Thursday, April 22, 2010

SEC Exapnsion? What would a super sized SEC look like?

With all of the Mettenberger junk going on, I think many Georgia fans have failed to pay attention to what may be a game changer in the world of college football - the expansion of the Big 10. The Big Ten may be known for its slow, plodding players and inability to win BCS games, but if the conference expands to 16 schools, it will change college football forever. The next logical step would be the expansion of all of the major BCS conferences to 16 teams, setting up the perfect scenario for a playoff. I won't go any further into the playoff vs. BCS debate, but I have to wonder what an expanded SEC would look like.

If the SEC did expand from 12 to 16 teams, what schools would join the best conference in the land? Here are the schools I see as the most likely candidates (Note: if the Big 10 goes to 16 schools, I am pretty sure that will signal either the end of the current Big East football conference or some major realignment, so Big East schools are included in this list. Also, I assume all current SEC schools are staying and schools from other big conferences, i.e. Clemson, will not be available).

- East Carolina - The two-time defending Conference USA Champions have proven to be a quality program that can hang with some of the best teams in the country. They would provide a new, in-conference rival for South Carolina and also give the SEC a presence in ACC territory (North Carolina).

- South Florida - The Bulls have reached as high as number 2 in the rankings in recent years but have been unable to finish the climb. South Florida would give the SEC its second school in the state of Florida and provide an in-state challenger to the Gators.

- Troy - The Trojans have played a number of SEC schools over the past few seasons and showed the ability to score with the best of them.

- Louisville - Already a big rival with Kentucky, the Cardinals have been a top team in the Big East (until recently). Georgia already has a two game series booked with Louisville in the coming years.

Others considered: Tulane, Central Florida, Memphis, Southern Miss

Here is how I would align the divisions:

South Carolina
East Carolina
South Florida

West -
Ole Miss
Mississippi State

What would your new SEC look like?


Anonymous said...

If Slive and the SEC is looking to out duel the Big 10, He should look to raid the ACC of Miami, FSU, Clemson and maybe pick up South Florida. Let the ACC then have to pick up Troy and East Carolina etc. The point of the expansion is money via TV deals. Picking up the big FLA markets is much more lucrative than the more remote smaller schools which would likely serve to weaken the TV barging power than it is now.

Anonymous said...

good teams..but not big money..think bigger

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first post regarding going after the big name ACC and/or Big East schools who have competitive football programs with less emphasis on basketball. The key is to add teams that will be accretive from a revenue standpoint, which means programs like Texas, Miami, FSU, etc. who can open new viewing territory and add clout to TV contract negotiations. East Carolina, etc. don't really get me too excited.

With 16-18 teams, I also wonder if Slive would expand the SEC into 3 divisions and set-up a 2 game SEC championship playoff. This would likely require the SEC schools to trim one game from their schedule, which wouldn't go over well, but if the revenue of adding a first round game with the 2 winners playing in the SEC championship makes financial sense, it may get some support.

MT said...

I agree. If Big 10 goes hunting for big game, expect the SEC to do the same.

I think Louisville and East Carolina probably have the most potential in a realigned SEC, but I personally would expect a run on FSU and a Big 12 team (especially given their unequal revenue sharing model).

Arkansas needs a Texas school matchup to make some travel for them a little easier and to further their in-roads in the TX recruiting market.

I think UTexas would probably be unreachable, but there are a lot of schools in the state located in major TV markets. I think Texas A&M could be a distinct possibility and allow them to distinguish themselves more from UT.

TCU, Rice (Vandy west?)...and remember, 20 years ago SMU was a powerhouse

Dawg19 said...

If they go to 16 teams, I wonder how it would affect scheduling. We would have to play everybody in our division, so that leaves one SEC game against a team from the West division. Unless they change it from 8 SEC games a year to 9 or 10. That would be brutal.

Cojones said...

I keep seeing these conjectures without sufficient analysis to show why we have to expand to 16 teams. Delaney (Big Ten Commish) has put down rumors that sailed under their own BS wind. It will be a long process with expansion numbers not yet evident. They easily can expand to only 12 teams to equate with the SEC. There is no good reason for us to expand and dilute the SEC even post Big Ten expansion. I disagree with the entire premise of this blog. Other pundits have tried to sell this baloney without yet coming up with an intellectual argument for expansion of the SEC. Keeping up with the Joneses is not an argument.

Andy Coleman said...

Give me some Miami baby! One more reason to hate the color orange!

Streit said...

Ultimately, I would love to raid the ACC (bring back the Clemson rivalry and bring in NC State) but I was assuming the ACC will stay in tact since it already has 12 teams. They (ACC) could also expand to pick up the rest of the big east that they did pick up when they added BC, Miami, and VT a few years ago.

Thanks for all of the great comments!

Reptillicide said...

Not big enough money makers to warrant an expansion. Think bigger. Texas and Texas A&M to the west, Then take your pick from Clemson, FSU, Virginia Tech, etc.

j.leonardjr said...

I agree with the sentiment in these other comments. The SEC won't bother adding teams that won't make for better TV deals. Those teams you mention would just water down the league. I also think Slive would go after teams like Clemson,FSU, and Miami. Texas and Texas A&M would be good fits for the West as well. Texas could be courted by several conferences. I do think South Florida might fit. It is all about generating revenue so big TV markets or teams with solid brand names will be targets.

MikeInValdosta said...

I agree with the others. If the ACC expands, the ACC dies.

I only see SEC expansion if Texas puts themselves in the market.

Texas and Oklahoma get added to the West and Clemson and FSU get added to the East.