Is it Now the SEC’s Turn?
Out here on the West Coast, the presidents and chancellors of the Pac-12 voted late Tuesday night to not become the Pac-16, at least for now.
They like the number 12.
Apparently the idea of four 16-school super conferences is dead for the time being.
Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech were the renegade Big XII schools that had everybody looking at their Rand MacNally.
Living in Pac-12 territory for the last two decades, I couldn’t see Texas Tech as a viable member. No fit.
OU and OSU either.
Only the University of Texas is a university of the calibre of the Pac-12.
So, with the ACC boldly adding appendages to become the greatest basketball conference ever conceived, and an intriguing collection of football programs, what say now the SEC?
Over the past year or so, I’ve thought to myself that Texas would be a perfect fit for the SEC. It is one of the top public institutions in the country, hands down. But, knowing that it is the Longhorn Network and the associated revenue sharing issues that is causing problems for everybody, including the Big XII, the Pac-12, and Texas A&M, it’s not surprising that Texas is still back home for now.
Frankly, the Texas A&M thing has surprised me. I’m sure I could (will) get used to it, but it strikes me odd somehow to have a military institution from Texas in the SEC.
And, the potential legal problems with a Texas A&M exit from the Big XII notwithstanding, it seems equally odd that the SEC will want an odd-numbered conference.
If the SEC really wants to go to a 14- or 16-team conference, for what ever reason (that’s another essay), the right package (I’m not considering the Florida State-Clemson-Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech theory because there is no way that is going to happen) would be to have both Texas and Texas A&M. With all the bad blood, past and recent, between these two schools, it would provide another SEC super rivalry on par with the very best in our conference.
Jumping from 14 to 16 schools, Oklahoma would also be a great addition. And, if current rumors are correct, Missouri may be coming anyway.
I’m not the least interested in having Texas Tech or Oklahoma State in the SEC. I feel no specifics are necessary.
But, regardless of what I think, a 14-school SEC may be created with the addition of Texas A&M and Missouri.
My bet is that it doesn’t happen.
It feels too much like picking up leftovers, and the SEC doesn’t strike me as a conference into that sort of thing, regardless of the potential lucrative nature of additional TV markets.
The powers within the SEC probably now look at such a possibility of a 14-team conference by adding Mizzou and A&M, in the light of Tuesday night’s announcement regarding the Pac-12 staying put, and wish they would have gone after Texas and Oklahoma rather than A&M and Mizzou.
Apparently that was not possible then.
But, this is now.
So, is now the time for the SEC to make a bold play for all four?
Or should the SEC hope the A&M legal issues hang around and allow the SEC to remain at its Pac-12 size?
A baker’s dozen created with the oddity that is A&M just doesn’t seem to be an enduring collection.