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
12:39 pm

Several articles from the NY Times and other sources have reported that Texas and Texas A&M will not seek to join the SEC. They are almost certainly going to join the PAC-10 along with four other Big-12 schools.

The president of Ohio State (Gee) contacted the president of Texas on last Friday by email. He was to ask if Texas would be willing to talk to the commissioner of the Big Ten (Reardon). Sources reported that in subsequent emails, there was said to be a “Tech” problem. That was taken by sources to mean Texas Tech, with the fact that Texas Tech is a Tier 3 school, not a fit for the Big Ten. All of the Big Ten members are top tier schools and are members of the AAU, an invitation-only organization of 62 research-intensive universities that annually gets 57% of nearly $20 billion in research grant money.

Even if Texas/Texas A&M decided to try to save the Big-12, they would not take TCU or SMU. That simply dilutes Texas’ base in the state. That also from news reports.

Tony Barnhart is minimizing the academics side, but it will be a very important factor for the Big Ten, as these schools collaborate on research proposals and grants. The PAC-10 does not put the same influence on that aspect. That aside, 7 PAC-10 schools are AAU members, the exception being Arizona State, Washington State, and Oregon State. 7 members of the Big-12 are AAU members.

Otto

June 10th, 2010
12:39 pm

What if the PAC16 gets 2 autobids and a possible 3rd at large bid.

The Cotton has also been pushing to become a BCS bowl in the Jerry Dome.

I can see an additional BCS bowl in Texas to make the Texas politics go away and the PAC10/Big12 south make more money with 3 BCS bids split between them with a large packaged TV contract.

ACC Expansion

June 10th, 2010
12:40 pm

If GT comes to the SEC, do we all get free hotdogs and cokes too?

aaron1979

June 10th, 2010
12:42 pm

why is everyone still talking tv markets for the sec? it’s already nationally televised! even the small time games labeled sec network reach 87% of the homes in america. the sec expansion will be about product not gaining markets. miami is the worst option! they don’t even fill their stadium for conference games! who wants that?

Scott in TX

June 10th, 2010
12:42 pm

Texas and A&M are now in the PAC-10 and will not be part of the SEC. That issue is dead. Your expansion talks need to be directed elswhere.

ACC Expansion

June 10th, 2010
12:42 pm

I don’t want to share the SEC $ to have to bail out a failing Georgia Trek athletic department

ACC Expansion

June 10th, 2010
12:43 pm

The SEC should target teams like FSU and Clemson that are in the South.
I don’t want to have to smell the folk from Texas once per year.

Cap

June 10th, 2010
12:44 pm

John this is why the Gators are scared of both FSU and Miami. Historically, all Florida has to do is beat Georgia (or maybe Tennessee) during the regular season and they get to play in the SEC championship game. With an expanded SEC East, what would be the likelihood that they beat Georgia, FSU, and Miami in the regular season and then turn around to beat LSU or Alabama in the SEC championship game? And doing all of this with now having to share a recruiting base with both FSU and Miami?

Don

June 10th, 2010
12:44 pm

What has uga accomplished lately? Nada damn thing

bill lumberg

June 10th, 2010
12:44 pm

[SCOTT IN TX] Re-read my post—I stated that Texas is not coming to the SEC and a few reasons why

McDawg

June 10th, 2010
12:44 pm

Texas should snag Arizona, ASU, and Utah, and Boise St. and stay put w/ OKlahoma

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
12:44 pm

Texas and Texas AM or joined at the hip. It makes sense that the two teams would fit well in the SEC. However, that is not the case. SEC should have been more active. Pac 10 wants and is dating the Texas teams for revenue. SEC should have been proactive. Logically Texas and Texas AM would be a good fit.. BUT reality that is not going to happen. What a shame.. that would have been great. Pac 10 was proactive and knew that the Texas market is huge revenue. Texas is already cherry picking the nation for players. Have an Ohio and Arizona player coming into the folds.

SEC must do something. Yea things are good now, but the future looks brighter for the Pac 10 and big 10. YUK>>>

Otto

June 10th, 2010
12:44 pm

Aaron it is one thing to be in 87% of homes but another to demand even a higher amount. The Stanley Cup was on national TV last night but did you hear anything about it?

Miami will get TV ratings.

Dave In Tampa

June 10th, 2010
12:45 pm

This stuff keeps getting more and more interesting…. Overall, there is a great chance that if this comes to reality that College Football can be ruined as we know it today.
Just curious; Does anyone see all of these changes as being a good thing for College Football? I don’t see it, but maybe can be enlightened.

Warner

June 10th, 2010
12:46 pm

2 schools from the sec are aau members? Ha what a stupid person conference.

Otto

June 10th, 2010
12:47 pm

John agreed on UF, FSU to the SEC would give them an OOC date to schedule Charleston Southern

John

June 10th, 2010
12:47 pm

SEC is not about TV footprint, they are more the match-ups.

Otto

June 10th, 2010
12:49 pm

Dave I’m hoping in turns into something good by keeping the bowl system a revived SWC in the PAC west

Scott in TX

June 10th, 2010
12:50 pm

Bill Lumberg – yeah thanks, I caught that as soon as I posted. A&M is still not an option for the SEC.

GATORZONE

June 10th, 2010
12:50 pm

Everyone is convinced that Texas is moving, but I am not so sure about that. Since they have most of the power in the BIG 12, why would they forfeit that to change to the Pac 10 or the SEC? It seems to me that Texas would look to bring in Utah, or Boise ST to their conference.

TheBroncoKid

June 10th, 2010
12:51 pm

KlemKadiddlehopper is spot on. The Big 12 should invite Boise State to fill the void left by Nebraska
BSU really needs out of the WAC and wants out of the WAC.

Dave In Tampa

June 10th, 2010
12:52 pm

Question now would be if all these teams do join the PAC-10(16) The ACC better be worried because it would only make sense for the SEC to go after teams in the southeast. What will happen IF the SEC get’s FSU, VT, Clemson, GT, UNC, NC State. There will be several ACC left in the dark. Trust me the teams mentioned above, with the exception of UNC would love to join the SEC. For some reason I don’t think UNC would jump on board so fast. It is still a basketball school.

ACC Expansion

June 10th, 2010
12:53 pm

A&M hates Texas for forcing them to the Pansy Arse Conference.
Good Bye Tailgating – Hello Pre-Game Earth Festivals

James Dockery

June 10th, 2010
12:53 pm

Okay coming as a Texan this is the reality of the situation….Texans would be tickled pink to see the big 3 of the state go to the SEC, sure. It makes historic,geographic, and cultural sense. The fact of the matter is the big whigs in austin will only accept a package deal. UT Tech & A&M have vowed to stay together NO MATTER WHAT. No one gets UT without Tech AND gay&m now…

Scott in TX

June 10th, 2010
12:53 pm

Gatorzone – it ain’t happening. Without Nebraska, the Big XII will regress, regardless of who you might add as a replacement. Taking a step backwards is NOT what Texas is about.

Cap

June 10th, 2010
12:54 pm

Otto, Miami will not bring TV ratings. People in Miami don’t watch college football. Have you ever seen a crowd at Dolphin Stadium for the Miami Hurricanes? Maybe 8000 people show up if Duke is playing there. If people in Miami don’t watch the Hurricanes they certainly don’t want to see South Carolina vs. Kentucky.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
12:55 pm

OTTO.. So true.. There was a hockey game it went into overtime so it interupted all the other programs. Otherwise, nobody would have known that a hockey game was on TB. Why they had hockey on a major network??? So true..

John

June 10th, 2010
12:55 pm

Earlier this morning Urban Meyer said on the Joe Rose Show (560 AM) that he’s all for it and that FSU and Miami would be a natural fit. He also mentioned that the SEC has a plan in place for expansion should the PAC 10 and/or BIG 10 do so, both of which seem to be inevitable. I do believe that Urban has a lot of pull with Foley. So, UF will not stop FSU or Miami, but wants them.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
12:56 pm

I type very fast. I want to say TV not TB.. sorta funny..

ACC Expansion

June 10th, 2010
12:56 pm

The SEC might consider UT and A&M, but T Tech?
We already have an Ole Miss

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
12:57 pm

If the ACC were to be proactive and not wait to see where the dominoes fall, they logically could improve the conference academically and athletically by inviting UConn, Rutgers, Syracuse and Pitt from the Big East. The first 3 are AAU schools, and Pitt is ranked #56 in USN&WR. All current ACC schools are in the “Tier 1 & 2″ rankings, and 5 are AAU members. It would improve their TV contract negotiations as well (the Big Ten is interested in Rutgers for the same reasons.)

West Virginia is a Tier 3 school and would not be a good fit for the ACC.

Dave In Tampa

June 10th, 2010
12:58 pm

I hope you right Otto!

Breaking News

June 10th, 2010
12:58 pm

Colorado just announced that it is joining the Pac 10.

http://www.cubuffs.com/

Could the Texas schools be far behind?

Reality Check

June 10th, 2010
12:58 pm

“My gut says Texas,Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma are comming.”

Ditto, this just makes sense! A&M is very conservative and has a solid fan base, along with OK & TX who obviously bring strong athletic programs and a lot of national prominence. Tech is a little quirky and I’d rather have GT for it’s TV base which would be huge, Atlanta.

aaron1979

June 10th, 2010
1:00 pm

your right otto, miami would have to get t.v. ratings because no one is at their games! also playing in a pro stadium doesn’t really fit the sec blueprint either. it’s not that i have any personal beef with miami, i just don’t think they are the right fit. cbs and espn are 100% available nationwide, the crap game is 87%.

Dave In Tampa

June 10th, 2010
1:00 pm

I agree Delbert D. That would be a good idea for the ACC to maintain.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
1:01 pm

I agree that adding a Texas or the nagging fly that invades your dinner table-that being Texas A&m would make a good fit for the SEC. Any discussion or political moves for power in negotiation. There is oil in Texas and the legislature watches the revenue from the oil, trust funds and alumni base. It is a package deal so it seems the Pac 10 will gladly take a package deal. Cannot shake up the cash flow to the other schools.

GATORZONE

June 10th, 2010
1:02 pm

ACC expansion, you have me in stitches!!! that is some funny stuff!
Rice, and New Mexico bringing credibilty to the ACC is the funniest posting yet!

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
1:03 pm

Colorado making it official with their announcement this morning effectively ends discussion of Baylor going to the PAC-10.

REM

June 10th, 2010
1:04 pm

It’s the end of the world as we know it but I feel fine.

Cuz

June 10th, 2010
1:05 pm

This just proves the Mayans were right. The world will end in league expansion in 2012.

bill lumberg

June 10th, 2010
1:07 pm

[DELBERT D---"If the ACC were to be proactive and not wait to see where the dominoes fall, they logically could improve the conference academically and athletically by inviting UConn, Rutgers, Syracuse and Pitt from the Big East."]

UCONN is not an AAU school. Check your facts. Pitt is an AAU school as is Rutgers.

Otto

June 10th, 2010
1:07 pm

Miami also helps SEC recruiting in S. Fl. Miami going elsewhere would open that up to another conf.

GT or Clemson in the SEC would bring virtually no new talent and put further competition for talent in Ga., AL, and Norht Florida.

Texas and Cali under 1 conf. creates very ruch talent pool.

In order to sell the TV contract a product must be on the field. Protecting your talent base will become more important.

Ric Flair

June 10th, 2010
1:09 pm

Whoooooooooooo!

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
1:09 pm

Best conference as of today- SEC
Best college football programs
1. Texas
2. All top four SEC teams.
SEC as of today is the best conference with the most talented teams. Texas keeps things interesting. Dont blame Texas for this scenario. Blame the Big 10 for not living up to expectations of a TV contract.

Hook em Horns..

Ric Flair

June 10th, 2010
1:10 pm

SEC should go get Virginia Tech and secure that vaunted Blacksburg market.

Bill in Montgomery

June 10th, 2010
1:12 pm

Best move is for SEC to do nothing. The league already has a multi-billion dollar TV contract with 2 networks lasting 15 years. More than 12 teams is too many. Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

Everyone says if conference A or B does Y, the SEC needs to do X? Why? Do nothing and your teams still make tons of money and have a great/realistic chance to compete for conference and national titles on a fairly regular basis. The SEC will still be the premiere football conference regardless of any realignment scenarios that may come to be. This can be explained by the passion of the fans, long-time rivalries and tradition. Don’t mess with that, I say.

Adding four more powerhouse programs only increases probabilty, YOUR team will lose more games and qualify for fewer conference championship games and win fewer conference titles through the year. Does this make fans happier?

Eventually four 16-team super conferences will lead to a 16-team playoff. Otherwise, you’d have too many tradition-rich, excellent teams being disappointed with their 8-4 or 9-3 seasons (teams would beat each other up). Ironically enough, when three or four (or five) teams from these Super Conferences get picked for the playoffs, this will kill the conference championship game. Under this scenario, why would, say, Alabama and Florida last year even want to play in a title game when they were already locks to be high-seeds in a 16-team playoff tournament (think conference basketball and baseball tourneys which are anticlimatic with the “real” tourney starting the next week). The risk of injuries and fatigue would be too great given that it would have no bearing on the ultimate prize. I’m anti-playoff, pro tradition, but the super conference move would expedite move to Div. I-AA type playoff. Good bye bowl games, etc.

Law of unintended consequences: You’d lose your “Money cow” championship game by going to 16-team conferences (which are too big anyway).

Someone explain to me why the SEC has to expand if others expand. Would the league and its members automatically/certainly make more money? Do they even need more money? Would you lose traditional annual rivalry games (like UA-UT)? Would the logistics for minor sports and travel be worth it? Would your league suddenly be irrelevant if it didn’t expand? Of course not.

I agree with a previous poster, let the other conferences make a mistake and go to 16 teams. SEC doesn’t need to do anything. Change for sake of change is not smart.

Yeppie

June 10th, 2010
1:13 pm

Texas and the top SEC teams are by far the most dominating TV revenue areas. I think the Big 10 which cannot compete with a Texas or a solid SEC team on the football field was losing viewers and they had to expand.
Predictions: Just for grins
BCS champ game for the next 4 years
Texas versus SEC champ. The SEC is that good.

reebok

June 10th, 2010
1:13 pm

The Pac 10 is about to be the Pac 16. The Big 10 is about to become the Big 13 or 14. The Big 12 is dead. The SEC will add G Tech, FSU, Maimi and V-Tech. The ACC will raid the Big East for a few schools and become a pure hoops conference.

That’s the consensus…no BS or preconceived notions or other crap…that I’m getting from ESPN, Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports, etc.

Delbert D.

June 10th, 2010
1:14 pm

Dave In Tampa – I made a mistake in my post on the Big East Schools; Pitt, not UConn, is one of the 3 AAU members. All 4 schools are ranked between #56 and #66 by USN&WR.