floor with you guys this year. Our defense is going to dominate your offense and show your dirty, cheating, chop-blocking selves the door.

And as far as Clemson fans, I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak for a lot. We’re looking to get the h*** outta dodge. As fans, we’d probably pay the SEC to take us we want out so badly, especially if FSU gets picked up by the SEC. We’re fed up with how the ACC treats us and we’re looking to be with folks who understand and relate to us, not like UNC and UVA’s wine and cheese crowds who run the ACC.

And the notion that the SEC already has the state of SC’s tv market “locked up” is bull. Bringing Clemson in would lock up the upstate market (36th largest) and also bring in a sizable chunk of the Charlotte’s market (24th largest).

We’re dying to go play football with real programs and we’ll be glad to “take care of” vandy or miss st if that would help the decision making process.


May 19th, 2010
5:05 pm

Everyone should stop worring about new TV markets and expanding the conferences geographic footprint. Confrerences have thrived being regional. Because of the proximity of the schools, rivalries formed. The fans live and work together. Clemson, Georgia, Auburn, Alabama, LSU, VT, etc…. are not located in huge cities, but they draw crowds. Why, not because of TV markets. TV pays for these team though.
The ACC picking BC is a great example. BC an ok football program, but few fans in the ACC care about, or travel to, BC. How many GT fans would travel to Iowa if GT joined the Big 10? How many Clemson fans would travel to Pitt if Pitt joined the ACC. A half empty stadium isn’t worth a few more dollars. It just doesn’t make sense. Develop your regional fan base and the money will come. Don’t dilute your fan base in the search of money. Big Ten, take BC so the ACC can pick up Louisville, WV, ECU, USF, etc… everyone else could rest easy.


May 19th, 2010
5:13 pm

……and no self respecting SEC or ACC fan (excluding BC and Maryland) would type “you guys” in a post. What’s up with that?


May 19th, 2010
5:17 pm

Sorry ClemFootball….I just read your post and there was a “you guys” in there. I was talking about other people.


May 19th, 2010
5:30 pm

Valid point and I’m embarrassed for myself. I apologize for the grammatical error, let me rephrase.

GTFan, we’re going to wipe the floor with YALL this year. Our defense is going to dominate your offense and show your dirty, cheating, chop-blocking selves the door.

It sounds much more appropriate now. Thanks, Clemson. It’s those transplants from New Jersey affecting my speech. I’ll be more careful from now on.


May 19th, 2010
9:26 pm

Tech could not join the SEC fast enough if opportunity occurs.


May 20th, 2010
9:49 am

ClemFootball, excuse us for holding ya’ll back from winning the NC all these years, LMAO. Clemson football hasn’t been relevant for a couple decades until last year when ya’ll got to be a decent team and still ya’ll didn’t do much but lose to GT TWICE. Holding ya’ll back, thank you I needed a laugh this morning.


May 20th, 2010
9:50 am

Bennett, and UVA couldn’t join the Big 10 fast enough if that opportunity occurs.


May 20th, 2010
9:59 am

To the SEC; we will gladly give you Clemson and Florida State for U of Florida and Vandy. You get two decent schools and we get Vandy who should be in a conference that is more academically equal which is also an AAU school and U of Florida which would be worth both of the two we will give up and they also are AAU members and would boost our academic ranking also. And when the PAC decides to align with another conference the PAC and the ACC can join together as the Coastal Conference.


May 20th, 2010
12:59 pm

I don’t think expansion is needed. However, if the SEC were to boot Vandy, and Miss St. then get GT and Clemson. I would be all for it.

Hot Tuna

May 20th, 2010
1:36 pm

Sorry to say but Tech’s recruiting standards are way higher than the SEC…Opposing coaches will get the less academic but better athletes in all sports… Remember we want to win..who cares about the kids graduating ..

Dawg Man

May 20th, 2010
8:13 pm

Tech may not win 4 games in the SEC, a real conference. No more patsies like duke, wake, bc, nc state…which are automatic wins for just showing up.


May 21st, 2010
10:35 am

Dawgman, no just patsies like Vandy, Miss, Miss State, and Arkansas, not to mention Kentucky.


May 21st, 2010
3:17 pm

The SEC will offer GT to keep the Big 10 out of Atlanta. GT will stick with FSU and Clemson in the ACC or follow them to the SEC.