Richt on expansion: ‘Some really serious stuff going on out there’

MACON -– Mark Richt has heard the latest wave of rumors about the Pac-10 possibly annexing half of the Big 12 and about the Big Ten perhaps accelerating its own expansion timetable.

Still, he can’t quite see all of this reaching the SEC.

“It’s really interesting to hear that it’s such a hot topic,” Richt said today at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, where he and two of his UGA players joined representatives from other college football programs around the state at the annual Pigskin Preview.   “I think [part of it is that] this time of year people are just looking for things to talk about. But I think there is some really serious stuff going on out there.”

Even so . . .

“I don’t know about our league,” Richt added. “I really feel like we’ve got a great league, and we all believe that. We’ve got a tremendous SEC Championship Game; we’ve got our TV contract; we’re 98 percent full every time we roll out the carpet, so to speak; and we’ve had a lot of national champions lately.

“So I don’t think we’re in a rush to change much. We kind of like the way things are going.

“But I really do think that [SEC] commissioner [Mike] Slive will make a good decision. . . . I’m sure he’s got to be thinking about what’s going on in the college landscape today, and I think he’ll keep us on top.”

Richt’s thoughts largely match those expressed by other coaches, athletics directors and school presidents at the SEC meetings last week. The consensus seemed to be that they’re happy with the SEC as currently constituted and would like to keep it as is, but that they also recognize the league must be open to change if the landscape is altered dramatically by expansion and realignment in other conferences.

Richt said the topic came up in coaches’ meetings in Destin.  “I don’t think anybody believes something drastic is going to happen [in the SEC] anytime soon,” he said.

———

Richt and two Georgia players, linebacker Akeem Dent and wide receiver Kris Durham, answered reporters’ questions at the Pigskin Preview event.  More of what they had to say is posted on twitter.com/ajcuga. Please follow us there.

180 comments Add your comment

How2fish

June 8th, 2010
2:11 pm

Good article this could get interesting!

Willie Humper

June 8th, 2010
2:20 pm

The brake lights on my tennis racket keep over-heatin’ when I apply too much nailpolish to my goat’s left testicle.

DawgInMemphis

June 8th, 2010
2:24 pm

Nothing interesting needs to happen with the SEC. Don’t fix what isn’t broken.

All of these other moves are done in an attempt to de-throne the SEC from the pinnacle of college football. Unfortunately for them, our fanbase and passion is the lifeblood of our institutions and you just can’t replicate that. The PAC 10 can become the PAC 16 and the SEC will still run the show.

McDawg

June 8th, 2010
2:28 pm

gotta keep A. Dent healthy this year

james

June 8th, 2010
2:30 pm

” More of what they had to say is posted on twitter.com/ajcuga. Please follow us there.”

what a cheap tactic to get more twitter “followers” and boost your stats.. how about just posting what they actually said on the actual article instead of having to link to the twitter site to get the additional quotes. stupid.

If all goes as currently reported...

June 8th, 2010
2:31 pm

…regarding the PAC 10 and the Big 10(11), then you can mark it down that FSU, Clemson, UM and Louisville will join the SEC…

BigGAdawg

June 8th, 2010
2:33 pm

Expansion makes sense to me ONLY if we are adding Texas and Texas A&M. AND/OR Virginia Tech and Clemson. It would be great to renew that old rivalry with UGA and Clemson. Those were some of the nastiest games ever — very heated grudge matches.

bill_in_atl

June 8th, 2010
2:35 pm

It isn’t broken today, but part of the reason the SEC is the top conference is by being pro-active instead of reactive.

I don’t want to see a change in the conferences, but since it’s inevitable it’s clear the SEC should be working on getting itself positioned to be the best when the dust settles again.

The four I’d like to see come on board are Texas, Texas A&M, UNC and VaTech. I know UNC may not want to split from Duke and its ACC ties, but it would be GREAT for them financially and as we know…money talks. Clemson, FSU and Miami add no real markets and it’s all about the TV markets.

I can see a scenario where the Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska based schools get left out in the cold. Those states just don’t have the TV market to make them attractive, but OU and Nebraska may get pulled in just for their name and history. Kansas and K.State have no hope. OSU may get dragged along with the Sooners (if OU gets the invite to go somewhere).

The Big 12 is toast, at least as it’s constituted currently. Just not enough money to hold together.

ormewood

June 8th, 2010
2:37 pm

DawginMemphis is correct. All of these rumors and machinations are fascinating, but in the end, the SEC will still be the predominant football league. The Big 10, though in a good spot presently, is scrambling because so much of their fanbase lies beyond their current footprint. The Rust Belt is dying.

The Big 12 appears to be dying on the vine because of the inequities built into their revenue-sharing not being equal. Texas holds all of the cards in that one. Pac-10 expansion is a bold step but I think being mostly in the Pacific time zone is an impediment. Same is true for baseball and NBA teams that play on the west coast. People are in bed when their games are being played. I’m skeptical. Lubbock, Stillwater, Pullman. Those are outposts that make fielding teams and traveling to and from those locations extremely cost-prohibitive. I read somewhere that if Colorado joins the Pac-10, their closest conference rival would be 600 miles from Boulder.

Paddy

June 8th, 2010
2:37 pm

I do believe that the PAC 10 and the BIG 10 will expand. It is for the tv package that will follow and it will be significant money no doubt. The PAC 10 needs Texas. The Big 10 needs Notre Dame to carry the influence that they want. I just don’t see either Texas or Notre Dame joining those conferences any time soon. They will expand but the after-shock won’t be the same if those two schools stay put. The SEC needs to be ready to add if this monster starts to roll down hill out of control but I like the SEC just as it is.

beatdowns galore

June 8th, 2010
2:39 pm

Well if Clemson were to come into the SEC east it would push both UGA and SC further down toward the cellar in the SEC.

A Pawsitive Experience

June 8th, 2010
2:41 pm

Herschel NEVER scored on the Clemson Tigers !

Big Boy Roy

June 8th, 2010
2:42 pm

“More of what they had to say is posted on twitter.com/ajcuga. Please follow us there.”

Thanks AJC, apparently you don’t work in a real corporate environment. Most companies block twitter, facebook, etc… Hell, I get proxy server warnings all over the AJC pages because of blocked content.

Sam25

June 8th, 2010
2:42 pm

The SEC’s lack of strong academic institutions (outside of Vanderbilt) is the primary reason Texas won’t be coming.

Glory Glory

June 8th, 2010
2:44 pm

Let the other conferences expand all they want. They still won’t be able to touch the SEC.

Oh, and (((((30-24)))))

One Thumb Tom

June 8th, 2010
2:48 pm

9 Members of the big Ten are “Public Ivy’s” (all but Northwestern, which is private, and Purdue). Only one member of the SEC is in that club (Florida).

This makes us (Big 10) better.

ryan

June 8th, 2010
2:49 pm

Texas is not going to the Pac 10 Texas wants to be the big fish do you think the Longhorns want to compete with USC to be the face of the Pac 10.

bill_in_atl

June 8th, 2010
2:50 pm

Sam25, that’s a convenient excuse. The SEC is higher rated than the Big12 and that didn’t stop Texas from signing up. Texas wants to be the big fish in whatever pond they decided to swim in. I’m not saying they are all scared of the SEC, but it’s obvious that they would lose more games playing an SEC slate every year, which in the end would cost them money.

For the Clemson fans above, I hope you’re joking, at least in regard to UGA. Have you actually looked at the series records? It’s UGLY. The only time you were competitive was when you were cheating (more than normal) under Danny Ford.

Asheville Dawg

June 8th, 2010
2:52 pm

Clemson and other Florida schools don’t add much to the SEC. Texas and Va. Tech do. But remember to get those schools you probably have to add Texas A & M and Virginia. Do any of the North Carolina schools add any value?

What is the criteria for adding to the SEC? Football schools or basketball schools? The Big Ten wants research universities.

Finally, the last standing, and unloved, members of the Big 12 conference ( formerly known as the Big 8) will merge with the Big East so that they may retain BCS status.
Only no one will care.

ormewood

June 8th, 2010
2:54 pm

it would be much easier for Texas to be the big fish in the Pac 10 as compared to the SEC. Plus, it would be open up fertile recruiting ground (CA) for them. Politics make it complicated, however. A&M, TTech, and OK want to attach themselves to the Longhorns, and Baylor and OKSt are trying to do the same.

ormewood

June 8th, 2010
2:57 pm

Asheville Dawg, North Carolina has a national brand, arguably the most significant one in the ACC. It’s for basketball and the school itself, though. Certainly not football. I suppose Miami and FSU, along with Duke, also have significance as national brands. VaTech? maybe. Clemson? Don’t think so.

B-Rob

June 8th, 2010
2:58 pm

Yo yo, Big Boy Roy is right. I got in trouble last month for all the times I was “trying to get to facebook and twitter”, the corporate security looked deeper…Every time I tried to get to thos pages it was from AJC.

Yo dudes, you got to makes your web-page so those of us in da office don’t get into no trouble.

=====Roll Tide=====

Me

June 8th, 2010
3:00 pm

“….we’ve had a lot of national championships lately”. Uhhh…speak for yourself Richt.

billy

June 8th, 2010
3:00 pm

If the PAC 10 gets Texas and Texas A&M – it doesn’t matter if you, SEC, get 2 FSUs, 2 Miamis, or 2 Clempsons (why you would want 1 Clempson, I can’t understand) — the SEC will be the second best conference in the nation

billy

June 8th, 2010
3:01 pm

The SEC will be sorry to get VA Tech. Once you go to Blacksburg and see that whooping, hollering, and “sticking-it-in” chants – well it will just make you sick.

BAMA1

June 8th, 2010
3:02 pm

A Pawsitive Experience

June 8th, 2010
2:41 pm
Herschel NEVER scored on the Clemson Tigers !

How about Alabama in the Georgia Dome: Did they have any luck?

Will

June 8th, 2010
3:02 pm

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it SEC.

billy

June 8th, 2010
3:02 pm

But, please SEC take Clempson and VA Tech — please, please, please.

Me = Lame Brain

June 8th, 2010
3:04 pm

The whole article was about the conferences, idiot.

Sam25

June 8th, 2010
3:04 pm

It is not a convenient excuse…it is reality. A big part of expansion is going to be driven by academics. You are also incorrect regarding the SEC being higher rated than the Big 12, 7 out of the 12 SEC schools are ranked 106 or lower, compared to only 3 in the Big 12 in the latest US News & World Report rankings. SEC and academics are not a good match.

HugoStiglitz

June 8th, 2010
3:05 pm

So all the SEC fans have convinced themselves that all the other conferences want to expand because they fear the SEC? Give me a break. They want to expand to widen their demographic and create or expand their very lucrative TV networks. The real battle going on in college athletics is the battle to generate as much money per school as possible, not trying to win the most championships.

Big John Studd

June 8th, 2010
3:06 pm

Ken Patera and I were the greatest tag team of all time. Just stating facts here people.

What?

June 8th, 2010
3:08 pm

Sam25,

You’re an idiot. Look at those rankings again. The SEC fares better.

jimmy at USC

June 8th, 2010
3:10 pm

UNC is headed North to the Big Ten. Delaney wants 20 AAU schools and will go after Maryland, UVA, Duke, UNC, and GA Tech.

ReddJonn68

June 8th, 2010
3:10 pm

Hey we are all grown here we know whats going on these other so-called powerhouse conferences are not getting the bucks we are in the SEC. We cannot help we are dominating the BCS series. What tickles me is that the presidents won’t budge on getting a valid playoff system, but are gung-ho when it comes too destroying other schools conferences and tradition. This is exactly why Congress has tried to get involved in NCAA football’s business, it seems like it’s being ran by the mob. I mean look when you enter school from PreK to college it’s about discipline, good character , & education. If any of these realignment scenarios play out, the university president’s will look like hoodlum street gangs, in a wild turf battle. And you wonder why some major schools have problems controlling their own programs i.e. Michigan, some conferences don’t even have loyalty from their major schools. We now return you to our regularly scheduled program : “College Football Gone Wild” !!!!!!

jimmy at USC

June 8th, 2010
3:11 pm

I think the SEC should take a wait and see. When the dust settles I think VA Tech and NC State would be great additions.

boots

June 8th, 2010
3:11 pm

Add VA Tech, Clemson, Texas A&M and FL State. But don’t add any more SEC games to the schedule, and don’t go for a member that won’t add much to the rivalries. It seems stupid for the Pac 10 to be adding TX or TX Tech. Those schools have nothing in common with the Pac 10 schools, no geographical connections, no history and no rivalries. This is all about $ and won’t be good for college football.

brent

June 8th, 2010
3:18 pm

hey Sam25, yeah but the BIg 12 has 3 schools that are tier 3 and the sec only has 2.

JJH

June 8th, 2010
3:18 pm

One Thumb Tom,

Georgia ranks higher than Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan State, and Purdue.

I guess that makes UGA a “Public Ivy” too.

Delbert D.

June 8th, 2010
3:19 pm

For the Big Ten, PAC-10 and ACC, it’s about academics and finances. Don’t diminish academic quality and add TV footprint and leverage with the networks.

For one example, the ACC could be proactive and add UConn, Rutgers, Syracuse and Pitt from the Big East. All are top tier and are AAU members. That adds greatly to the league TV footprint and adds 2 serious basketball programs. But they probably won’t do that, since the Big Ten will probably act first and select one or more of these (Rutgers has been mentioned specifically). The offer to Missouri and Nebraska is on less than 2-weeks timetable now. Also, Georgia Tech and Maryland (both AAU members) have been mentioned in Big Ten discussions.

Ohio State president reported back to the Big Ten commissioner (who has the backing of the presidents to act) on his communication with Texas’ president. As reported yesterday, there is a “Tech” issue. That could be interpreted that Texas Tech might be needed to follow Texas ans Texas A&M (both top-tier and AAU members). Texas Tech is a Tier 3 school, and not an AAU member.

Here’s a list of the academic situations for each conference that I posted yesterday on TB’s blog:

Academic factors in expansion scenarios
=======================================
CONF———TIER 1&2 Schools
ACC———–All
Big-12——–All but KS St., OK St., TXTech
Big East—–UConn, Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse
Big Ten——All
C-USA——-Rice, SMU, Tulane, Tulsa
MAC———-None
Mtn.West—BYU, CO St., TCU, Utah
PAC-10——All but Oregon St.
SEC———–All but Miss.St., Ole Miss
Sun Belt—–None
WAC———-None
Indept.——–Notre Dame

Service Academies are not ranked due to limited curricula

AAU Memberships
==============
ACC———Duke, Ga.Tech, UVA, MD
Big-12——MO, NE, CO, KS, TX, TX A&M
Big East—Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse
Big Ten—–All
C-USA——Rice, Tulane
PAC-10—–All but AZ St., Wash. St.
SEC———Florida, Vanderbilt

Notes:
1. Big Ten expansion predicated on AAU membership
except in case of Notre Dame*
2. Missouri and Nebraska have Big Ten offers*
3. Missouri and Nebraska have 2 weeks to inform Big-12*
4. Note PAC-10 “choices”from Big-12: Tier1/2, AAU

* Based on news reports

Ruff Ruff Ruff

June 8th, 2010
3:21 pm

Us Dawgs don’t think the SEC should expand because the SEC does nothing but win titles. Since 1980, Georgia has dominated the championship scene along with Florida and Alabama.

Ruff Ruff Ruff. Go get your 16 teams and we will stand pat because a championship for the SEC is a championship for the DAWGS!!! Sic em!!! Ruff Ruff Ruff.

Delbert D.

June 8th, 2010
3:24 pm

Error in the previous post: UConn is *not* an AAU member, but it has a Tier 1/2 ranking of 66, same as Rutgers, and higher ranked than 3 ACC schools (NC. St., FSU and VT.

ReddJonn68

June 8th, 2010
3:26 pm

I beg to differ with anyone who says that education will be a major deciding factor in this process. I guess thats why the PAC-10, who has some great higher learning institutions, looks like the guy trying to get a date at a couples retreat. They didn’t even announce expansion plans until the Big-Ten got the ball rolling & came clean. As for the SEC, would you water down a nice glass of brandy.

Jim Roy

June 8th, 2010
3:26 pm

“Us Dawgs don’t think the SEC should expand because the SEC does nothing but win titles. Since 1980, Georgia has dominated the championship scene along with Florida and Alabama.”

Just how many national chamionships has that been for Georgia? My friend who has only one finger on his left hand could count them on his left hand. BTW, Ga Tech has just as many championships during that period, and at least people under 50 remember the last time Tech won!

deltadog

June 8th, 2010
3:28 pm

It would be a hoot to see Clemson facing an SEC school every weekend instead of another ACC cupcake like they do now. Instead of Maryland, Wake Forest, NC State, Virginia or Duke they’d get Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, LSU, Auburn or Arkansas.

Waterboy

June 8th, 2010
3:29 pm

Jim Roy, I can’t even remember the last time Tech won a bowl game

Paul (you doesn't have to call me Johnson)

June 8th, 2010
3:29 pm

One of the best ways to lure Texas into the SEC is to swap or alternate the Cotton Bowl and the Sugar Bowl as BCS Bowl Series games

HugoStiglitz

June 8th, 2010
3:29 pm

ReddJonn68, actually the Big Ten pays out about 30% more per school then the SEC does. They do very well financially. They just want more.

Erik

June 8th, 2010
3:29 pm

It cracks me up how all the Big 10/11 folks have recently resorted to harping on academics. When you’ve resorted to that, you’ve lost the argument.

The Ivy League has better academics than the Big 10/11 but it’s athletics are not as good. Along the same lines, the Big 10/11 has better academics than the SEC but it’s athletics are not as good.

Go Dawgs.

Gravy Train

June 8th, 2010
3:31 pm

Bring in Texas (Huge TV addition) and Oklahoma (another midwest market share), maybe FSU (always belonged in SEC) and Va Tech (push the demo north). Nothing to gain by adding Clemson (Where’s Danny?) or Georgia Tech (Turkey Neck and the Old Goat). The SEC is and will be the innovator and the Super Conference.