Fan talk: Does Clemson belong in the SEC?

SEC LogoOne week to go. Time for some more Junkyard Mail. First up, a couple of readers want to talk SEC expansion. …

Jonathan London writes: I don’t understand why the SEC wants another member to add to the conference. All that will do is decrease each school’s share when we split up revenue. It might increase overall revenue, but I don’t think enough to offset the decreases. We have the greatest league in college football history right now. Why would we want to dilute it by adding another school, especially some inferior, middle of the road program like Texas A&M? Compared to Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee, Auburn and Florida, adding A&M is like adding another Arkansas. FSU isn’t much better.

And Carolina Pup writes: Looks like Texas A&M joining the SEC is pretty much a done deal. But how long can the conference go with an unbalanced 13 teams? So who should be added as the 14th team? Or should the SEC go all the way to being a 16-team mega-league? I know who I’d like to see added: The Clemson Tigers! What do you think?

As I’ve said before, to me it only makes sense for the SEC to expand if it moves into new television markets, which will increase the revenue when the conference undoubtedly opens talks on renegotiating its current TV deal. Texas A&M gets the conference into the Texas TV markets, so I think it’s a win for the SEC. As for making Clemson the 14th team, I disagree. Yes, Clemson would be a good fit in the SEC in terms of football culture and fan support and most years would be competitive, but the SEC already has the South Carolina TV market, so the Tigers don’t bring anything new to the table. If the conference does decide to expand to 16 teams then, yes, I think Clemson should be one of them. But if it only goes to 14, the logical choice to be added to the East to balance A&M joining the West is Virginia Tech, a major program that would bring the Washington, D.C. television market with it. Now, I know that the Hokies’ athletic director has said he would “politely decline” a bid from the SEC, but that’s probably about as firm as a Nick Saban denial. If, however, Virginia Tech does decide to stay in the ACC, picking a 14th team becomes a bit trickier. Although on the surface Missouri might not seem like a good fit for the SEC, I’ve heard a pretty good case made for them in terms of adding the St. Louis TV market. So for the 14th team it looks like Virginia Tech and Missouri are the best options. If the conference adds a 15th and 16th team, Florida State and Clemson would be my preferred picks.

Barry Smith writes: Bill, I thought Boise was supposed to wear blue in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game but I see now that their Pro Combat uniforms have been unveiled, and they’re all white. What gives? And which team do you think fared the best in the Nike fashion makeover?

Boise State's helmet for the game against Georgia. (Nike)

Boise State's helmet for the game against Georgia. (Nike)

The game contract did indeed call for both Georgia and Boise State to wear their home colors, but in today’s college football world Nike gets what Nike wants, so the Broncos will be in what’s been dubbed their “ghost horse” uniform. (By the way, Boise State is asking its fans to wear blue to the game.) While I’m not crazy about Georgia’s jerseys, as I said earlier this week, I don’t mind the all-red look and like it better than Boise’s white on white, a look that I’ve never been fond of, whether it was on Penn State or the Georgia Tech band. But I must say I really like the Pro Combat helmets Nike came up with for Boise with that cool Bronco logo. Meanwhile, if you haven’t yet watched the Nike promotional video for UGA’s Pro Combat look, check it out here.

Myles writes: Hey Bill, so, how many WR/Flanker screens will Bobo call in the opener? Over or under 3? Whatcha got? Semper Fi and GO DAWGS!

I’m betting Bobo calls more than three screens and he’s likely to be dumping it off to the backs quite a bit, too. It makes sense to get the ball to Georgia’s playmakers in open space against the Boise defense.

Speaking of Bobo, Wes Starr writes: When are the Bulldogs, and Richt in particular, going to rid themselves of Bobo as a coach for the offense? The Bulldogs have not had a great quarterback since David Greene when it comes to flat out confusing defenses. Matthew Stafford was talent mixed with an idiot Bobo. If Stafford was under the direct coaching of Richt, there would have been a National Championship. When is Bobo gone?

I’ve had mixed feelings about Bobo the past few seasons. At times, he makes really smart calls, and I disagree with you about Georgia’s quarterbacks. I think Bobo is an excellent quarterbacks coach. But he’s inconsistent and impatient as a playcaller. It drives me crazy when something’s working and he goes away from it in some misguided attempt to keep his offense balanced. But to answer your question, I think Bobo’s fate is linked to that of Richt, his mentor. The only way I see Richt getting rid of Bobo is if Richt is told he needs to make a change in order to keep his job.

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240 comments Add your comment

D A DoubleU G

August 27th, 2011
10:53 am

Would love to get Clemson, Virginia Tech and NC State…. in addition to the obvious Texas AM

D A DoubleU G

August 27th, 2011
10:58 am

One thing i (kind of) disagree with you Bill, is the MUST HAVE new TV market to be considered for the SEC.

While it would be great for the conference revenue, you or I will never see a dime of that. SO what would be wrong with adding some true southern teams like Clemson and NC State, and keeping the SOUTHeastern Conference in the South.

The last thing I want to see is the culture of the SEC transition into western mindsets and all of a sudden have the SEC Championship game in Dallas.

RedGADawg

August 27th, 2011
10:58 am

Rather not expand, if we must then Texas A&M and Oklahoma, move Auburn to East, A&M is the Houston market and OK brings Dallas to the table. Why would USC or FL want their main rival in the SEC to share in state recruits? WVU, VA Tech will not help with TV nearly as much as the rabid college football fans in Texas, great talent in state for all SEC to recruit.

Beast from the East

August 27th, 2011
11:04 am

I read an article somewhere on-line that the Dallas market already watches as much SEC football as they do the Big 12. One of the Texas schools did some research on it.

Dawg Fan

August 27th, 2011
11:07 am

Just say no to the U of Clem.

And on another note: Drop gt from the Dawgs schedule. Ridding our schedule of the bugs can lead to more interesting match ups for the Dawgs. And would have the side benefit of speeding up the demise of the nerds and their pathetic football program.

Uh-oh. Is cpj going to punch me in the nose?

Delbert D.

August 27th, 2011
11:07 am

You want the Washington, D.C. market, invite Maryland. They are located inside the beltway. VaTech is almost in West Virginia.

T-Dawg

August 27th, 2011
11:07 am

Clempson in the SEC? Not until a tornado goes through there and does some improvements. Used to be a nice rivalry, though.

Beast from the East

August 27th, 2011
11:09 am

“Orsini said the school did a study of the TV ratings in the Dallas-Fort Worth market the past two football seasons and discovered the average ratings for Big 12 and SEC games were at best a draw, despite the SEC having no team in Texas, much less the Metroplex. That’s why he believes SMU could help put more eyes on the Big 12 in this area.”

It was SMU’s AD that made the statement while arguing his case for inclusion in a BCS conference. Here’s the link:http://espn.go.com/dallas/ncf/story/_/id/6895752/smu-mustangs-go-public-interest-joining-big-12

Beast from the East

August 27th, 2011
11:10 am

Delbert D.

August 27th, 2011
11:11 am

In Pete Thamel’s column for nytimes yesterday, he said that the Big 12 is looking at replacements for A&M. Arkansas is #2 on their wish list behind Notre Dame (good luck with that one.)

C White

August 27th, 2011
11:12 am

Many states have there rivals in the same conference (exp.: Bama/Auburn, Ole Miss/Miss State, Texas/Texas a&m).

Beast from the East

August 27th, 2011
11:15 am

Delbert,
I don’t think they hav a prayer of pulling Arkansas, do you? Their best best would be to add SMU, Rice and TCU. It would be like the old SWC.

Bob

August 27th, 2011
11:20 am

Virginia Tech is not coming. That is flat out not going to change. UVA and the state of Virginia bled like hell to get the Hokies forced into the ACC. They are not about to let them go and UVA would want nothing to do with the SEC’s perceived academic failings.

WVU might be an option, but I am thinking it would be Mizzou. Not necessarily a sexy choice, but they add a ton of TV sets in St. Louis and Kansas City. They have a pretty fair football program and would be in the upper half in basketball. But the biggest deal is that they have no other state school so they do not have to worry about dragging someone else with them. That probably would mean moving Auburn to the East. If the SEC goes to 14, I fully expect them to go to 9 conference games and Auburn would pick up Bama as their traditional rival. Bama would lose Tennessee but that could be solved if the conference went back to the old, two permanent cross division rivals. Nothing is pretty about it, but Mizzou is the easiest addition that still adds pretty fair quality and a load of TV sets.

Delbert D.

August 27th, 2011
11:22 am

Beast – I don’t know; I remember the Texas-Arkansas being a big rivalry. It may depend on what is left of the 10-member Big 12. The PAC-12 commissioner has been way out in front of the expansion 2011 talk, and they are targeting Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. to get to 14. I no nothing about how Jerry Jones and Arkansas currently feel about the SEC. The big 12 losing Oklahoma, State, and possibly Missouri to the SEC or event the Big Ten would really diminish that conference.

Bob

August 27th, 2011
11:22 am

One other possibility if Mizzou is the pick would be to move both Bama and Auburn to the east and move Vandy to the West. Again, all of this is pure speculation.

That Place Is The Beat of My Heart!

August 27th, 2011
11:24 am

If folks in Dallas watch SEC football now without a Texas team, just think what they’ll do once Texas A&M is in the fold.

One thing about Texas, whatever’s in Texas is bigger and better than whatever’s someplace else!

The SEC will also see a huge jump in SEC viewership in Houston as well.

Texas A&M in the SEC will mean much bigger viewership numbers in two Top-10 TV markets, the kinds of TV markets advertisers pay premiums to reach and of which the SEC currently has a paucity.

animaldr

August 27th, 2011
11:24 am

Expansion seems to be a done deal- Tex A&M is good, Ok or OSU or Missouri are all good options for the west. VaTech is the obvious 1st school in the east. What about a NC school- UNC or NC State? Does not crunch Football, adds basketball talent/tradition and adds markets.

Bob

August 27th, 2011
11:27 am

Animal, I don’t think Carolina would ever separate from Duke. And they really care much more about basketball than football anyway. I doubt any of the Tobacco Road 4 would really want to leave. In my mind, East Carolina might actually be more likely and generally, their football has been better than those other 4 anyway.

bulldog born & bred

August 27th, 2011
11:32 am

what makes perfect sense is add clemson fla state &ga tech so each sec team has an instate rivalry in their conference aub-ala ga-gt fa-fla st south carolina-clemson ole miss-miss st tenn-vandy im just saying

Beast from the East

August 27th, 2011
11:34 am

Delbert,
I can’t see Arkansas leaving a SOLID SEC with equal revenue sharing to get back in bed with Texas and always being treated like a second-class citizen. Unless UT gets off of their high horse, then no one that is currently in an AQ conference will join them, in my opinion. That’s why I think their best route is locking down as much of the state as they can with Rice, TCU and SMU.
I also think that the SEC should make a run at Missouri if they are going to add A&M.

indianman

August 27th, 2011
11:34 am

they to scared to join the sec

animaldr

August 27th, 2011
11:34 am

I wonder if the NCAA troubles at UNC may open the door a bit. ACC basketball is slipping. Big East is climbing as is the SEC. NC State always gets over looked in the triad, could they be interested. East Carolina seems week- which is the knock on this expansion thing anyway.

Beast from the East

August 27th, 2011
11:36 am

animaldr,
I agree it would be great to get UNC and Duke/NC State, but it will never happen. UNC and Duke basically run the ACC.

Advocati

August 27th, 2011
11:38 am

Missouri in the SEC? Bill, you’re either kidding or delirious with excitement over the approaching season. Missouri is not even in the South! Given the conference history and culture, you might as well add Notre Dame if you’re going to add Missou.

Va Tech and Texas A&M make sense. WVU would be a viable alternative to VaTech. It certainly is better than Missouri. At least WVU has a school and fan culture similar to that of the SEC schools.

Beast from the East

August 27th, 2011
11:39 am

“But I must say I really like the Pro Combat helmets Nike came up with for Boise with that cool Bronco logo.”

Bill,
I’m with you on that. Those are some sharp looking helmets.

Bob

August 27th, 2011
11:44 am

Advocati,

VT does make sense. But it simply is not going to happen. Virginia politics will put a stop to that.

And if ND expressed an interest, you don’t think the SEC would grab them in a heartbeat? Of course they were, even if they were in Nome, Alaska. But ND will not do that.

Mizzou is out of the southeast. But if you haven’t noticed, so is Texas A&M and frankly Arkansas is borderline at best. Fayetteville is closer to Columbia than it is to either Baton Rouge or Oxford. The enemy of good is perfection. You ain’t getting perfect in expansion. You have to take the best available and Va Tech ain’t available.

Mike

August 27th, 2011
11:44 am

If we were to expand to 16, why not think about adding four to the west and move Auburn and Alabama to the east. That way, it can a full out raid of the former Big 12. Take the best 4 that will come. Maybe OU, OSU, A&M and Missou or even Texas if that became a possibility.

Bob

August 27th, 2011
11:48 am

Mike, I think that is what will eventually happen. Texas won’t come, but those other 4 seem far more likely than anything else. And if we are in a race with the Big Ten and PAC 12 to expand, then you aren’t going to do better than that quartet.

I am perfectly happy with the status quo, but we can’t standstill if Delaney makes a move.

animaldr

August 27th, 2011
11:52 am

What I don’t understand is why the SEC has not called for our opinions. So UGA went to the Dome and practiced in the Nike Combat Uniforms. Wow is that an advantage that Boise does not have or do they go in next week?

All Burn is not coming east

August 27th, 2011
11:52 am

Auburn won’t come east unless forced, I don’t think. That would split the state of Alabama and in order for them to play ‘Bama annually, they would be their ‘natural rival’, much as Auburn is UGA’s now. ‘Bama’s natural rival now is Tennessee, and the SEC won’t want to give that up, I don’t think. I look for the SEC to add one to each side, or maybe two to each side. Carolina doesn’t want Clemson in the conference, according to some, but I can’t see why. I’d love for the Yaller Jackets to be in conference, that way when we whip ‘em every year, it’d be a twofer..bragging rights AND a conference win. I would imagine that Carolina would feel the same way.
I say add Clemson and A&M. If you want two per side, add A&M and Oklahoma along with Clemson and some other ACC team not named Boston College.
Florida State? Miami…oh, sorry, they’re dying soon.
IMO, fourteen teams is more than plenty. Truth told, I’d rather add Clemson and Oklahoma than A&M

Delbert D.

August 27th, 2011
11:56 am

Missouri borders 3 states in the SEC. Their actions in the Civil War should satisfy most of the southern extreme redneck contingent. Quantrill’s Raiders invaded Kansas and destroyed the Union Army’s outpost in Lawrence. Missouri is further south than West Virginia

jrmdvm1

August 27th, 2011
12:03 pm

Advocati — a bit of history that shows that Missouri was once part of the South, even though it was north of the 36 30 line.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_Compromise

7mmDawg

August 27th, 2011
12:08 pm

To add to Delbert’s logic, West Virginia was declared a state during the War of Northern Aggression in 1863, splitting from the Old Dominion State, Virginia, home of one R. E. Lee.

7mmDawg

August 27th, 2011
12:10 pm

However, adding WVU might help stimulate the economy, particularly in North Carolina, as the demand for replacement couches could skyrocket, if they were to win that is……

CarolinaMan

August 27th, 2011
12:13 pm

Clumpson in the SEC???? Are you kidding? They’re great for ACC strength football but would be an anchor for the SEC. A dump of a high school-like stadium, their biggest tradition is a team running down a hill to slap a rock, and not even a town to call home, a crossroad near Anderson, SC. Puuuulease put this silly question away.

Delbert D.

August 27th, 2011
12:14 pm

From the best information I’ve been able to put together…

Remain in Big 12:
Texas
Texas Tech
Baylor
Kansas
Kansas St.
Iowa St.

Teams likely to leave:
*texas A&M (to SEC)
*Oklahoma (to PAC-12) (reports associated with PAC-12 commissioner)
*Oklahoma St (to PAC-12) ”
*Missouri (possibly SEC)

Schools on the Big 12 initial short list: (nytimes)
#1 Notre Dame
#2 Arkansas
#3 BYU

Teams that might join:
SMU – Aggressively pursuing Big 12 membership

Speculation:
Houston – ?

Not likely to join Big 12:
TCU – Joins the Big East in 2012, an AQ conference

just a fan

August 27th, 2011
12:16 pm

Why is West Virginia never mentioned as a possible 14th team?

JDawg1785

August 27th, 2011
12:17 pm

Clemson would be the best addition to the East. They already have a long-standing rivalry with USCe plus a history of bad blood with Georgia and Auburn.

I agree with you, Bill, on that Boise helmet. It’s pretty sharp.

7mmDawg

August 27th, 2011
12:18 pm

WV’s television draw is not very sexy if I had to venture. Keep this thought in mind while this storm is winding up, It’s all about the money! It always is, even when it isn’t, it is!

Minnesota Dawg

August 27th, 2011
12:22 pm

It no longer is the Southeast Conference when you move outside the SOUTHEAST. We don’t need College Sports to become like the Pros. Let’s keep in our regions. I know the all mighty dollar will prevent this, but that’s my opinion.

Top Dawg

August 27th, 2011
12:23 pm

Nike uniforms are still horrible….expansion with a&m is BORING.
Why not add GA Tech to the East? We play them anyway and wouldn’t that free up a date for another better non-conference game?!

realitycheck

August 27th, 2011
12:25 pm

Delbert………factual and informative post!

Fred

August 27th, 2011
12:29 pm

No way Virginia Tech moves to the SEC. They are a medium sized fish in a bathtub sized pond in the ACC. In the SEC they would be perennial Cellar Dwellers. All their undeserved top 25 rankings would be exposed if they were beaten week in and week out by an SEC schedule.

Delbert D.

August 27th, 2011
12:32 pm

One more thing. Boise St. is the 2011 PAC-10 wrestling champion. Among BCS football schools, San Diego St. also is also an affiliate member of the PAC-12 for wrestling.

ToccoaDawg

August 27th, 2011
12:35 pm

Bill if you’re afraid of Clemson just say so. I for one as a bulldawg fan would welcome the old rivalry with Clemson back. It was and always will be a better rivalry than USCe.

Paul in NH (formerly RDU)

August 27th, 2011
12:37 pm

There are 3 ACC teams that would jump to the SEC in a heartbeat if they were invited – Clemson, FSU and GT. Plenty of posters, including Bill, have given the reasons why they won’t be invited. None of the Big 4 in NC are going anywhere and VT would have to deal with Virginia politics to move. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens if A&M joins the SEC.

The Only Horses I like Are Under My Hood

August 27th, 2011
12:45 pm

I really would like the see the SEC stay at 12 teams, but if we did expand, I would like to see FSU or Va Tech along with Texas A&M (since they seem to be an almost lock to join soon). I would love to see UGA start each season with Clemson though; they are a solid opponent, but historically they are an almost solid win as well. Also South Carolina would fight like crazy to keep Clemson out because playing at the SEC level is a big way South Carolina lures recruits away from Clemson.

That said, I’m sure UGA, Alabama, and UF would not want FSU in the SEC for the same reason South Carolina would not want Clemson in the SEC, but not the extent that South Carolina would not want Clemson in the SEC because UGA, Alabama, and UF can actually lure recruits away from other schools for many other reasons than just “we play in the SEC” (South Carolina not so much). That makes Va Tech a perfect option, no other in state SEC team. This would give the SEC the Virginia and D.C. market which is a pretty big stinkin’ market. Missouri would give the SEC a new market as well, but I would rather see match ups like UGA @ Va Tech or Auburn @ Va Tech, than match ups against Missouri.

GO DAWGS!

Top Dawg

August 27th, 2011
12:45 pm

I STILL don’t think of Arkansas and S. Carolina as SEC teams. Now I have to be force-fed A&M and possibly VaTech? Sorry, but I don’t want ghetto crackheads that VaTech produces. Sicko Vick and MEAngelo Hall amongst others.

Paul in NH (formerly RDU)

August 27th, 2011
12:45 pm

Delbert,
I was shocked when I read that ND was the Big XII’s top target according to the NY Times until I checked out the article and discovered it was written by Pete Thamel

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/26/sports/ncaafootball/texas-am-begins-process-moving-to-sec.html
How this hack has the same job as George Vecsey, Ira Berkow or the late Red Smith is beyond me.

Brucerugby79

August 27th, 2011
12:47 pm

Bill King -energy vampire