The chaos is upon us

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So here’s the deal — Texas A&M seems like a lock for the SEC. You know it’s serious when Skinny 12 commissioner Dan Beebe scolds A&M and says the league will survive without the Aggies. The question is who will join A&M.

Everyone has an opinion. I’ve heard just about every school east of the Mississippi and some west of it.

I think one thing you have to understand is that a school’s football tradition is going to mean a lot less than its TV market. One reason the SEC is looking to expand is to renegotiate its deals with ESPN and CBS. Those were groundbreaking deals at the time and then other conferences blew right past them.

What I wonder is how big Mike Slive and the SEC powers are thinking. Are they ready to go to 16 teams? Or just to 14? Or maybe to 18? The Revolution, baby.

My gut is the SEC will be bold and add four teams. I think Georgia Tech, an original member of the conference, makes sense because of the market (8th in the country) and academics. Missouri (St. Louis is 21st) would make sense as well.

From a purely TV sets standpoint, USF makes a lot of sense at No. 13. So does Miami at 16 but the SEC already has a school where nobody shows up for games. It’s called Vanderbilt.

How about UCF, No. 19 in the TV market? North Carolina State is another name I have heard and the market for Tobacco Road is 25th. Clemson is 36th.

Oklahoma makes a lot of sense to me if the Sooners are interested. Oklahoma City, just 45 minutes away and considered the market for the Sooners, is 45th in the nation.

The funny thing is that the SEC is littered with bad TV markets. That includes Gainesville at No. 102 but we know that the Gator Nation is everywhere and the SEC brand is strong enough to overcome the Starkvilles of the world.

Florida State, by the way, is a longshot. The market is No. 104 and FSU had its chance a long time ago. But you never know.

It should be interesting. And crazy.

Because alignment will change as well if all of this happens. Auburn to the East? Wow.

13 COMMENTS

  1. I think you’re viewing the markets a little too narrow. The SEC already has the Atlanta market (UGA has more alums and certainly more fans that Tech in Atlanta). The SEC is on TV in every market in Florida already. Texas, that’s NEW markets and every major Texas market (except, perhaps, Austin) will need to pick-up SEC telecasts (Houston, Dallas, San Antonio).

    New markets for the SEC are North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Missouri, Oklahoma, etc. The SEC has every tv market in every state they currently play.

  2. Agree with Robert, when factoring in SEC TV markets you have to consider the whole state, not the small university town. Vandy in Nashville has the largest TV market but probably the lowest TV ratings. Figure in South Alabama, SW GA and the panhandle of Florida when looking at Auburn TV Ratings not tiny Auburn, AL.

  3. Going with Robert here. The SEC won’t take any teams in a state it already is in. I see TAMU plus Virginia or Okie State (Oklahoma will never accept being second fiddle to Bama). Missouri is a long shot, and the only North Carolina team worth considering is UNC, and they will never leave the ACC.
    .
    I say 14 teams. The SEC will go to 9 conference games so that you can still play 3 teams from the other division every year.
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    If we add two West teams, then Auburn moves, which puts them where they belong. Their three biggest rivals are Bama, Georgia, and Florida, and by moving to the East they can play all 3 every year. Just so long as UF doesn’t get them the week before the Georgia game every year. Been there, done that, don’t want to go back.

  4. I think North Carolina would be a perfect fit and they should take advantage of the opportunity. They need to let go of the acc basketball snobbery. They would benefit and they would also upgrade the SEC’s basketball rep immediately. It would be a win win for all parties!

  5. I think this move is completely ridiculous and not needed. Conferences that need to add teams, do it because they don’t have enough of them. Plus they idea of two divisions and a championship game is very appealing and necessary. In the case of the SEC, they should stay exclusive to the teams they have, to keep tradition and rivalries alive. The Pac-10 now , 12, needed to grow and did, by adding two more teams, and therefore allowing the format of at Championship game. SEC is perfect the way it is and adding more teams to it, is completely the dumbest idea I have heard. College football should be more worried about fixing their bowl system to playoffs than adding more teams to a league that is already the class of the nation, and has enough teams in it already!!

  6. NC State makes more sense than UNC, who could never part company with their beloved Siamese Twins, Duke. Wolfpack fans have the greater interest in football than UNC and have a tailgating experience that is similar to that in the SEC. VT and Clemson have excellent football tranditions and experiences, as does FSU, but each of them either has issues in leaving/joining, or don’t offer as much in terms of improved TV market access. Right now, it is easier to see a Big10 game in North Carolina than an SEC game, and that would change with NC State in the SEC.

  7. Pat,
    I agree-it won’t be long…you know what BOTHERS ME…But I am troubled by the 43 % that want to leave IT the SAME! THE SEC set the STAGE AND NEEDS TO KEEP MOVING! IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU WHEN YOU GET CONTENT & COMPLACENT- JUST ASK KODAK (digital Photograhy almost put ’em out of business). ANYWAY, GATOR FANS WANT PATSY ACC TEAMS-NOT FSU- GO FIGURE!?!?!?!? I thought FLA FANS were a little more “GUTSY” -I guess they’re more like KODAK!!!
    GOOOO GATORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Perhaps USF,the area is a hotbed of football lovers that i think support better than UCF in the Orlando. Maybe NC State not so much for football but for a basketball shot in the arm. and either Virginia Tech or Texas A&M….

  9. The SEC may not go to 16 teams in one step, but it will happen soon. College football, at the highest level, is headed to four mega conferences of 16 teams each. They will then show the NCAA the door and “police” themselves. Also, the will institute their own play off system to crown the champion of their new, 64-team, association. And I bet everyone of you a steak dinner this will happen no later than 2016.