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Superconferences

2010 April 27
by Phil Miller

From USA Today’s Campus Rivalry blog:

Mike Slive, the conference’s commissioner, told the New York Times that he is prepared to react if the Big Ten adds teams.

“I won’t sit back and just ignore what is going on around me,” Slive said. “We will be thinking ahead so we are prepared to do whatever we need to do.

“If there’s going to be a significant shift in the conference paradigm, the SEC will be strategic and thoughtful to make sure that it maintains its position as one of the nation’s preeminent conferences.”

Should the Big Ten go to 14 or 16 teams as expected, look for the Slive to target schools in the Southeast for addition to his league. That could include powerhouse programs Florida State, Miami (Fla.), Clemson and Georgia Tech. The SEC also could look to Texas and Texas A&M should they desire to stretch their footprint further West.

I could see the Big 10 adding Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas if it expands to 16 teams and I could also where see the SEC would invite Texas and Texas A&M.  Doing so would expandSEC territory to the much-coveted Texas media market and would also revive some of the now-defunct Southwest Conference rivalries.

One school that has not been mentioned much in the expansion talk is Oklahoma.  It’s not out of the realm of possibilities for the SEC to extend its hand to Oklahoma if the SEC reaches out to the two Texas schools.  OU has strong football and basketball traditions and it has its rivalry with Texas.

It’s much less likely that the Big 10 would offer an invite to OU.  Nebraska and Oklahoma used to have a big-time rivalry in football, but that was in the olden days of the Big 8.  In the Big 8 era, OU and NU played each year and more often than not, that game meant the Big 8 championship.  But when the Big XII formed and chose the north-south divisions, OU in the south and NU in the north, that rivalry was squashed.  It didn’t help matters that OU struggled throughout for a period in the 1990′s and NU struggled for a period during the “awts.”

What seems increasingly likely is this:  the days of the Big XII appear to be numbered.

3 Responses
  1. Jim permalink
    April 27, 2010

    The SEC might go after UTexas but they have almost no chance of actually landing them. The administration wants nothing at all to do with the SEC because of the academics. They see themselves in the same conversations as the U Michigans and Cal’s of the world. Granted the Big 12 does not have the greatest academic rep itself but this was not Texas first choice the Pac 10 was and if they are forced to change conferences the SEC is at best there 3rd choice.

  2. Greg Pinelli permalink
    April 27, 2010

    Years ago I thought it was incredibly shortsighted for the Southwest Conference not to go after Arizona State and Arizona..they didn’t and the Conference is history…..

    The Pac 10 would be a perfect fit for Texas. The academics are very compatible…the football rivalries would be unbelievable.. Texas v So Cal..Texas v Stanford..etc

    The Pac 10 should then rename itself the PacificWest Conference and look to Texas A&M and Texas Tech to join…….

  3. Brad permalink
    April 30, 2010

    Jim, Florida has strong academics as well as Vanderbilt. If you go school to school Big 12 to SEC you won’t see much of a difference below those three. Sure, Michigan, Cal and Texas are above Florida, but Texas isn’t that far above Florida in public school rankings. Me thinks you are talking out of your azz just a little by suggesting that across the board that the Big Twelve is so much better than the SEC academically.

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