Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Status quo most likely option for SEC
By Chris Low
The seeds of conference expansion are everywhere in college athletics.
Make that everywhere but the SEC.
The landscape in college athletics is poised to change as we know it. Nebraska and Missouri could be on their way to the Big Ten by the end of this week. The Pac-10 is ready to take just about everybody else out of the Big 12, and the Big East could also be on the verge of losing a team or two to the Big Ten.
Meanwhile, the SEC sits, waits and watches.
And in doing so, there’s a sense of contentment among SEC commissioner Mike Slive and the league presidents and athletic directors.
The general consensus last week at the SEC spring meetings in Destin, Fla., was that the league liked its current lineup and wasn’t going to be in the business of raiding other conferences just for the sake of adding more schools.
The phrase that Slive keeps repeating is “strategic and thoughtful” as it relates to the SEC’s stance on expansion.
In other words, if there’s a chance to go get Texas or even Oklahoma if the Big 12 indeed starts to crumble, then the SEC would almost certainly make a pitch.
But the majority of the presidents, athletic directors and football coaches in the SEC are in favor of keeping the league right where it is with 12 schools -- regardless of what the Big Ten or Pac-10 does.
Still, that doesn’t mean the SEC wouldn’t be opportunistic.
Broadening the league’s borders would be favorable to some in the league, which would bring in new markets, create new recruiting territories and introduce SEC football to a brand new collection of fans.
The two schools that would probably fit that description best are Texas and Virginia Tech, two traditionally strong football schools and two entirely new markets to the SEC.
Ultimately though, the SEC will probably look the same way in 2012 as it does now.