The SEC sure is being quiet on expansion

Okay, I tried to stay away. I tried to be a good boy and take time off and ignore the computer. But the expansion story is just too good. Some quick observations today. You already know most this stuff but I just want a chance to weigh in and get your thoughts.

1. The SEC is being awfully quiet in all this. Various media reports say Nebraska to the Big Ten is done and will be announced on Friday. There are also reports out there that very quietly, Mike Slive and his folks at the SEC could still invite Texas and Texas A&M if the Big 12 breaks up. Would Oklahoma and Oklahoma State come along? Yes, I know about the Pac-10 offer to the six Big 12 teams (Texas, A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Colorado). But as one official put it to me yesterday: Do you think DeLoss Dodds (the Texas athletics director) would rather send his women’s softball team to Pullman, Washington (home of  Pac-10 member Washington State) or Tuscaloosa, Ala? I know all about the academic arguments in favor of the Pac-10. I’ll believe it when I see it.

People keep telling me that the SEC should do nothing. But if the Pac-10 and the Big Ten both go to 16 teams, can the SEC stay with a pat hand?

There is absolutely nothing coming out of the SEC on this. This is as locked down as I’ve ever seen them. That should make some people nervous because Slive is one of those “speak softly and carry a big stick” kind of guys.

2. Can Texas, Texas A&M save the Big 12? Various media reports have officials from the two schools meeting today. Understand that Dodds and A&M athletics director Bill Byrne have the juice to hold the league together even if Nebraska and Colorado (to the Pac-10) both leave. The Big 12 can pick up TCU, which further strengthens the Dallas market. I would also pick up SMU. Great academics and a football program on the rise with June Jones as coach. If the Big 12 doesn’t fall apart, then this process could be relatively calm. But Texas could decide that staying in the Big 12 is simply delaying the inevitable breakup.

3. But does the Big Ten stop at 12 teams? In the short term it could happen. Commissioner Jim Delany recently put it out there that expansion for his league could come in stages. Because Delany’s grand plan could put two conferences (Big East, Big 12) out of business, perhaps he decides to go on the installment plan.

4. Forget Notre Dame. With Nebraska set to accept the Big Ten’s offer on Friday, I think it closes the door on Notre Dame becoming a member of that conference. I could see Notre Dame becoming the 12th member of the Big Ten. I can’t see the Irish being the 13th or 14th or 16th member. Now all of that could change if the Big East falls apart. The Notre Dame would have to find another home for men’s basketball and its non-revenue sports.

5. The Pac-10 will expand. Even if the grand plan (inviting six teams from the Big 12) does not come to pass, that conference will still add at least two teams (Colorado and perhaps Utah). The league is getting ready to negotiate its next TV contract in football and it has to bring someting new to the market place.  Here is another factor: The Pac-10’s  marquee program, The University of Southern California, is about to get hammered by the NCAA. The Pac-10 has gotta do something.

Stayed tuned. The next 24 hours could be really interesting.

748 comments Add your comment

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
7:51 pm

Partial quote from ESPN.com interview with Roy Kramer, former SEC Commissioner:

Updated: June 10, 2010, 6:09 PM ET
Ex-SEC commish discusses expansion
Kramer expected Big Ten would eventually make move that set off Armageddon

“If Nebraska goes it would be my understanding that Missouri would be not far behind,” he said. If that happens, the Big Ten wouldn’t stop there.

“Then they would have to look to the East Coast,” he said. “Rutgers. Maybe Syracuse. But if you take one or two teams from the Big East, then you’ll see the SEC and the ACC expand. … If the Big East were to lose two, three teams, then you’d see other teams in that conference looking for other places to land.”

1eyedJack

June 10th, 2010
7:52 pm

I don’t profess to know anything about academic or philosophical fits, and I don’t care about how it will affect basketball or baseball or tiddly-winks. I’m not concerned about expanding TV markets. I want to see good football games!

The market will take care of itself. Believe me, the whole country would be aware of the SEC and want to be able to watch it’s games. This could revolutionize the market.

I would like to see Clemson, GT, FSU and Oklahoma join the SEC.

1eyedJack

June 10th, 2010
7:54 pm

And if GT don’t want to join I’ll take Ok.St.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
7:55 pm

Texas teams have some legislature red tape. The endowment funt (oil, mineral rights of the land they owned over a 100 yers ago) Which just happened to be extremely abundant in oil. ALthough when purchased by the University of Texas it was considered worthless west Texas prairie land and dry. Well,years later it happen to have oil under the ground. Thus… Texas and Texas AM are joined at the hip. Texas would love to get rid of Texas AM always riding the Longhorns coat tails. However, that endowment keeps them together.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
7:58 pm

So the thought of Texas AM going to the SEC without Texas. Not going to happen. Just as Texas AM would not allow Texas to join the SEC before the Big 12 was formed.

Rick

June 10th, 2010
7:58 pm

Why not invite North Carolina and Duke to join the SEC? UNC has a good football program and Duke is on the rise. The basketball picture in the SEC would take a giant step forward. Just thinking out loud….

30144Horn

June 10th, 2010
7:59 pm

Well atm needs the money that’s why they want to go to the SEC about 16million reasons actually from the general fund at atm that needs to be paid back.

Leading the atm pack is regent Gene Stallins yes that Gene.

Also heard SEC Commish has offered Texas and atm a spot in the Western Division and move two schools to the East Division. Which two school’s are on the move if this happens? Alabama and Auburn.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
8:01 pm

Jack – If the Big Ten invites any of the following – Pitt, Syracuse, UConn or Rutgers – There might be some shifting between the SEC and ACC. The ACC should be a great fit for Vanderbilt, and FSU is by a considerable margin the lowest-ranked school in the ACC, academically. Vandy is a member of the Association of American Universities, as are 5 current ACC schools.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
8:04 pm

This is going to be interesting. WILL THE SEC PULL A rabbit out of the hat and land the Texas Longhorns and Texas AM??? Or wil the pac 10 conference beat the SEC for the revenue market. I bet Texas and Texas AM will be the last to announce any moves… HINT: wanting the SEC to play ball with the pac 10 and make it a viable option.
I guess we will know soon??

Lulu

June 10th, 2010
8:04 pm

I would like to see the SEC stay as it is. We don’t need any western or yankee schools in our conference… As an LSU fan, I don’t want any Aggies over here. This is the Southeast conference. Texas and Oklahoma teams are not in the Southeast. I want to put a KEEP OUT sign on our select club. Go SEC. Geaux Tigers!

KS

June 10th, 2010
8:05 pm

The SEC will not invite teams that do not enhance it’s TV markets – they need markets that they do not already have to renegotiate the ESPN/CBS contracts to obtain more revenue. That means GA. Tech, Clemson, and really FSU do not fit those requirements. Look for the SEC to invite Texas, Texas A&M, and/or TCU along with VT and Miami out of the ACC. If Texas and A&M doesn’t come then TCU and possibly FSU. Just my thoughts on it.

KS

June 10th, 2010
8:14 pm

@Dan – “Enough with the VA Tech stuff. You can’t get them without UVA and I can tell you, UVA tends to be a bit snooty and will not want to have anything to do with the Miss St’s of the world.” Ummm Dan you’re not describing the Virginia Campus and State I spent four years in – VA fits right in with Miss. State I assure you.

John

June 10th, 2010
8:16 pm

KS, The SEC does not need to enhance it’s TV markets. They are a national market now. ESPN/CBS are more concerned about the match-ups and the programs themselves. FSU, Miami and VT make sense for the SEC. UF/FSU and the UM/FSU games are always Highly viewed games. the FSU/Wiscosin bowl game was the highest game for ESPN as well as the FSU/WVU gator bowl last year. FSU still have a national following because of their past. They are perceived to being on the rise, so SEC will benefit from their return to form.

Jag Dawg

June 10th, 2010
8:18 pm

I’ve got an idea, lets trade with the ACC. The SEC would send Kentucky and Vandy in exchange for Clemson and FSU. Then we offer Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and OK State. That would make the SEC the most dominant football conference. The ACC would also take in Missouri, Kansas, Pitt and Syracuse. The ACC would then dominate basketball the way a basketball conference should. If Pitt and Syracuse don’t accept then take in two of these three: Texas Tech, Baylor or Kansas State. All are decent basketball schools.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
8:19 pm

KS – The good Mississippi State people cannot possibly be a snooty as UVA people. Only the French could possibly be as snooty. And Charlottesville vs. Starkville? Mr. Jefferson’s university? Cowbells? Boggles the mind.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
8:19 pm

Who is going to win??? Pac 10 or SEC?? Odds look like pac 10, but I would not eliminate SEC from the picture yet.
YES there is a GREAT football state on the border of Lousiana that extends 800 plus miles to the west.. That is Texas… It has swamps, thick forest areas, mountains, hill country, plains, big open star lighted nights and some almost desert terrain on the far west side. It is a big state. Who wants its the most… SEC or Pac 10??

ryan

June 10th, 2010
8:22 pm

My opinion is that Texas and Texas A&M would be better fit in the SEC because they are closer to LSU and Arkansas with them on the eastern side of the state. And it would good for them with mega deal that the SEC has with CBS sports and ESPN.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
8:23 pm

Discussion about Kentucky and the ACC is a non-starter. The ACC won’t take the bottom ranked school (tied with Arkansas and LSU) in the Tier 1-2 USN&WR rankings. Nor either of the unranked Tier-3 schools. Bet they’d take Florida, an AAU member.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
8:25 pm

ryan – The PAC-10 is currently discussing a Fox cable network like the Big Ten has.

HugoStiglitz

June 10th, 2010
8:29 pm

Most reports im reading are that Texas has no interest in the SEC at all, but A&M does. Apparently if A&M doesnt join Texas in the Pac 10 then the two teams are not going to schedule each other for a long time. College football drama at its best.

30144Horn

June 10th, 2010
8:32 pm

@Hugo Could 100+ years worth of history/relationships be thrown away in the next two weeks?

Dostoyevskiy

June 10th, 2010
8:33 pm

DP, I believe UNC was very relevant (not to mention the upcoming season) when Mack Brown was there. I believe he only lost 3 games during his last 2 years. You need to speak with some sense, not just run your loud mouth.

HugoStiglitz

June 10th, 2010
8:37 pm

It could. You wouldnt think so but crazy things are going on. If I had to guess then I would say they will probably still end up together somewhere. There is no telling what higher ups, including legislators are getting involved in this to make sure it doesnt happen. It would take major guts by Texas A&M to shun the other Big 12 teams and go off on their own.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
8:53 pm

If I were a resident of central Texas, and if I had the money to follow my favorite team on the road for a great weekend, let’s see…LA/Pasadena (twice), the SF Bay area (twice), Denver, extended weekends in the Seattle and Portland areas, Phoenix…or Tuscaloosa, Athens, Columbia, Knoxville, greater Baton Rouge/New Orleans, Gainesville, maybe Nashville…

30144Horn

June 10th, 2010
8:53 pm

@hugo are following the story on twitter, orangebloods?

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
8:53 pm

Appreciate your thoughts Hugo. Texas AM will follow Texas. They try to deny it but it is true. The speculation of Texas AM going to the SEC is a ploy of Texas AM to gain some negotiation power. Remember, Texas wanted to join the SEC prior to the BIG 12 formed a conference. Texas AM cried and begged Texas to stay with them in the ole southwest conference then going to the big 12. They would not leave the coat tails of the Univeristy of Texas. That is just Gene Stallings trying to make himself look good with SEC teams…

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
8:57 pm

30144Horn – 106 consecutive years of Nebraska vs. Kansas. Probably goes away tomorrow.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
8:58 pm

The money futures are with the Pac 10. SEC has a great set up currently, but what will happen 2-4 years from know. The media TV contracts will only budget so much money for college football contrats. Therefore the winner is the coference with the greatest TV markets. That is why, people in the SEC are watching Texas closely. When Texas goes it will force the SEC to begin making moves. That is why all the attention is on the Texas decision. It tilts the power of the conference. So yes the SEC people are concerned about the long term fallout which can happen.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
8:59 pm

From now.. not know.. my mistake.. not much of a blogger/typing expert.

12 is enough

June 10th, 2010
9:00 pm

I would rather have smaller conferences than what I see coming.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
9:01 pm

Texas and Texas AM are in meetings today to get aligned up for a transition together. Goto orangebloods.com

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
9:04 pm

That is right… Nebraska and Kansas may have just ended. However, those are two different states. Texas is political as the endowment funds keep Texas and Texas AM together. Good point about Nebraska and Kansas…

DJC

June 10th, 2010
9:05 pm

perfect world – SEC West adds Texas/Oklahoma – SEC East adds Miami/ North Carolina

great market domination – good all sport power

I doubt could ever get UNC though

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
9:07 pm

Texas A&M would be a huge coup for the SEC, athletics and academics. Another AAU member. I can’t see Gene Stallings pulling it off, though.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
9:09 pm

Ryan… logically you are correct. Texas and Texas AM would be a great fit with the SEC. That is sorta the surprise about the aggresive pac 10 trying to get the two schools. The SEC may be to late to make an impact. The decision is not where a school is today but where will the money be 3-5 years from now. TV/media contracts…
Texas has one of the largest football stadiums in the country and it sold out. That includes the suites…

30144Horn

June 10th, 2010
9:10 pm

@Yeppie but Chip Brown reported atm asked for more time to explorer SEC. PAC-10 is going to put atm on the clock to commit.

Once again SEC is going to say no to atm without bringing Texas. If the SEC does take atm it is just to get the television market of Texas.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
9:10 pm

If Stallings somehow does it, that might save Kansas from football oblivion. Dominoes.

30144Horn

June 10th, 2010
9:12 pm

@Delbert

A&M, which has an athletic department $16 million in debt and had to borrow that money from the school’s general fund to pay it off.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
9:13 pm

Smaller conferences, it is nostalgic. I started following football back when the SEC was called the “Dozen Sisters” by Furman Bisher in the Atlanta Journal. Then Ga. Tech and Tulane left.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
9:15 pm

That would be HUGE for the SEC to pick up a Texas or Texas AM. I dont think it will happen either. Great fit, but to many other varaibles (internal factors) that make it difficult versus pac 10. I never discount the SEC and I wish they would be able too, but does not seem very likely to happen.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
9:18 pm

30144Horn – Yes, but they have almost identical current federal research funding, in large part due to their AAU membership, $590 and $570 million. Georgia Tech got invited to join the AAU in April.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
9:21 pm

The pac commish is not playing around. If he put atm on the clock he is playing hard ball. Pehaps, he just angry at the stange ways of atm. That is why there are so many aggie jokes. Good info.. I did not know that atm was given a time frame. That sorta signifies that Pac conference wants all 16 and NOT ALLOW THE SEC TO REACT. very interesting.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
9:23 pm

30144Horn – Yes, Texas A&M are no doubt in pretty dire straits with the athletic revenues. I heard on an interview on ESPN today that Colorado will double or triple their payout from TV/media in the PAC-10.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
9:24 pm

Gen Stallings has a certain personality that tends to tick people off.

CrackDaddy

June 10th, 2010
9:25 pm

Why would the SEC want to add UNC? After all, its basketball program is a part of the Royal Family; its football team, based on most 2010 pre-season rankings, would rank only behind Bama and Fl if it were in the SEC, and its baseball team has gone to the CWS 4 out of the past 5 seasons. Not to mention that it is one of highest ranked state universities in the country. Who would want UNC our conference!

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
9:28 pm

30144Horn and Yeppie – By the way, I haven’t missed a Texas-Texas A&M game in many years on TV. I remember the old days when A&M was an “Essentially Military” school as classified by the Army, and the Darrel Royal years at Texas.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
9:30 pm

CrackDaddy – I don’t have to like them, but I’d certainly not want to lose them if I were an ACC fan.

30144Horn

June 10th, 2010
9:32 pm

The big 12 by laws say that six big 12 school have to vote to omit the 10 million dollar buy out so Colorado doesn’t have that cash .

I dont think big 12 office is taking checks from Colorado at the moment.

on twitter

One thing floating is that A&M would be blackballed by all state TX schools +OU/OSU if they go SEC. Nobody would play them in any sport.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
9:33 pm

That is surprising that atm has some financial challenges. If memory serves me well. Texas and Oklahoma, each had over 20k last year in TV revenue. This was due to all the additional games the two schools played on national TV. That is why the big 12 teams felt that the money was not equal. It was equal but all the additional added games on TV was not to be shared. If Nebraska or Kansas would have been invited to play football primetime they would have made more money too. I guess it depends on which side of the fence one is standing on as the view can change on what is fair and what is not fair.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
9:36 pm

Well, I don’t Tweet, so I’m slowly following on that OrangeBloods site…

By the way, what I’ve got against North Carolina is that danged Dean Smith and his 4 corners offense. Drove me crazy.