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.

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Otto

June 10th, 2010
11:10 am

Wow, Coaches come and go, Conf. expansion will have a much more lasting impact.

Maybe GT should have thought about that before following a coach out of the SEC and into years of mediocrity…….

ryan

June 10th, 2010
11:13 am

This will doom college football bank on it !

RxDawg

June 10th, 2010
11:15 am

It’s good to see some other fans suggesting NC and Duke as well. I think they would be great overall aditions…..if we have to expand at all.

If the Texas/Okl schools head west, I think 4 great ones to get would be Va Tech, UVA, NC, and Duke. They are all southern schools with similarities to SEC schools and it would expand two new states for the SEC.

GeezusDawg

June 10th, 2010
11:16 am

It’s called growing your market. The Big 10 network is available in ATL, but the viewership isn’t there. Bringing in Big10 schools to ATL for weekend games (and vise-versa) exposes your brand to the market. The more your brand is exposed, the more subscriptions you gain (in an already established COLLEGE football market). This will ultimately create recruiting in-roads to a talent-rich region. I have heard GT to the Big 10 on several talk shows.

XpatHeel

June 10th, 2010
11:16 am

As to super conferences and Sly Slive’s plan of action….he and Swofford have cooked up a media alliance…no mergers…no raiding to add or subtract from anyone…no changes to the espn pie. Both sec and acc stay at 12. espn brokers the deal. They get total broadcast rights to all sports and the 2 conferences create 4 divisions of 6 teams. Possibly geographic; but with some inter-division play to mix the geography. You’d get to see UK-UNC and UK-dook in bb. LSU and ‘bama vs. UVa and UNC in baseball; and all the traditional rivalries of past and present could still exist, and not have to be considered as OOC games.
The division winners are matched up in all sports in a Final Four bracket playoff to determine a champion. ESPN is drooling over the ratings and cable subscriptions. It would put more money into the pie than ever before, and wouldn’t require adding teams and cutting smaller slices.
It’s all about the money folks. And this alliance makes for 24 happy campers.

Tyler

June 10th, 2010
11:18 am

The thing about Texas/A&M/Tech/Baylor joining the Pac 10 is that theres a HUGE cultural difference between them and Californians. It would be a very LONG trip for Texas to play UCLA or UW

Reptiles Rule

June 10th, 2010
11:19 am

It never ceases to amaze me the ability of human beings to take a perfectly good concept and to screw it all up. Sadly, very very sadly, in this case it’s something we all cherish and love…college football. As an SEC fan, I am going to be saddened by the demise of this conference I love by watching it gradually dilute itself and becoming just one big show and marketing scheme just like the NFL.

Wow

June 10th, 2010
11:19 am

Otto, UGA has been in years of mediocrity for the longest now. Tell me, what have they done lately, say within the last 30 years. If anything, they have gotten worse each year under Richt. Now tell me what LSU, Bama, Florida, and GT have accomplished since adding there new coaches. A whole lot more thant UGA. When someone tells you UGA fans that recruiting stars dont win championships, then you all will wise up and get Richt out of there. If I were hired by Scout.com and took a third string RB from a local high school, and gave him a 6 star rating, not a 5 star, and he committed to UGA, your fans would crap a golden egg and go get T shirts made with Richt is god on the front and National Champs on the back, and the season hasnt even started yet! LOL. Its sad

Yup

June 10th, 2010
11:20 am

When Duke beats Alabama in football this Sept. they will be a lock for sure.

HugoStiglitz

June 10th, 2010
11:20 am

UNC, Duke and the rest of the NC schools are never going to the SEC. You guys need to give up on that dream.

Cap

June 10th, 2010
11:22 am

Otto, you definitely see Miami paraphenalia in Georgia but you don’t see Bulldog gear in Miami. I would love to see Miami in the SEC. Miami, FL is not Jacksonville. It would be hilarious to see what happens when 50,000 drunk LSU, Georgia, or Alabama fans show up to a half empty Dolphins Stadium located in the largest ghetto in the southeast and nobody outside of that ghetto speaks any English (barrio?). Those clamoring for Miami to be in the SEC should take their cues from the Florida Gators. There is a reason why Florida downright refuses to go play in Miami. The Hurricanes are much better suited for the ACC where teams don’t travel well but it would be interesting to watch the train wreck created by Miami joining the SEC.

collegeballfan

June 10th, 2010
11:22 am

If the Big 10 expands to just 12 teams,with Nebraska, the SEC sits tight. If the Pac 10 also goes to 12 teams the SEC still sits tight.

The SEC only moves if someone goes to 14 or 16 teams or unless heavyweights like Texas & the Aggies just plain ask to join.

The SEC has the best product in the marketplace.

R

June 10th, 2010
11:25 am

Why doesn’t the Pac-10 move West instead of east for one team. Hawaii? Hello? Im sure they wouldn’t mind trading Ruston, Louisiana, for Pullman, Washington. I know I would.

Reptiles Rule

June 10th, 2010
11:25 am

On a “brighter” note, I am glad that it seems as though SoCal will finally be getting some justice. How ironic that ol Little Lane, Mr Secondary Violation himself, will be there to serve the sentence.

DP

June 10th, 2010
11:26 am

XpatHeel, that’s quite a fantasy.

GeezusDawg

June 10th, 2010
11:28 am

XpatHeel,
I guess “dook” did alright last year … huh?

Dave In Tampa

June 10th, 2010
11:28 am

WOW – Compared with GT, UGA does look like Champions. Compared to the rest of the Upper tier of the SEC the last 2 years they have been mediocre.
It’s obvious you dislike CMR. That’s your problem. He has turned that program around from the other 2 that were there before him. He is still in the top 10 in coaches in College Football. CPJ is no where near the top 10. Ask ANY top any top football program, if they had to choose from CMR or CPJ it would not even be close. CMR would win by a landslide. FACT!

Tyler

June 10th, 2010
11:31 am

Texas A&M vs LSU A&M annually would renew a great rivalry…LSU leads 26-20-3

btw, Colorado just joined the PAC10!

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
11:33 am

Coaches come and go.. Teams that are great today may be just good tomorrow. College football is going to change. Sad but it is reality. If Texas and the others move to the Pac 10 then it will have an effect on the SEC. Domino effect. May not be this year but eventually the SEC and ACC will restructure. What the SEC has going for it today is a solid market and strong team in the east and west. Whereas, the Big 12 was only strong in the Big 12 south.

This is a small factor in the big scheme but NC basketball program actually makes a lot of money. fyi..

The SEC is quiet now, but they will watch Texas and the Pac 10 closely. If Texas goes to the Pac 10 then expect the SEC to become active over the next couple of years. Super conference of the Pac 10 with the Big 12 south division together will lead to the SEC and some ACC teams joining for future endeavors. This is jut the beginning of the things to follow…

Otto

June 10th, 2010
11:33 am

They never had a winless season. The have also won conf. titles in every decade but the 90s since GT left the SEC. Along with winning ~70% of the games against GT.

I’m not here to defend CMR the first 4 or 5 years looked to be on the upswing. The past 2-4 have been a slump all depends on who you talk to. 8-5 and a win over GT is disappointing for UGA. GT at 8-5 with a win over UGA is a success. If the CMR critics are correct UGA gets a new coach and SEC contracts give UGA more cash to hire a good coach, if the defenders are correct UGA goes on to win more SEC titles and beat GT like a drum. Either way… the past present and future looks better in Athens.

Tyler, with 8 teams in the division those long trips will not be the norm. The old SWC is more less together.

Stay put!

June 10th, 2010
11:34 am

UGA who your a complete moron do you actually think the SEC would drop Georgia for Tech seriously 8 out of 9 30-24 and your High school offense and stadium come on safe your self the embarrasement… Anyways how about everyone stays in their current conferences.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
11:35 am

Is that true… Colorado announced it will join the Big 10???

Rob

June 10th, 2010
11:36 am

Texas thinks it is too good for the SEC but A&M will join if it receives an offer. A&M is the most conservative school in the country and does not want to end up in the hippie conference with Cal, Stanford, Oregon, and Washington. The Aggies have a senior military college for christsake! Can you imagine a smc in Berkeley? Aggies bring a large alum base and probably both DFW and Houston.

Tyler

June 10th, 2010
11:37 am

Wow

June 10th, 2010
11:38 am

Dave in Tampa, GT has more recently won a National Championship than your football team, not to mention the other sports that GT has been better than you all in over the years. And im not sure most programs would take Richt over Johnson. I have nothing agains Richt, im not a GT or UGA fan. And as far as turning the program around, last I checked, UGA has more players getting arrested and kicked off the team than GT….

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
11:40 am

I am not a UGA fan. However, I think they will surprise some people this year. Had a new QB last year and some bad officiating on games that would have been significant. Look for Georgia to become a contender for the SEC title the next couple of years.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
11:42 am

Tyler.. thanks for the update. Now we know College football kaos is upon us….

Reality Check

June 10th, 2010
11:42 am

Man, I would love to see Notre Dame left without a chair when the music stops!

Otto

June 10th, 2010
11:44 am

ESPN article is interesting no COnf champs game at 16 teams.

Basically the old SWC reforms with the Arizona teams which are late PAC expansion teams.

Under the article if the APC has its way 2 8 team conferences share revenue and CFB is further away from a playoff than before. As a playoff critic this maybe for the better of CFB IMO.

RamblinLonghorn

June 10th, 2010
11:44 am

The PAC16 deal is essentially done people. The UT and TAMU meeting is to agree to a common set of demands for issues such as scheduling, travel, and future TV deals.

The biggest problem the Big 12 has is the ambivalence of the University of Texas. UT is so far and above the other schools in terms of the money it makes and expects to make, that dealing with one league is as good as dealing with another. There’s no conference traditions to worry about (the Big 12 was little over a decade old). Texas fans are so blasse about athletics in general: They’ll go to a game, they’ll buy the shirts, but they don’t really feel like ordering their egos around the teams. UT Athletics is a money machine that will continue to mint a fortune for the team regardless of where they go.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
11:45 am

Can you imagine the culture shock the Pac 10 will encounter. Texas is a tailgate, truck and avid fan base. The pac 10 people will learn to like BBQ. Will not be serving veggie burgers at a Texas football game.

Gary

June 10th, 2010
11:45 am

I think everyone is missing the boat here. Expansion talk is about one thing – money. The Pac10 wants Texas and the rich TV market it can bring. Texas wants to ensure that OK and OK. State come along as well. The only problem is who will be the 16th team. The Pac10 seems to want Colorado and the Denver market. However, there are rumblings that Texas and A&M would like to bring Baylor along. Will be interesting to see what happens here. In the Pac16 – Texas will still wield considerable power. In the SEC – they might not. Plus the Pac16 can use the Texas leverage to secure a huge TV deal with a major network (hello NBC, Fox, or Turner Sports?) and could possibly bring in more money than the current SEC deal provides. The SEC is already locked into their deal with ESPN. Reports came out last night that as soon as Nebraska bolts on Friday for the Big Ten, then the Pac10 will send out invites to the 6 schools from the Big 12 that they want. The report also claimed that those schools would likely accept. The decision by Nebraska would likely begin the huge domino effect that will change college sports – not just football – forever. Here is how I think it will shake out should the above scenario happen:

The Pac16 will be formed and will have the following teams ready to play in 2012:
Pac16 East: Texas, A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, OK State, Colorado, Arizona, AZ State.
Pac16 West: USC, UCLA, Oregon, Oregon St., Stanford, Cal, Washington, Wash. State.

The Big 10 already having picked off Nebraska will likely pick up two more former Big 12 schools and then make a play on schools in the Big East. Come 2012 (or 2014 depending on the Big East rules for leaving) the new Big 16 will look like this:
Big16 East: Michigan, Michigan St., Ohio State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Indiana, Penn State, Purdue
Big 16 West: Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Northwestern, Wisconsin

Now the SEC is a little tricky. They basically can stand pat with what they have or they can lock up the powers of the southeast landscape. They already have the large TV market in the south locked up, but could lock up TV markets in DC, Miami, or Charlotte depending on how they want to go. Eventually, I think the SEC will look to expand to 16 teams as well, but being the SEC they are going to be very innovative about this and here’s how:

SEC North: Tennessee, Vandy, Kentucky, Arkansas
SEC East: Georgia, South Carolina, Clemson, Va Tech
SEC South: Florida, Florida State, Miami, LSU
SEC West: Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Miss. State

The remaining conference will be the ACC. They would have lost four teams to the SEC which will put them back down to 8 total. At this point they could decide to go back to 12 or become a 16 team super conference as well. I think they see the writing and the dollar signs on the wall and decide to 16 and copy their big brother the SEC. To do this, they will expand by taking the teams left over from the Big East and two additional teams:
ACC North: Boston College, Maryland, UConn, Virginia
ACC East: NC State, North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest
ACC West: Cincinnati, Pitt, West Virginia, Louisville
ACC South: GA Tech, South Florida, East Carolina, Central Florida

This will keep the ACC in the Atlanta, Miami, Charlotte, and DC markets. They will become visible in the NY, Orlando, and Pittsburgh markets as well.

In my opinion those will be the big four conferences. Each of them will have 16 teams and if all of them align like I have the SEC and ACC, then there can be a playoff type scenario in the BCS. The top 4 conferences will playoff to see who their champion is and then those 4 champions can play and then add a plus one for the national championship. Of course these may not be the only 4 super conferences. Teams like Baylor, Kansas State, Iowa State, etc…. will be left over from the Big 12 and will need a home. The Mountain West is making noises about expanding. If they ad Boise State to their conference as has been reported, that will push the MW to 10 teams. If they want to add Baylor and K-State, that will put them at 12 teams. Who is to say they won’t raid Conference USA for teams like Houston, TCU, SMU, and Rice? That would put them into the Texas market and could command some nice change.

Charlie Bama

June 10th, 2010
11:46 am

The SEC really doesn’t need a full TV lock on most states it already owns; perhaps only FL could stand a few more viewers, by adding Miami or FSU (fyi, I’d collect Miami, if anyone asks). If you can’t add the two Texas power schools, the SEC will have to look at VaTech and Virgina (that’s a seriously rich and new TV market for the SEC). And perhaps a Clemson and NC State for good measure.

SteerPower

June 10th, 2010
11:46 am

Like often heard in the SEC, if ya aint cheatin Babe, you aint tryin hard nuff.

fbfan

June 10th, 2010
11:47 am

SI.com reports Slive has been chatting with A&M

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/andy_staples/06/10/aggies.options/index.html#?eref=sihp

That’d be a great get for the SEC, and would help my CU Buffs get a bit freer from the Longhorns, if Utah were to replace the Aggies in the Pac16 plan….

To balance the Aggies, I’d say Virginia Tech or Maryland, for those TV eyeballs. The Hokies would seem the better SEC cultural fit, and perhaps they and UTennessee would finally take up the Bristol owner’s offer to have a MEGAgame between them in the Bristol Motor Speedway … can you say maybe 150,000+ to see a football game? I’d pay to see that!

Question

June 10th, 2010
11:48 am

Would Nebraska have stayed if Texas would have agreed to a Big 12 network? Word is that Texas wants to have their own network and doesn’t want one for the conference.

cantondawg

June 10th, 2010
11:48 am

Tony,

Why wouldn’t the Pac-10 invite Boise State to join their conference. Geographically it makes sense plus they are one of the most exciting teams in college football.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
11:48 am

They would great to see Notre Dame without a chair. They think they are special. I wish they would scheducle a Florida, Georgia, Texas, Alabama or Oklahoma during the season.
Here it comes.. Notre Dame will eventually become part of the Big 10 with an added ACC team. Then the SEC will raid the ACC to stay competitive. I do not like this scenario but it seems likes the cards are falling in that formation.

Dave In Tampa

June 10th, 2010
11:49 am

WOW – Let’s agree on one thing. Neither program should even bring up the last time they won a NC. 1990 is just as bad as 1980. UGA dominates Tech in football. You can’t argue the past 2 decades of proof and the overall record. I’m not sure where you get that GT has dominated UGA in other sports other than this year in Baseball. How many times has UGA knocked GT out of the Regionals in Baseball? More than GT has knocked UGA out. Oh, by the way, you have to be a fan of GT because only a techie would make a juvenile last comment on the arrests and having players kicked off the team. It’s really their only fall back against a rival that owns them!

crapple

June 10th, 2010
11:49 am

“Wow”.. What about all of uga’s sec championships and bcs bowl wins…not nat championship…but they won a bcs bowl 3 years ago…sounds like your a jealous tech fan who knows your team does not compare to uga in anyway

Joe Fan

June 10th, 2010
11:51 am

You guys need a eality shot. If four 16 team conferences are created from this mess, that still leaves to many schools playing Division I football on the outside looking in and invites government intervention.

Otto

June 10th, 2010
11:51 am

Tx A&M may somehow be using Baylor as leverage in Texas politics to get Texas into the SEC or possibly for more money to agree to drop ties with Baylor. I’m sure something is not going to get published here.

Question

June 10th, 2010
11:51 am

Hugo,

Are Baton Rouge, Fayetteville, Oxford, Starkville, and Tuscaloosa collectively closer to Austin than Lubbock, Dallas (since they don’t play OK in Norman), Stillwater, Boulder, and Tucson/Phoenix? The answer is yes. Look it up.

Rob

June 10th, 2010
11:53 am

Gary, TCU is already in the Mountain West, but Boise State certainly makes sense. I am surprised they are not in the MWC already. Maybe they were holding out for the Pac-10 or Big 12 but it is too late for that now.

Chipper Jones would've graduated magna cum laude had he chosen to go to Florida

June 10th, 2010
11:53 am

Would you consider Southern California a directional school?

Also, I have it on good authority that Notre Dame and Arkansas will join the Big XII.

Otto

June 10th, 2010
11:54 am

Gary nice long post but did you miss that the PAC16 does not plan on a conf championship game and a push towards 2 automatic BCS bids with a possible matchup between the PAC west and PAC east in the BCS title game.

The Big 10 has also stated it is not about a conf. championship game.

cantondawg

June 10th, 2010
11:57 am

Wow,

UGA has appeared in three Sec championships winning two SECC, have finished #2 and #3 with the 7th highest winning percentage since CMR has taken over. It’s fair to say that 2009 was a huge disappointment and 2008 a mild disappointment (considering the injuries that we had) but to say that UGA has done nothing under Richt is an idiotic statement.

Wow

June 10th, 2010
11:57 am

Like I said, Im not a GT fan or UGA fan. But Crapple, you prove my point about UGA fans that I argue about with my friends that are UGA fans. You UGA friends are ok with being mediocre because the first thing you all bring up is your SEC championships and BCS bowl wins. Ok, time is passing and they are getting old, and quite frankly, really dont matter. Bama fans, Gator fans, Tiger fans, they are not ok with being average, they want National Championships and they get them. Every preason Richt talks about winning SEC championships. Every preason, Meyer, Saban, Myles talk about winning National Championships, and that is the culture that has been created in those programs, and thats why they produce. UGA has not created a culture of excellence to the point where National Championships are the only thing on their minds, thats why they will continue to be owned by everyone in the SEC, including eventually Kentucky.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
11:58 am

Texas A&M is playing politics. They are going were Texas goes. They are just making a power play. Trying to get some negotiation power. Texas leads the way know and they will follow.
Texas did not want this to happen but know they will take care of their future. This is just the beginning.