Thursday, August 11, 2011
Only a matter of time before SEC expands
By Chris Low
It’s not a matter of if, but when.
The recent rumblings in the state of Texas only reinforce that belief.
The SEC isn’t going to be confined to 12 teams for much longer, and the chances that Texas A&M will be one of the teams joining the newly expanded SEC are right up there with the chances that the SEC will have something to say about the national championship race this season … again.
I had a chance to talk with SEC commissioner Mike Slive last week and tried to pin him down about conference expansion and asked him specifically about Texas A&M.
Slive is too smart to be pinned down by anything, but he coyly wasn’t denying anything, either.
And now with Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, a Texas A&M alum, saying earlier this week that conversations were being held about the Aggies joining the SEC, it’s a fair question to wonder if the SEC schedule will be taking teams through College Station, Texas as early as the 2012 season.
The next question becomes: Who’s coming with the Aggies? Oklahoma? Would Texas also follow suit?
Oklahoma and Texas A&M were the two teams the SEC reportedly tried to lure during the expansion bonanza last year.
For the SEC, I’ve always felt that it would be a brilliant move to dip into the state of Texas.
It’s only going to help with recruiting in that state, and think about the number of additional people you’re going to be introducing to SEC football, not to mention being able to tap into the Dallas and Houston television markets.
Arkansas already plays Texas A&M every year in Arlington, Texas, and the Aggies have run up against SEC teams in the Cotton Bowl more than a few times over the years.
I’ve heard some fans say that the SEC is perfect just the way it is.
And, yes, it’s hard to argue with five straight national championships.
But the college football landscape is continuing to change. By the 2014 season, I predict it will look completely different.
You can bet that Slive and the SEC aren’t going to sit back and do nothing while all the other conferences make strategic moves to strengthen themselves.
The SEC made its play during the first wave of expansion last year, although the Big 12 was able to hold onto Texas A&M and Oklahoma.
Something tells me the second wave will stretch the SEC’s boundaries westward and who knows in what other directions.