Does an expanded SEC without a Texas school make sense?

sec logoI’ve said before here that I don’t think the SEC should consider adding teams unless it expands its geographic (read: television) footprint — specifically, into the state of Texas.

It only makes sense to add teams in states where the SEC already has members if you’re filling out a 16-team league that has expanded the conference’s borders. Sure, a Clemson or Florida State would be a good match in terms of tradition and on-field product for the existing SEC membership, but the conference wouldn’t gain much in terms of market reach by adding them, although the Seminoles are a big-name program with a national profile.

However, if Texas and Texas A&M really do join a mass exodus of six programs from the Big 12 to the PAC 10, as has been rumored — and that’s a mighty big if, I think, where the Longhorns and Aggies are concerned — Mike Slive and the SEC presidents are going to be under increasing pressure to react.

(I still think that if it’s apparent the Big 12 is falling apart, Texas and/or Texas A&M might find the financial setup of the SEC, where teams can sell their own ancillary media rights to supplement the CBS/ESPN deal, more attractive than the sort of league-takes-all arrangement they’ll likely see in the PAC.)

If the Texas schools do go to the PAC, though, might the SEC still expand its geographic reach by peeling Virginia Tech away from the ACC? Does the new, richer TV deal the ACC recently signed mean it will be more difficult to lure the Hokies or Clemson or FSU into the SEC? If so, where else might the conference look?

Finally, does the SEC even need to expand, no matter what other conferences do? A good case can be made that standing pat with the 12 teams it has now be the safest move in the midst of all the ensuing turmoil as the Big 12 (and probably Big East) get dismembered.

One thing you can be sure of: The SEC will be looking to its financial bottom line in whatever it does. And that’s a good thing for Georgia.

This is going to get really interesting.

150 comments Add your comment

Spike

June 4th, 2010
2:53 pm

Go Jackets.. Your point is laughable. Tech has beaten UGA once in the last eight years. What makes you think GT could hang with the SEC year in and year out with UF, Bama, LSU, et. al.? And don’t give me this crap about beating Vandy and Miss. State from time to time either. Face it tough guy, Tech isn’t man enough to play in the SEC.

Bill F

June 4th, 2010
2:54 pm

Florida State will never join the SEC

Bill F

June 4th, 2010
2:57 pm

The SEC needs new states for new money. TCU, Cincinnati, East Carolina, and VA Tech would bring great states with new TVs and new recruiting. We must think outside the box, or the Big Ten and PAC Ten will confine us to the Southeast

Bill F

June 4th, 2010
2:58 pm

What will Clemson bring to the SEC? A new state for recruiting and TVs in Darlington. Give me a break!

Spike

June 4th, 2010
3:01 pm

Bill F.. New money? The SEC? Did you hear about the TV contract with ESPN? Cincy in the SEC? Are you kidding me?

Bill F

June 4th, 2010
3:02 pm

Texas and Texas A&M are headed WEST. TCU will bring the state of Texas (TVs and recruiting in the second largest state in the country), Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio. If we can’t get UT or A&M, we still should have a presence in Texas. I can see Bama playing TCU on a Saturday night in the Dallas-Fort Worth area

WebTraveler

June 4th, 2010
3:03 pm

Texas won’t join the SEC; the academic standards are lacking in the SEC. That is what is appealing to being in the Pac 10. It’s not just about football, it’s about education. Standards mean something to Texas, which is a research instition. Most of the SEC schools are not so academically inclined.

Plus what has been mentioned is that it just can’t be Oklahma and Texas, it has to be Oklahoma State and at least one other school in Texas to get it to work right. This is what is appealing for the Pac 10, because they covet the natural rivalry.

However, the situation for the Pac 10 works better if it is Texas and A & M or Tech (not both). Colorado needs a natural rival and Utah fits that better than Texas Tech. (A & M is the true rival for UT). That is the Pac 10 fit.

Dave Dawg

June 4th, 2010
3:04 pm

SEC EAST:
Kentucky
Tennessee
Virginia Tech
Georgia
Georgia Tech
Clemson
South Carolina
Florida

SEC WEST
Vanderbilt
Alabama
Auburn
Arkansas
Mississippi
Miss. State
LSU
FSU

In other words, add Va Tech, Ga. Tech and Clemson to the east; move Vandy and add FSU to the west.

FSU: Not only does this expand the league in Florida, but now the state is treated to SEC East and West action.

Virginia Tech: Expands the reach of the league to the DC market and VT is just up I-81 from Knoxville and gives Kentucky

another school relatively nearby.

Clemson and Georgia Tech: May not bring much to the table in terms of added reach, but Clemson is too good of a fit to bypass

and Tech is in Atlanta and has historical ties to the conference.

Miami: Not a good fit in terms of school support and location – at least four hours south of the closet school. In

comparison, VT is a very good fit, not too far from other schools and also opens up a large media market (containing die-hard

fans of the school).

As for scheduling, the SEC goes to a 9-game conference schedule. This will not add a scheduling burden to UGA, Florida and

USC since their in-state rival games will now be conference games.

Each school plays the others within their division, then two against the other division — one permanent rival and one

rotating school. This could be the permanent rival set-up:

UGA – Auburn
Alabama – Tennessee
USC – Arkansas
Kentucky – Miss. State
Florida – FSU (UF would have to lose its annual game with LSU)
LSU – Clemson (Battle of purple tigers from Death Valley)
Vandy – Ga. Tech (Vandy-Ole Miss game is now West division)
Ole Miss – Virginia Tech

This would be a REASONABLE, COMMON SENSE plan for SEC expansion.

Bill F

June 4th, 2010
3:04 pm

Getting Cincy would be getting the huge state of Ohio. Look at the map. Cincinnati is on the state line with Kentucky and not too far from the University of Kentucky. Plus it extends our presence into Big Ten country. I can see Ohio State now sweating at the thought of SEC teams recruiting Ohio

Bill F

June 4th, 2010
3:05 pm

Anybody that says expanding teams like Clemson or FSU to states that the SEC already has – is clueless

Bill F

June 4th, 2010
3:07 pm

Spike,

The Big Ten now gives each of the their member schools huge sums of money due to the Big Ten Network

Spike

June 4th, 2010
3:12 pm

Bill F.. Yea, so what? Do you think more people watch the SEC on ESPN and CBS or watch the Big Ten network? And I’m talking about fans outside the Big Ten.

Greg

June 4th, 2010
3:18 pm

I know one thing; if they DO expand and take some teams from another conference, the arrogant/tool factor will go down from being dilluted.

GT Student!

June 4th, 2010
3:23 pm

GT to Big 10 would be the dumbest thing ever. Yes there would be more $$$. But from a fan’s view, WHY?!? Look, I admit GT travels poorly. GT fans (with the exception of a couple friends and I) can’t make it to Tampa let alone wherever the closest existing Big 10 school is… i dont know where it is off the top of my head. indiana? iowa? ohio? if you’re going to move us somewhere dumb like that just stick us in the pac-10. id much rather go to california than indiana/ohio. that is from a football perspective. for basketball, it would be even dumber.

kickyourdawg

June 4th, 2010
3:24 pm

Tech isn’t man enough to play in the SEC. Come on Spike, the foreman at your job is calling you back to work. Time to finish digging that ditch. It is pay day though, so you can buy the paint for the doublewide this weekend.

GT Student!

June 4th, 2010
3:25 pm

ps SEC: “And that’s why you get called sissy and nerd, Techie”. And that’s why you’re going to be working for me when I graduate/get out in a couple years.

SEC Football

June 4th, 2010
3:29 pm

If major conferences thinking of expansion, what about having Super Conf.

1. Big Ten + Big East
2. ACC + SEC
3. PAC 10+Big12
Notre Dame and others are outside looking in.

BCS Game only be No. 1 and No. 2 Super power, unless bottom feeder teams worthy enough of No. 2 ranking.

Bill F

June 4th, 2010
3:30 pm

Think FUTURE spike,

The Big Ten Network will soon give ESPN headaches. Yes ESPN will be old school and the SEC will need a network of their own to compete and that will mean new states for new TVs

Dave Dawg

June 4th, 2010
3:33 pm

Y’all have to consider “the product” as well. The SEC is ALREADY broadcast NATIONWIDE on CBS and ESPN and it is POPULAR ($3 BILLION says so). So, what does a current viewer in Denver or Chicago or anywhere else want to see, Florida State or Louisville?

In addition, the “SEC brand” is just as important. A rabid following is a must, hence Clemson over Miami. The day an SEC stadium looks like an Indiana-Northwestern football game or even a Duke-Miami football game is the day the national allure of the SEC ends.

Spike

June 4th, 2010
3:42 pm

Kickyourdawg.. Typical, you cannot respond with facts or reason so you resort to the tied old trailer stuff. Either get some new material or come with some facts to show me where I am wrong. Is that the best you can come up with?

RoyDawg

June 4th, 2010
3:43 pm

Here is my take – let’s keep this thing geographically sane!!!!

Option 1 – Add FSU, MIAMI to SEC WEST
Add CLEMSON AND GTt to SEC EAST

PERFECT GEOGRAPHY – SEC owns the state of Florida, South Carolina, Georgia – Keeps in all in the SOUTHEAST. STILL keeps the SEC as the best football conference – and all other teams are not breaking a leg to get to their competition.

Option #2: ADD Texas A&M, FSU to SEC WEST
ADD Clemson, GT to EAST

SEC EAST – add Clemson & GT
SEC WEST – Add FSU and TAM

This keeps things geographically sane – AND makes LSU and ARK happy.

GATA!

Spike

June 4th, 2010
3:43 pm

Sorry, spell police. “tired”.

RxDawg

June 4th, 2010
3:45 pm

Sigh, first of all I’m am not for expansion. It makes no sense to have a conference where half of the teams don’t even play each other.

Now, if expansion in inevitable then of course Texas schools and Oklh. schools make sense. However, they may take off for the west coast and Pac 10. If they do, I think the SEC should pick up Duke, NC, VaTech and UVA. They are all “southern” states, good academics, respectable in football (well, ok not Duke), and great basketball.3

Sure the fan in me would love to see the nerds back in the SEC. FSU, Miami, and Clemson sounds nice too. I would not be upset if these are the schools involved in expansion. But these schools don’t really bring us that much of an advantage for new TV markets and such.

This is one of those times where I really would like to be able to peek into the future and see whats going to happen.

Spike

June 4th, 2010
3:46 pm

Bill F.. The bottom line is this: The SEC is the gold standard in fan interest both in the southeast region and nationwide. The simple reason is that it is, year in and year out, the nations’ toughest and most comptetive football conference. It is not bragging, it is just a self evident fact. Other schools need the SEC more than the SEC needs them.

Dan

June 4th, 2010
3:47 pm

You can’t get VT without UVA. VT adds nothing anyway. Heck, the ACC did not even want them. They were forced to take them to get the necessary votes for expansion.

Dawg 39

June 4th, 2010
4:06 pm

The largest TV & media market in the SouthEast is Atlanta. Adding GT & Clemson would solidify the SEC in that market. The ACC would no longer be a player there. That works for me.

RxDawg

June 4th, 2010
4:11 pm

“at least four hours south of the closet school.”

This typo made me laugh pretty hard.

dawgs01

June 4th, 2010
4:43 pm

The big ten should expand to every state and call themselves the big 50 and have total domination of the market. I wish they would just get this over with. Whoever said tech was going to the big ten has lost it just this about paying for your tennis, soccer, golf and other small teams traveling to northwestern.

dawgs01

June 4th, 2010
4:44 pm

just think not just this

Gen Neyland

June 4th, 2010
4:46 pm

I have mentioned the same thing, somewhere, about staying in the states in which we of the SEC reside. It’s too much like military occupation to go outside our borders. I’d hate to see the SEC East and West become divided by the Mississippi River…JMO

Gen Neyland

June 4th, 2010
4:50 pm

chazzo : With UT thumping your team 3 outta the last 4, what’s that like..?

DaddyRich

June 4th, 2010
5:13 pm

Add TCU in the west and WVU in the East. TCU plays Vandy and permanent non-division, while Ole Miss would play WVU.
We get the Dallas market without the political headache and add another fine academic institution in TCU. WVU would bring the TV market of the entire state and one hell of a basketball team while being no slouch in footbal!

DaddyRich

June 4th, 2010
5:14 pm

*as permanent non-division rival*

Truth

June 4th, 2010
5:24 pm

You idiot ugag people need to wake up and smell the coffee!!

No, Texas does not want to join the SEC. They announced TODAY that they would join the PAC 10 over the SEC any day!

No, there isn’t an ACC team that would leave to join the SEC. The ACC has more total money than the SEC – this includes all sports. You can ‘wish’ or ‘hope’ for any ACC team, it ain’t gonna happen. Why do you guys have the balls to think that any ACC team would want to join you???????

The Big 12 is being divided by the PAC 10 and Big 10.

The likely thing to happen is that either: (1) the Big East teams are divided by the SEC and ACC and/or (2) the ACC and the SEC gobble up the smaller conference schools (ex: conference USA). This means that there will be around 5 super conferences for college sports.

Stop dreaming about taking any ACC team – it is only a dream.

Matt the Brave

June 4th, 2010
5:25 pm

Hey BK, do you think that the SEC would look at Virginia or North Carolina as possibilities? I know they want Texas and A&M bad, but I think that it would make more sense to have two teams that have long running rivalries between many SEC schools (well, at least until the late 1970s/1980s). What do you think?

Truth

June 4th, 2010
5:27 pm

As the dust settles, and you idiot ugag folks see how DILUSIONAL you really are, I hope that you do wake up and realize that ugag is a small fish in a small pond that dreams of being a whale in an ocean.

Aggie

June 4th, 2010
5:42 pm

WTH is with all of this TCU crap? I will tell you now the only people that watch TCU football is people that live in Fort Worth. Right now the whole conference realignment going on is basically about the $$$. TAMU in the 90s had far more “eyeballs” than Texas. Regardless most of the veiwer pull will be from TAMU or Texas in this state. If nothing else the SEC would be better off dragging TAMU and OU over. As for politics the Governor of the State of Texas is an Aggie. Also the whole SEC deal over Texas was due to two people, Ann Richards and Bob Bullock strong arming TAMU and Texas into the B12 and forcing Baylor down our throats. Also politics in Texas has changed considerably so there may not be such a difficulty for the split up as before. Finally it’s my bet that Texas goes independent. That’s my hope at least. So the SEC would be smart to bring in OU and TAMU so they can get the Houston markets, and a large portion of the Dallas Market. The Dallas market is 4th largest in the nation and TCU is a drop in the bucket in comparison to the pull of Texas, OU, and TAMU (in that order) for the market.

Aggie

June 4th, 2010
5:44 pm

Oh and I forgot about the Tulsa and OKC markets for OU. Those are the 2 teams you want to pull over. Texas has a strangle hold on the San Antonio and south Texas Markets. One more thing TAMU has a strangle hold on the Houston and East Texas markets. hth

Aggie

June 4th, 2010
5:56 pm

Gen Neyland if you do that you’re doing to yourself what the B12 did to themselves. 75% of their television markets existed within 4 states Texas, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. Quite frankly that’s very hard to sale to the networks who are trying to reach as many people as possible. You have to think about it like this all of the conferences are competing for network television spots so they can get a cut of the advertisement fees. Keeping the SEC geographical boundaries as they are now does nothing for the SEC in effort to compete for those network spots. Sure the SEC has the ESPN contract but what happens when that contract is up? If the SEC has made a move to increase it’s market share but the other Conferences have who do you think ESPN is going to contract with next?

Rx Dawg that is what a conference championship is for, if everyone plays each other and then the division champs play for title it’s pretty easy to figure out who the best is. Plus it get’s us closer to circumventing the BCS and gets us closer to a play off system. If the SEC, PAC-10 and the Big 10 all expand to 16 teams then that’s 40% of the BCS teams and it can reduce the amount of whinning about who should go to the MNC.

Shane

June 4th, 2010
6:46 pm

I guess none of you read the national media. The storyline in most outlets is that Texas wants nothing to do with the SEC’s sleazy academics. Of course, that get’s no play in this crappy paper.

Bill King

June 4th, 2010
7:31 pm

Matt the Brave:

I don’t really see North Carolina adding that much to the SEC in football. It’s not that big a TV market. And in basketball I can’t imagine UNC wanting to leave the ACC. As for Virginia, I can only see the SEC thinking about the Cavaliers if they were forced to consider them as part of a package deal with Virginia Tech.

kickyourdawg

June 4th, 2010
7:33 pm

Enter your comments here

Bill King

June 4th, 2010
7:35 pm

Go Jackets:

The SEC does not need GT in order to own the Atlanta TV market. That’s already the case thanks to UGA, as the TV ratings show.

CrackDaddy

June 4th, 2010
7:38 pm

RxDawg, pls son, don’t be so naive. You don’t pick up UNC and Duke! You get on yours hands and knees and beg, and say sir, only to be discarded like a rotten Georgia peach.

Kickyourdawg

June 4th, 2010
7:43 pm

Okay, so Spike says I can’t come with facts. So, all joking a side here are some things to think about when it comes to joining a conference, any conference.
Yes, football rules things when it comes to college sport, but there are other considerations.
In this day and age, an Athletic Director has to consider how his entire athletic program can benefit being part of a league.
With Title IX issues starring ADs in the face every day, women’s sports have to be taken into account too. As a Tech fan, I want the Jackets to compete in football more than any other sport, but if they join the SEC, they will be a fine representative across the board. So in other words, Spike there is more to it than just football!!! Okay Spike, time for your comeback!!!

Oh Lord

June 4th, 2010
7:45 pm

Can someone please put Bill King back in his stinky oversized coffin? He fell out again.

GaDawg

June 4th, 2010
8:46 pm

Bill F- You seem to be one of the few in this discussion that understands what expansion is all about. I like your idea about the Texas and Ohio TV footprints. I never thought I would say this, but might we need to get GT back into the SEC to prevent any possibility of the Big 10 expanding into the Atlanta market. It has been rumored that they are considering this, and Tech was inducted into the AAU just this year. Do I smell a conspiracy?

Truth

June 4th, 2010
8:53 pm

@GoDawg -

I guess u do not keep up with news? TEXAS IS GOING TO PAC 10 IF ANYWHERE. Texas wants nothing to do with the SEC – they said this today!

GA TECH WANTS NOTHING TO DO WITH SEC. All of the ACC teams are sitting very pretty, thank you, with more money (considering all sports) than the SEC.

If the SEC wants to expand, you guys need to do some bottom trolling and beg UCF and others to join – that is the real bottom line!

Stop smoking that pipe – especially you Bill King!

Rob

June 4th, 2010
8:57 pm

I think the SEC should stay at 12 teams. The conference has been enormously successful. Expanding to 14 or 16 makes an already brutal conference even harder to win and there is a real risk of diluting your brand. Sometimes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” really is the best strategy.

The SEC has huge 15-year television deals with CBS and ESPN that were signed before the economy melted down. Expansion only brings in more money if CBS and ESPN are willing to renegotiate those contracts. Maybe they are willing to do that if Texas and Oklahoma are in the mix, but I’m not sure they open the check book to bring in Clemson, GT, or even FSU.

I think it’s a mistake to assume that new conference owned cable networks will be as successful as the BTN. Even the NFL has struggled to get the NFL network on standard cable tiers instead of expanded tiers or sports tiers. There is a limit to how many sports channels that cable systems are going to carry (and pay subscriber fees for) on their standard tier. If we end up with four or five conference owned networks, I think they will struggle to get carried outside of their georgraphic area. In my opinion, the SEC is better off national coverage on ESPN and CBS.

Truth

June 4th, 2010
8:57 pm

@Bill King

OMG – you sound like such a ugag fan (and that is not a compliment). It is incorrect to claim that the SEC owns the Atlanta market. You are wrong, just plain wrong.

You MIGHT be close is you are more specific and say something like “the SEC owns the Atlanta market when” certain SEC football teams play like ugag, Florida, Alabama, and South Carolina. However, no one in Atlanta cares a flip about Vandy vs. Kentucky – get it?

And, in no way does the SEC “own” the Atlanta market during basketball season.

Again my dear Bill, put down the pipe that you must be smoking.