The most logical choice for the SEC is East Carolina. North Carolina is the 9th largest state in terms of population. The SEC currently has no presence there and ECU would almost instantly become THE FOOTBALL program in NC with SEC affiliation. ECU consistantly brings more bowlgame viewership than most of th ACC schools in the state now. With ECU the SEC would shatter the dominance the ACC has tried to maintain over the NC market. Any of the following games ECU/FLA, ECU/GA, ECU/SC, ECU/TENN, ECU/ALA, ECU/AUB viewership would blow away any ACC game of the week including UNC/NCSU. The acc schools in NC would be forever relegated to 2nd teer status as the SEC would help bring the best recruits to ECU.
Expansion is once again making headlines on this Monday morning and here’s a bit of what’s out there in the ether today:
1. The Big East’s 14 remaining presidents (football schools, basketball schools and member-to-be TCU) have given Commissioner John Marinatto the go-ahead to “aggressively pursue discussions” with interested schools.
ESPN’s Andy Katz reports that a source told him the possible expansion targets discussed during a Sunday meeting of league presidents were: Navy, Army, Air Force, Temple, Central Florida and SMU.
Not mentioned by Katz: East Carolina.
We have nothing against ECU and would be happy to cover them should they get an SEC invitation. But that’s just not going to happen. ECU has already applied for membership in the Big East yet they don’t appear to be on top of the league’s wish list… even though the Big East appears to be willing to add just about any school other school in the nation in order to stay alive.
We’ve seen and posted the “Undaunted” video on our site. Judging by the number of people who’ve watched it and fully gulped down its message, you’d think it was produced by Leni Riefensthal. But while AD Terry Holland definitely puts ECU’s best foot forward, his school doesn’t have very much chance at all of landing an SEC bid.
Expansion is partly about “status.” Adding a school that the on-life-support Big East isn’t rushing to grab wouldn’t exactly be the equivalent of Mike Slive parking another BMW in the SEC’s garage.
2. Katz also reports that UConn still wants to move to the ACC, but Huskies officials believe that league is slowing on the expansion front. ACC commish John Swofford has said that he’s not opposed to the idea of a 16-team league, but it’s believed he’d like to nab Notre Dame at #15 before inviting UConn for the conference’s 16th slot.
3. Looks as though the rumor about West Virginia having 48 hours to join the Big 12 or else was pure bunk. That’s why — despite having it emailed to us 40 times last week — we never posted the rumor that initially began on a Cincinnati Bearcats blog.
Missouri’s board of curators is scheduled to meet tomorrow. No wise school president would take his team into the Big 12 without assurances that that league is totally stable. That will require a firm “we’re in” from Mizzou.
Knowing that, if the Big 12 is out offering invitations right now, it’s highly doubtful that it’s in any position to be making ultimatums of any kind to any school.
4. Speaking of Mizzou, it’s expected that the school will make an announcement tomorrow either stating that MU is a proud member of the Big 12… or that the board has empowered chancellor Brady Deaton to explore realignment options. In fact, one Big 12 official told The Kansas City Star yesterday that he expects Mizzou to announce that Deaton has been given the power to look around.
That’s a toughie, of course, because Deaton — in a ridiculous conflict of interest — is currently serving as the chairman of the Big 12′s board of directors.
Granting Deaton the power to look around would be a stall tactic for Mizzou. It would allow Missouri to wait and see if the Big 12 can work out its revenue-sharing plan and the hubbub surrounding the Longhorn Network before making a final choice.
Big 12 presidents met yesterday to discuss league stability.
Bottom line: Missouri might make some type of announcement tomorrow, but there’s no guarantee that announcement will bring this round of SEC expansion to a quick conclusion.