What we know, don’t know, about expansion

After a weekend filled with travel, some fact, and whole bunch of speculation, here is where I think we are this Monday morning on the subject of conference expansion:

WHAT WE KNOW

1. Colorado (Pac-10) and Nebraska (Big Ten) have already left the Big 12. There is an offer on the table for Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State to move West and form the Pac-16. That would leave the Big 12 with five schools (Kansas, Kansas State, Missouori, Iowa State, Baylor) looking for new homes or trying to rebuild its league.

2. Texas A&M, showing a streak of independence, may not want to follow Big Brother Texas to the Pac-16. The Aggies want the Longhorns to know that they have options too: That’s why there is this flirtation with the SEC.  Texas A&M has played LSU and Arkansas over the years and culturally, some people in College Station feel it would be a better fit than playing on the Left Coast.

3. Various media reports had SEC commissioner Mike Slive in College Station, Texas, over the weekend. The SEC would not confirm this and commissioner Slive did not return a call seeking confirmation. But I do know this: Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne was not in College Station this weekend. He was at a family gathering in Idaho.

4. Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe has huddled with his television partners and come up with a plan to hold the 10 remaining members of his conference together. It would guarantee a lot more television revenue with a new deal and Texas would get to start its own network, something it may not be able to do in the Pac-16. It makes sense.  ESPN is just got out of one bidding war with FOX for the ACC television package. Would the Worldwide Leader want to get into another one for the newly-created Pac-16? It is in ESPN’s interest to do what’s necessary to hold the rest of the Big 12 together. And if that means putting a bunch of extra money on the table, so be it.  Beebe, I have it on pretty good authority, will not be at this week’s meetings of the conference commissioners out in California. He will be busy trying to save his conference. 

5. We should get a lot of clarity this week: The Texas and Texas Tech board of regents meet on Tuesday to discuss this. Oklahoma’s board of regents meets Wednesday. But, as SI.com’s Andy Staples reports, the Higher Education Committee of the Texas State House will hold hearings on Wednesday. Under the proposal on the table, the Pac-16 would invite all of the Texas schools in the Big 12 but Baylor.  Remember that Texas Governor Ann Richards pulled out her guns to get Baylor (her alma mater) into the Big 12 back in the early 90s. Their ain’t no mix like Texas politics and football. Could Baylor get shoe-horned into the Pac-16 if that is the only way to get the deal done?

FIVE THINGS WHAT WE DON’T KNOW

1. Would the SEC take Texas A&M without Oklahoma? Normally you want a traveling partner when you seek to change conference affiliation. Could Slive make the case to Oklahoma that it doesn’t need  to follow Texas? Not sure about that. OU athletics director Joe Castiglione has made it pretty clear that his school is linked with Texas.

2. If Texas A&M goes to the SEC, would that throw a lifeline to Kansas to the Pac-16?  The Jayhawks and their proud basketball tradition have been treated like the ugly cousin nobody talks to at the family reunion. But if Texas A&M goes to the SEC, the idea of a yearly basketball game (or two) between Kansas and UCLA might be appealing. But what if the Texas politicians strong-arm Baylor into the Pac-10 instead? That would be a bitter pill for Kansas to swallow.

3. If the Texas exodus to the Pac-10 does not happen, does that throw a lifeline to Utah to be the 12th member? Don’t get me wrong, but I don’t see where the Pac-10 has really upgraded (at least from a TV numbers standpoint) if Colorado and Utah are the only teams that come on board.

4. What will Texas do? Despite all the reports that Texas to the Pac-10 is a done deal, school officials insisted over the weekend that all options are still on the table. It can stay in a Big 12 that has only 10 teams but a whole lot of new money (which it will get a larger chunk of) or it can go West. But understand this. All of these schools that don’t want to be seen as following Texas are basically going to have to get over it. “Texas is driving this bus,” a former coach in that part of the world told me. “Folks are going to have to get used to that.”

5. Will the Big Ten stop at 12? If you’re an SEC fan, this is the conference you should be watching. Even if there is a Pac-16 with Texas and Oklahoma in it, I don’t think the SEC will feel compelled to expand. And if the SEC gets Texas A&M and adds another school (insert your favorite team here) then it could stop at 14. That puts the SEC into the Texas market and makes their television package more valuable. That would be seen as a win for the SEC.

But if the Big Ten exercises the nuclear option and goes to 16, the SEC will have some intresting decisions to make. Under that scenario I once thought the SEC would look to the ACC. I no longer feel strongly that will be the case.

It’s going to be an interesting week folks. Stay tuned.

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554 comments Add your comment

Tim James

June 14th, 2010
11:00 am

The blogospehere in Birmingham and Mobile is ablaze with rumors of Auburn going to the Sunbelt. I doubt it’s true–maybe, but doubtful. Troy is on the rise, and that makes Lee County uncomfortable.

fbfan

June 14th, 2010
11:01 am

Really – we crossed in our last posts. I think Maryland is much, much, much more likely to join the Big10 than the SEC. Why? Because it CAN, and would be a much better fit in the Big10.

Hal

June 14th, 2010
11:01 am

I see no advantage for the SEC to take a ACC team. I do see an advantage for the Big 10 expanding their market in the south and more so in Atlanta for the TV market and as a recruiting exposure in the heart of the south when their teams visit. If the SEC gets Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Texas it will be harder for UGA to ever win and National Championship. Ga. Tech may get invited by the BIg 10 if they get an invitation anywhere.

bull-gator

June 14th, 2010
11:04 am

My prediction: the new Pac 12 will not add another school. Big 12 will add TCU and SMU. Big 10+2 will not expand any further with the addition of Nebraska. SEC stands pat. Now Pac 12 and Big 10+2 will now schedule a conference championship game. This sets up a perfect playoff system between the five major football conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big 10+2, Pac 12, and SEC). 12 teams in a national championship playoff; 5 conference champs and the five runners up, plus two at large teams from the highest rankings at the end of the regular season (read Big East/Mountain West,etc.) Did I miss anything?

fbfan

June 14th, 2010
11:06 am

Hal,

GaTech is an AAU school (recent addition to that research-strong group), and has been rumored, along with Vandy (also an AAU school) to be on Delany’s Big10 expansion radar. See his remarks early on about population shifts to the South being one of the things the Big10 has to be pro-active in addressing….

Think about how many more seats GT as a Big10 member could add to its stadium, and be sure to sell each week, if only to the gazillion Big10 alumni who live in metro Atlanta, It’d be like how the Hawks draw at Phillips Arena when big Northern teams come to play, or how the Braves draw for the Cubs and Mets.

Heck, even I’d be very tempted to get GT season tickets, to be able to watch some Big10 teams play in Atlanta (and scalp the other weeks).

Hoss

June 14th, 2010
11:09 am

The only one who benefits from SEC adding OU and aTm is the SEC. Why would they, especially OU, turn away from their rivalry/recruiting base in Texas and open it up to the SEC? Noticably absent in recent TX recruiting (compared to previous SWC abilities)? Arkansas.

Agreed that culture and geography make easier fit, but no way OU is going to self-inflict this wound. 95% of their roster is from Texas.

5IML

June 14th, 2010
11:09 am

If the Big XII -2 can hold it together with 10 members, it will make the Pac 10+1 look foolish. Colorado adds no value to any conference. In the Orangebloods article Tony referenced, the Big XII actually improved when Colorado left.

Who will the Pac 10+1 look to add as the twelfth member? Utah? British Columbia?

Beast from the East

June 14th, 2010
11:11 am

You guys need to tune into ESPN. They are reporting it’s going to be announced tomorrow or as early as today that UT, TT, OU and OSU ARE going to the PAC10. They are also reporting that A&M wants to break ties and come to the SEC. Again, Joe Schad is citing at least four sources within the conference. Said Beebe could not convince those 5 schools to stay in the Big 12 and try to hold it together.
Tony, what have you heard on this?

Jimmy

June 14th, 2010
11:11 am

HAHA Texas A&M- what have they won since 1940? Why doesn’t the SEC add Texas State and SMU and Rice while you’re out there, then you’ll have your 16.

There are two ways to add value to your TV package- adding new geographical markets AND adding good football programs that will increase your # of intriguing match-ups, rivalries, and level of play. I see that the SEC has chosen the former thus far, and is apparently scared of the good, available FB programs within the SE. A&M brings nothing to the table FB-wise, they couldn’t win anything in the Big XII, so when they continue to suck don’t say it’s because of the SEC.

fbfan

June 14th, 2010
11:11 am

bull-gator -

You got most of it, but did miss one thing:

Pac is only Pac11 with Colorado. Needs a 12th. I hope its the Utes.

AND you likely missed another:

I think A&M to the SEC is likely a done-deal, just not yet announced. Which means the SEC needs to add a 14th team, which I think a good many people hope is either Oklahoma or Virginia Tech.

Why add A&M? This is the one-and-only time that I think A&M is going to be available, and it brings SO MUCH with it that Slive has surely determined that it’s a no-brainer. I bet that its addition alone would be a net-plus of extra $$ to each conference school, especially when the 14th team from outside the SEC’s current footprint is added.

PMC

June 14th, 2010
11:14 am

A&M had a pretty good program under RC Slocum. I’m not really sure what has happened to them since Dat Nguyen was there.

fbfan

June 14th, 2010
11:15 am

Beast from the East -

I think the A&M to SEC reporting is likely true, but the other bit, about Texas,TTU,OU, and OSU to the Pac is likely stale news, given what Texas is reported as having done with Big12-2 today.

Why? ESPN has been SO behind on the expansion story.

But you might be right. We’ll just have to see.

Yeppie

June 14th, 2010
11:15 am

More rumors… Not sure if truly credible, ???
TEXAS agreed to stay in the remaining big 12… Apparently the big 12 commish is forcing new TV contracts with huge revenue. ESPN is willing to dish out big bucks to keep Texas in network, hence they do not want a competitive West coast media to get an upper hand in the market.
COULD THIS BE TRUE… It is being reported but just find strange as this should have been done last month if not sooner.

jj

June 14th, 2010
11:15 am

SEC fans are annoying

cursive

June 14th, 2010
11:16 am

Out Super-Conference the “PAC 16″. Go after Va Tech, Ga Tech, FSU, UNC, Oklahoma, Texas, hell go after all of them. The benefit of playing in the SEC would be a boon to any team that would get an invite…

DawgDad

June 14th, 2010
11:17 am

As an older sports fan (not quite Sr. Citizen yet) all this realignment stuff is a bit disconcerting. It’s one thing for smaller schools and schools where athletics is not the institutional priority to realign, quite another when the big-boys start shuffling around like this. Fact is, the Big-8 lit a delayed fuse time bomb when it absorbed Texas along with the remaining SW Conference schools. Politically, Texas dominated the conference and ran roughshod over the interests of many of the older members like Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska. A LOT of tradition is being destroyed here, and that tradition is a key foundation piece of the value of these programs. I come to Atlanta from Missouri (born and grew up there), and this explosion of the Big-12 makes me sick.

Kanasas, K-State, and Missouri need to move forward together, wherever that may land them. I’d throw Iowa State in there, too, although to a lesser degree. These teams link well with Arkansas in the SEC West, but adding some or all of them kind of destroys the meaning of “SEC”, right?

I don’t get the whole Texas A&M thing. Be careful what you wish for.

Let’s name all these new conferences “Money Grab East”, “Money Grab West”, “Money Grab Central”, etc. That’s all it’s about; it is not about the athletes, the students, or the alumni, and the next time I see an NCAA add touting the “tradition of college athletics” I think I’ll puke. Absorb a Texas into the SEC now and you can bet the SEC will fly apart at the seams like the Big-12 in the next decade. Do you really want UGA, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi, and Florida football/athletic interests to be subservient to the profit-chasing Longhorn interests? I don’t think so. SEC, think carefully before you act.

RamblinRed

June 14th, 2010
11:20 am

Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com, who has been one of the early reporters on this from the beginning – it was his report that started the whole PAC-16 talk, is just breaking with a report that Texas has decided to stay in the Big 12 and not go to the PAC-10. The money numbers they looked at this weekend was that the remaining Big 12 schools could end up with $14-17 per year after next season. it would also allow TX to start its own TV network.

Brown said an announcement could come as early as this afternoon. If this happens then the ball is in A&M’s court. Would they stay in a 10 team Big 12 or go to a now likely 13 team SEC. if they went to the SEC then TX and the 3 others would likely back out of the Big 12, if TX A&M stays then the Big 12 might survive after all with the PAC-10 then offering Utah to get to 12 so they could have a CG.

Alot of different rumors still are coming out – all we can do is wait and see what happens in the next 2-3 days.

http://texas.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1094038

jj

June 14th, 2010
11:22 am

i heard the new york giants are joining the big east…people, please this is all to do about nothing once its done

Balderdash

June 14th, 2010
11:22 am

The SEC will add Texas A&M and Georgia Tech.

BigTimeTECHFan

June 14th, 2010
11:23 am

what if the Big 12 (10) added
Utah
TCU
Houston
Boise St

They would end up being a better conf then before Nebraska and Colorado left. That would be nice and PAC Ten loses out big time

Yankee Down South

June 14th, 2010
11:23 am

fban – I will just concede that I have no idea how the MD-BigTen courtship may play out, but here are a few things I believe are pretty much consensus among people that follow the Big Ten closely:

- I think Maryland and Rutgers are the top candidates after UT and ND. I believe many in the BigTen think Maryland/Rutgers is very much like another Wisconsin/MSU in a major media market. Not necessarily in football performance, but great fits academically, institutionally, and overall athletic department profile. By adding Neb, the BigTen can focus less on football competitiveness and more on other major factors. Like you said, Maryland brings 2 new huge markets and is AAU, but also a new state (2 new senators to help vote thru research grants to BigTen institutions), a significant research presence, a solid to great undergrad experience, and a relatively good cultural fit. These ARE big factors for the Big Ten whether they are for other conferences.

- I don’t think anything happens with Rutgers, Maryland, or other East Coast teams until this Big 12 mess gets sorted out. I don’t see the BigTen making a move until Texas is off the table in one way or another. If some way, some how (not saying it’ll happen), Jim Delany can snag UT without too much collateral damage (re: Texas Tech), Notre Dame will join the BigTen and its expansion may stop there.

ND administration can read the tea leaves, understand they’ll probably need to join a conference eventually and need an excuse to tell their alumni why they’re capitulating. Adding UT and either MD/Rutgers allows ND to play a ‘national’ schedule (Midwest, USC, NYC/DC, Texas) that they cherish. But I don’t think that scenario is very likely. I think UT ends up in the Pac-whatever or forms some temporarily reformed Big 12 because the BigTen isn’t going to give Texas special TV considerations for their Longhorn Sports Network.

- If UT is off the table and the Pac-10 has ended up at an even number of 12 or 16, I think the Big Ten takes a couple different routes. Depending on how they feel about pulling the NYC market, they may focus more on an Rut/Cuse/ND/Pitt combo. If they think they can pull NYC with just Rutgers/ND and UM/PSU/OSU/Neb, I think you see them go after MD and either Pitt or UVa, but only UVa if the SEC takes VT, freeing up UVa to leave the ACC.

As far as rumors, there are several connections. While the MD athletic director said they won’t leave the ACC, I honestly don’t think ADs other than the notable exception of Tom Osborne will have much to do with talking to the Big Ten until a decision has been made and schedules and stuff like that need to be worked out. The Chancellor of the UMD system is a former Ohio State provost (academic) that has worked with the influential OSU President Gordan Gee (former Vandy head). I really don’t know if this actually means anything.

Ultimately, the decision rests in MD’s hands. Their situation and history in the ACC are good enough that they can just stay put if they wish, while on the other hand, the BigTen offers enough pros and improvements that it may be in their best interest to join. I honestly don’t know. I think the answer to the question ‘Would MD join the BigTen if they had the chance?’ depends as much on what UT does and whom the SEC may snag as it does their interest in the Big Ten. If the SEC grabs institutions like Clemson and VT, I see a lot more interest coming out of MD.

Common sense

June 14th, 2010
11:24 am

Texas A&M contributes nothing to the SEC… why are we wasting our time?

The SEC’s contract with CBS and ESPN assures that SEC games will be on TV sets all across the country (including Texas and California) every week of the college football season.

There is no stipulation in that contract, at least none that I’ve found, which allows the conference to re-negotiate the deal in the event of expansion/contraction. That means the SEC is likely locked-in to this deal for the next 14 years.

If the SEC can’t re-work its deal, A&M and the mystery 14th member would just be taking away from the shares of media revenue that current members take home. Given the fact that A&M is a middle-of-the-road Big XII school, its not really an addition that would make ESPN say “we need to re-negotiate our contract and give the SEC more money!” Think about it, aside from the Thanksgiving game against Texas, how many times were the Aggies on ESPN or ESPN2 last season?

Their athletic department is in debt. Their football team isn’t very good. They aren’t a “sexy” match-up. Seriously, I don’t see the benefit of adding A&M.

fbfan

June 14th, 2010
11:26 am

DawgDad –

I agree that the SEC should not now or ever invite Texas to join (unless and until the SEC leveled the money playing field along Big10 lines, which I gather is unlikely – see UF). But A&M is a great addition to the SEC, because A&M doesn’t insist on things like a Texas network, likely a championship game at JerryWorld, etc. As noted by others, A&M not only brings more eyeballs, and a new footprint, but fertile recruiting ground. It’s also a good cultural fit, which not many other potential expansion candidates would be.

Yeppie

June 14th, 2010
11:28 am

Copied from an article

http://www.burntorangenation.com/2010/6/11/1514507/why-does-aggie-want-into-the-sec

Why the aggies continue to believe that a move to the SEC would be in their best interest befuddles all logic and reason. Well, okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh. I shouldn’t say it like that. There are “reasons”, but being aggie reasons, to say they’re flawed is like saying that Omar al-Bashir is simply “misunderstood”. Let’s take a look at some of the things I’ve heard bantered about on the interwebs by various ags in support of a move to the SEC.

Reason 1: “We’ll (a&m) be able to recruit at the Texas/OU level once we join the SEC.”

No – you won’t. I honestly don’t understand this argument at all. Let me see if I understand this correctly. Texas, OU, Texas Tech and oSu are going to be joining a super conference, getting a major television contract that encompasses 7 of the U.S.’s 20 largest television markets, are probably going to be a part of their own conference network; yet Texas a&m fans are convinced that the SEC is going to give the ags leverage in recruiting? Do you think Texas and OU are going to be on t.v. less once they join a league with USC and UCLA? Maybe the aggies are thinking they’ll fare better in recruiting once Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Auburn, USC, UCLA, and Arizona St. all have conference in-roads to the state? I mean they haven’t fared well in recruiting battles with Texas, OU or LSU the past decade or so, but I’m sure once they’re taking on an additional half dozen or so major recruiting competitors things will get much easier. Oh and I feel obligated to point out that yes, bringing in the SEC teams might mean that instead of getting 23 of the 25 blue chips UT has targeted in Texas, they might only get 18 or 19. Of course the Horns and the Sooners will also be playing in the second most talent-rich state (California) on a semi-regular basis and due to brand identity will have their games across all sports broadcast and promoted with intense regularity in the California market. A market that has exactly ONE football super power. And that one has just been slapped in the face by NCAA, thus somewhat neutering them on the recruiting trail for the next two or three years. Somehow I think Texas and OU will find a way to make up the difference. In addition, recruits like teams that can win, which dovetails nicely into reason number two.

Reason 2: “The SEC plays the best football in America!”

Yes, yes they do. Unfortunately the aggies have struggled to remain competitive in a much weaker Big XII. Joining the SEC isn’t some magic potion. Just because you’re in a league with Florida and Alabama doesn’t mean you’re suddenly going to begin playing football like them. There aren’t any Baylors or Iowa States to pad wins in the SEC. You might think you’ll be gaining a recruiting advantage by signing up with the SEC (you won’t), but any perceived advantage is going to be put to bed once those 3-8 and 2-9 seasons start piling up. And they will. Nobody stays on top in the SEC for an extended period of time anymore because it’s just too brutal; but there are teams that never even make it there. Just ask Mississippi State.

Reason 3: “We’ll make boatloads more money than UT in the SEC.”

No – you won’t. Look the SEC makes money hand over fist right now no doubt. But they’re basically locked-in with television rights. ESPN has already paid them. ESPN has already got the goods on an SEC network. That deals done. The pie has been served. Now you’re just talking about putting it on more plates. Might they be able to re-negotiate? Possibly. The Pac-10 on the other hand is about to get a brand new television deal. If they’re able to bring Texas and some of their cousins into the fold, the networks will be backing up banks (like, the actual buildings – vaults and all) to the SuperPac’s door. Even if the SEC is able to negotiate a better t.v. deal though, you’re still not going to make as much money as Texas. Texas leads the nation in revenue, is first or second in merchandise sales, and I suspect is one of the two or three highest rating producers in the country. None of that is going to decrease by Texas moving to a super conference. That’s why every conference in the country is basically promising anal if we go out with them.

Reason 4: “Going to the SEC will give us a chance to get out from under UT’s shadow.”

Ah, the real crux of the problem, imo. It appears that there are factions at a&m *cough, Dollar Bill, cough*, that are tired of playing second fiddle to the Longhorns and see a move to the SEC as the only way to “break out”. The problem with this is two-fold. For one, no one loves a loser, and that’s exactly what a&m is poised to be (at least football-wise) in the SEC. For another, if a&m actually succeeds in losing its connection with UT, it loses a major piece of itself. It is almost internet tradition to vainly argue whose fan base is more obsessed with whom, but let’s be serious for a moment. Texas a&m thrives on its rivalry with UT. If I had to guess I’d say about 50% of a&m’s traditions in some way or shape are in relation to the University of Texas. For a school that prides itself so much on its traditions I find it odd that a&m is willing to give them up. Yes Texas has traditions that are reflective of a&m, no doubt, but none approach the intensity or regularity of those that a&m reserves for Texas. And make no mistake, if a&m bolts to the SEC instead of group hugging it to the SuperPac, the two universities will be athletically severed for at the very least, the remainder of the current administration. I know a few Longhorns that would be very sad to see that rivalry die; but I don’t know any aggies personally that won’t be devastated.

So where does that leave us? Personally I hope the aggies do go to the SEC. I like the idea of the new SuperPac adding Utah instead. Let’s be frank, Texas is going to deliver 80% of the Texas market. Granted the remaining 20% is still a large populous, but I’d think the Utah/Salt Lake market is comparable. Plus Utah gives the new West SuperPac division some diversity and fresh blood. Also, they play better football. So they’ve got that going for them which is nice. I also think it’d be great to see yet another Texas rival mosey on to the SEC only to find the going rougher than a sheep’s life in College Station. I’m thinking a&m’s best case scenario in the SEC would be South Carolina. Worst case? Probably Mississippi State.Y’all have fun with that.

All that said I just don’t see it happening. I think at the end of the day the argument for going with Texas is just too strong for the aggie leadership to ignore. Not only will they be appealing to tradition (something aggies claim to love), but I think there’s enough of them that realize the danger in not joining Texas in a new conference, of letting Texas widen the financial and athletic gap even more, is too great to ignore. I don’t think there’s anyone currently at a&m that wants that as their legacy.

CAFEEJ

June 14th, 2010
11:29 am

The University of Maryland athletic directory Debbie Yow stated that she has not been contacted by the Big 10. There is some speculation that the Terps would be a good fit as the Big 10 would get a huge media market (Washington-Baltimore = 7 million+) and that it has the profile of a Big 10 school (large research institution). Since the ACC seems the odd-man out in all this, would this make sense for the Terps?

Contractor

June 14th, 2010
11:32 am

Tony,

I personally don’t see Texas A&M as an upgrade to the SEC. It’s like the Pac-10 taking Colorado, and they haven’t beefed up anything as a result of that. Mike Slive is a man I take, that will make a splash or no splash when it comes to the Southeastern Conference. Texas A&M is not a splash in my eyes, so I don’t just see them coming. They would have to have a partner join in the eyes of Oklahoma or Texas. Can you honestly think and see the Aggies coming alone, and that being the “we won’t sit still” decision of Mr. Slive?

fbfan

June 14th, 2010
11:32 am

Yeppie -

I will admit that I didn’t read your entire post, because it ignores what seems to be a Big12-2 done deal, with the only questions being whether A&M and possibly one other school (OU?) would be replaced, as someone else noted above. The Pac16 appears thus to be a no-go.

Delbert D.

June 14th, 2010
11:34 am

“And then offer VA. Tech and get that Virginia market.”

The University of Virginia market is heavily-populated northern Virginia/D.C./Richmond, and the Virginia Tech markets (SW Virginia on the West Virginia border) are Blacksburg and Roanoke. The next largest city close to Blacksburg is Greensboro, NC.

fbfan

June 14th, 2010
11:35 am

TO several commenting about Maryland to the Big10:

Fascinating for the Big10 if that happens, and, as someone noted, if UVa were to join the Big10, too, after a VT to SEC move. That possibility, by the way, is probably one of the biggest reasons why the VA legislature might not mind one little bit if VT were to split from UVa to have VT go to the SEC….

Yeppie

June 14th, 2010
11:37 am

fbfan,
You bring up a very interesting scenario… I know it was a long article but is sure did bring clarity about atm.

Yankee Down South

June 14th, 2010
11:37 am

I’m a transplanted fan down here, so I follow the SEC but you couldn’t call me a born-and-bred SEC fan. So to that breed of SEC fan, the true, hardcore SEC football fan, which institutions would you like to see added to the SEC?

As an outsider, I feel like WVU and Kansas are great options for the SEC but no one seems interested. Outside of the obvious (UT, A&M, Clemson, FSU), they seem to be big names that can draw the average sports fan to watch. WVU seems like a natural fit and brings a basketball program while Kansas brings someone to beat up on and a top-5 basketball program.

I understand expansion isn’t going to be based on basketball, but I really think the SEC could benefit from having some decent (not great) football additions that have brand names to put people in front of the TV while significantly improving the basketball situation. I already hear enough about the meat-grinder SEC schedule, so maybe add brand names that won’t make it worse while adding schools with a following.

Any thoughts from a strictly superficial point of view (not counting populations, demographics, etc)?

fbfan

June 14th, 2010
11:38 am

Contractor -

I hope Tony answers your question about A&M coming to the SEC by itself, with a 14th team to be added later (perhaps hours or days later, probably not months later). I’d like to know what he thinks about it.

One thing that would need to go into his thinking is all of the reporting about A&M’s courtship by the SEC, which does not appear to have included the requirement of another team as part of A&M’s invitation….

Common sense

June 14th, 2010
11:41 am

Kudos to Texas for finding their cash cow. I have a feeling that the Pac 16 doesn’t last long.

Something tells me that the Pac’s equal revenue distribution won’t make Texas too happy. If the Longhorns succeed in changing that to proportional distribution, there might be some bad blood developing (a la Big XII).

If its not the money than it will be the Pac 10 network. There will either be the Pac 10 Network (something the conference has said it strongly desires) or the Texas Sports Network (something the Longhorns have said they strongly desire). You can’t have both. There will be a fight over this… go ahead and write it down.

The cost of travel is too much to ignore. Yes, football can pay for a flight from Austin to Los Angeles. But what about a school like Texas Tech where a plane ride to Pullman, WA for a softball game is an expensive venture? Non-revenue sports are going to suffer the most here… student-athletes are going to spend more time on the road than in the classroom and schools are going to be shocked at just how difficult it is to field non-revenue sports over such expansive territory.

By the time the SEC’s TV deal comes up for re-negotiation in 14 years, the Pac 16 may well have crashed and burned.

aggie94

June 14th, 2010
11:41 am

Historically what happened to GT , when they left SEC and GA? Still hated rivalry or did some other sports suffer i.e. when UT and TAMU play in any sport…lots of passion, hatred and money.(UT has already threatened to end competition if TAMU goes to SEC). Don’t get me wrong I do want to leave the shadow of UT, but economics are important across the board.

Dave In Tampa

June 14th, 2010
11:41 am

Just me, but I think the perfect scenario would be grabbing OU & A&M. Forget about the Longhorns. That’s a done deal with the PAC-10. The SEC would not need to go to a 16 team conference if they can get these two colleges. Just an opinion.

Delbert D.

June 14th, 2010
11:42 am

If Mike Slive is spending any significant amount of time on Duke/UNC, the SEC presidents should let him know he’s going to get a salary cut instead of a bonus.

griffindawg

June 14th, 2010
11:44 am

Come on and join the SEC Texas A&M and Oklahoma, yall can be in the west and AU can come over the the east and the SEC will continue to dominate!

fbfan

June 14th, 2010
11:45 am

If y’all want a sampling of the uncertainty, put this google search link in your browser and press enter:

http://news.google.com/news/story?pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&topic=s&ncl=dQdNaxKq3XgDvIMO75L98Do8wxDLM&scoring=n

It’s amazing the different takes on things, but it seems likely that Joe Schad’s ESPN reporting is wrong, and the Big12-2 reporting is right.

Time will tell …

Dave In Tampa

June 14th, 2010
11:45 am

Yea, I don’t understand the UNC/Duke involement with Slive as well? If it’s just for Academic purposes, then I get it. However, it would hurt the SEC from a football perspective. The SEC is about football when it comes to athletics not basketball.

Contractor

June 14th, 2010
11:46 am

Yankee Down South,

To be honest, I don’t think this decision will be based on any sport, but football, no matter what is said. Maybe that’s just the southern football fanatic in me, but that’s the meat and potatoes of the SEC. The SEC boast pretty decent basketball teams, real good baseball teams, good track teams, golf, etc, but football brings in the most revenue by far. I would like to see the SEC take Florida State, Miami, Georgia Tech, and Clemson. Keep it the SOUTHEASTERN Conference, while bringing those teams would bring back old rivalries with Georgia-Clemson, the Florida schools playing each other for conference supremacy, Georgia Tech back to the SEC to start back up old rivalries, etc. Forget California, Georgia and Florida are the ultimate hotbeds of prep talent in the country, so why not sew the state of Florida and Georgia up to the SEC? I’m 26 years old, but I am a traditionalist and want things to remain the same as the old days, so I don’t want to see a Kansas, West Virginia, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, or even Texas join.

GeezusDawg

June 14th, 2010
11:49 am

If the SEC added Kansas, that would send the ACC straight into the Big East cabinet – they couldn’t stand the thought of a better basketball conference out there.

Delbert D.

June 14th, 2010
11:50 am

Listening to Chip Brown or OrangeBloods talking to ESPN, my impression is that Beebe is counting TV money that is not going to be there. A 10-member Big 12 triples their TV revenue, and all ten Big-12 get SEC-type money? When did China suddenly get a sudden need for college football?

fbfan

June 14th, 2010
11:50 am

Contractor -

My wishes mirror yours, except for Miami …

BUT …

Unless I’ve been VERY misled, the following teams are NOT going to be part of the SEC, not because of TV eyeball reasons, but old-fashioned hate/resentment/protect existing school’s turf reasons:

FSU
Miami
GT
Clemson

Each can (and will) continue to be scheduled by its hated rival(s) who are in the SEC club, but will not be invited to join that exclusive club, for by doing so, each club member protects its market position, and can continue to look down on its less-well-positioned rival.

Beast from the East

June 14th, 2010
11:55 am

fbfan,
ESPN just has the reporter from orangebloods on. Now they’re saying that the Big 12 will stay together. Who knows what going to happen?

Beast from the East

June 14th, 2010
11:57 am

Delbert,
That was too damn funny!

G8R GRAD

June 14th, 2010
11:57 am

If, as just reported, Texas is saying it is staying put, then A & M is really driving the bus.
If the Aggies bolt for the SEC, then all hell breaks loose and I think the powers that be see this a opportunity to negotiate a better deal for A & M’s revenue sharing position.
Texas has hitherto been getting a lion’s share of the Big 12 money, but the pie might be getting sliced a little more equitably with the SEC courting the Aggies so aggressively.

Atlanta Gator

June 14th, 2010
11:57 am

fbfan and others—-

Once again, I must pour cold water on this idea that the University of Florida would veto Florida State from joining the SEC. Simply not true. False. Wrong. Incorrect. Erroneous. Fictional.

Florida wants Florida State in the SEC, and that was confirmed by public comments from both Urban Meyer and Jeremy Foley this past week. Any time the Seminoles want to accept an invitation to join the SEC, all they need to do is phone Gainesville. The Gators will be happy to relay the message to commissioner and sponsor the Seminoles’ application for membership.

Why, you ask? Because it would be in Florida’s best interests to get FSU under the same tent:

1. It would simplify football scheduling, and open up a slot for other home-and-away series for the Gators without reducing the UAA’s existing revenue model that funds all of the other good to outstanding Gators sports teams. It would also help scheduling for all other sports; the Gators play the Seminoles in every men’s and women’s sport other than lacrosse (the Noles don’t have a team).

2. It would ensure that the Seminoles must play an annual conference schedule of nearly identical difficulty every year, thus not affording FSU any advantage in the annual football rivalry. That, however, is exactly why Bobby Bowden “vetoed” SEC membership in 1990, and why Jimbo Fisher and the FSU powers-that-be would probably not accept an SEC invitation in 2010.

Florida and Florida State already share the same media markets and the same principal recruiting grounds, but presently Florida is better able to cherry-pick on a national basis. None of that would change if FSU joined the SEC. There’s really no downside for the Gators if the Seminoles decided to “man up,” as the kids say these days.

FSU and Texas A&M would both be great additions to the SEC, but the Seminoles didn’t want it 20 years ago and the most likely don’t want it in 2010. You can lead Renegade to water, but you can’t make him drink.

fbfan

June 14th, 2010
11:57 am

Beast from the East,

See the articles that come up with this, and refresh every few minutes:

http://news.google.com/news/story?pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&topic=s&ncl=dQdNaxKq3XgDvIMO75L98Do8wxDLM&scoring=n

See also the TexAgs football forum, and refresh it. too:

http://www.texags.com/main/forum.topic.asp?forum_id=5&days=2

Between the two, you’ll be fairly up-to-date on “the action.”

Anti-alternative

June 14th, 2010
11:59 am

Yankee Down South

June 14th, 2010
11:59 am

Contractor – Fair enough. I can definitely respect keeping the culture and feel of the conference together with those additions. I’m big on tradition as well.

I totally agree that football is what will make this happen. I just was curious to get thoughts on adding a *brand* rather than a football powerhouse. The Detroit Lions went 2-30 the last two years but would obviously dominate a college team, my point being that there isn’t a reason to add teams like FSU, Miami, VT, and A&M. Someone still has to lose if everyone is good, so maybe go for someone who, while still a big name in college sports, is a little more used to not being the alpha dog in football.

As a Detroit sports fan, we have grown to accept the Lions ineptitude over the past 50 years as long as we have the Wings, Tigers, and Pistons to cheer on (although it’s particularly painful to have all three of our football teams suck including UM and MSU). Not a direct analogy, but maybe go for a school that can add in other ways, like I think a Kansas or Louisville would. They don’t expect to win 10 games every year in football. But they’ll bring a large number of followers to watch the games and compete in other sports, which I think is a win for the SEC.