January 28th, 2013 12:03 PM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: Expansion Express, North Carolina, SEC, Virginia Tech
Get ready. They’re coming. From one side of the continent to the other.
With the Big XII conference holding a get-together of its athletic directors today and tomorrow, conference expansion/realignment rumors will be back on the menu and they’ll be served up fast and furious all week long.
Big XII commissioner Bob Bowlsby said last week that he was “not convinced based on my conversations with (two other conference commissioners) that the move to 16 is in any way imminent.” Yet he has admitted that the pluses and minuses of expansion will be a main topic at this week’s meeting:
“It is very much an academic and philosophical discussion. We have no plans in the immediate future for any change in composition, but we think it’s wise and prudent to consider all the positive aspects of our current formation as well as whatever negative effects there may be. It also is a good time to talk about the positives of adding a new member or two members of six members.
We don’t have any plans to expand, but on the other hand, we don’t want to be caught off guard either. I think there’s a proactive approach we can undertake and also a reactive and responsive approach. We’re going to flesh out both of those.”
Days earlier, even Texas AD DeLoss Dodds — an anti-expansion hardliner — admitted “there may be some talk of 12″ inside the 10-school Big XII.
Twelve, schmelve seems to be the message of Ohio State president Gordon Gee. He piped up late last week to say that the Big Ten is still talking expansion and that he “believes there is movement towards three or four super-conferences that are made up of 16 to 20 teams.”
We’ve written for a while that we believe the push for a new super-division of the biggest, richest football schools in the country will come to a head soon. Very soon. As in the next three or four years soon. We suspect four or five conferences will survive in the Big Boy Zone and we’ve not been shy about stating that there’s no reason for anyone to believe that we’ll be left with four nice, neat 16-team power conferences. Expansion/realignment is 95% about television revenue and that means content to sell. Some league(s) will realize that having more schools means having more games to sell which in turn will mean more cash. Gee’s “16 to 20″ comment didn’t catch us off guard (and if you read this, this, this, and this it didn’t catch you off guard either).
So what’s all this hubbub mean for the SEC? Here are some best-case scenarios:
1. Everyone takes a deep breath, taps the brakes on the Expansion Express, and waits to see how things play out in the new playoff world.
Uh, yeah, that ain’t happening. It should happen because no one knows how all these rushed decisions will play out long-term, but there’s money on the floor and several league commissioners will be diving on the ground to grab every last nickle of it.
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