If I were running the SEC

In the current realignment turmoil, here’s what I think I would do. (This could all change this afternoon, or tomorrow.)

First, if the Big Ten stays at 16, you don’t have to do anything. But if Kevin Warren keeps going, and all indications are that he will, certainly if ND will come on board, then the SEC needs to respond.

There is nobody in the Group of 5 that I would consider as an SEC candidate. So you’re looking at the ACC, or the Big 12, or even the Pac-12.

Second, you don’t poach, but you get the word out that if certain schools expressed interest, just as SC/UCLA did with the B1G, that you would be receptive.

Who are those schools? There are a lot of ACC schools that would add value. Not as many in the Big 12, but not to say that there aren’t any. I would be very surprised if any P-12 schools would be interested, but if I’m wrong, you evaluate those too.

The current talks between the Big 12 and Pac-12 schools would be very important. If those leagues merge, or if the Orphan 8 poaches 4-6 P-12 schools, then the landscape changes significantly. But the P-12 schools could also decide that staying in the P-12 with Oregon and Washington is a better fit than traveling to Ames or Manhattan or the rectum of Texas (Waco).

Without that grant of rights the ACC would already be toast, I think. It may still be toast. A Clemson or FSU or UNC may decide that getting out of the GOR is worth the legal fight (but would they win?). The GOR, though, could go away if there is a mass exodus. Which could happen.

If Clemson, FSU, Miami and UNC call and say “the ACC is dead and we all want to get into the SEC,” you take them. Full stop. Just as we took EOE and OU and the B1G took USC and UCLA. You could probably also substitute Virginia Tech or NC State in that group too. Take all six? Well that would certainly blow up the GOR. I cannot imagine Virginia wanting to join the SEC, Georgia Tech isn’t attractive (and had its chance), and the northern schools are also not attractive (I include Louisville in that group). But those six would establish the SEC in the entire Southeast and maintain geographic contiguity.

If any Big 12 schools want to bail? Less certain. Kansas would be a no-brainer if its football wasn’t so bad, because of the basketball value. Baylor brings value in both sports but I’m not sure it’s a hot draw for ESPN. Okie Lite would re-establish Bedlam which is not without value either. I don’t see any attraction for Iowa State or TTech, frankly. Kansas would also extend the geographic contiguity. Maybe Cincy, which borders Kentucky and would plant our flag in Big Ten territory.

Out west: The Arizona schools would be a stretch, but I wouldn’t completely rule them out either. Colorado? Maybe. Utah? Less likely. As for Cal and Stanford, I think they’d go independent before they’d join the SEC. I can’t imagine any circumstances where Oregon and Washington would be interested in the SEC, but if they were, you at least listen. Obviously this goes against the idea of the SEC geographic cluster.

But overall, you see who’s interested, and who brings value of the schools that are interested. If that means a mass raid of the ACC, so be it. And my guess is that’s the most likely outcome – 2 to 6 ACC schools. If one of those ACC schools is Notre Dame, that’s the biggest no-brainer of all.

Back when Arkansas first joined the SEC I was thrilled that I could go from Chapel Hill and easily see them at away games at South Carolina (I was there when 3 QBs got injured :cry: and for Mustain’s last job as a starter) and Tennessee (I was there for the Stoerner fumble game and for the OT game won by the Vols’ pass to Jason Whitten :cry:). Then to just round it out I saw games at Ole Miss, MSU, Alabama (including the b.s. interference call in the end zone in Saban’s first year), Georgia (McFadden’s breakout game), Florida, LSU (the game we won in several OTs), and Vanderbilt. But seeing them play UNC in Chapel Hill, in either basketball or football, would be so convenient and so sweet. Almost as sweet as seeing them get to the CWS this year by sweeping UNC at Boshamer Stadium. (Btw, have seen UNC play Arkansas in basketball in Greensboro, Dallas, Seattle, Pine Bluff—my hometown, and Alaska. Was on the front page of the Anchorage paper for the latter, and Swine Fusion and I were on TV for the baseball game).

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That win against North Carolina in our shared hometown is my best in person Razorback victory. Stormed the court. I was at the fumble and OT game at Knoxville to. Sigh. My plan was to visit every SEC stadium when I retired. I’m not even halfway through after 5 years. My time is spent with grands. And even though all were born in Tennessee they wear Hog gear and root for the Hogs. Raising them right.

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Agree about the Pine Bluff game. Told my pregnant wife at the game if we won I’d name our firstborn after Arkansas’ leading scorer. It was Joe Kleine, our son is named Joe, that is my grandfather’s name, but the latter is just a coincidence :smile:.

Only SEC football stadiums I have not been to are Kentucky, Missouri, and Texas A&M (but have seen them play us in the JerryDome). Lots of great food and fun traveling to all of them.

Thanks for clarifying parenthetically that Waco is the rectum of Texas. I was struggling with several different options. :slight_smile:

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Maybe you’ve never been to Lubbock then…just sayin’

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If the SEC gets to 24 teams then it is effectively two 12-team conferences again. The logistics there sure look better than some incarnation between 16-23.

The academic powerhouses that are (in effect) free agents better be on the phone to each other. Whether it is UCal-Berkeley and Stanford out west, ND, Iowa State, and Kansas in the midwest, or UVA, Duke, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, and UNC in the southeast (I suppose I could grudgingly drop Miami in that list), those teams have a lot in common. All have a very good academic reputation and are on iffy ground to be included in a superconference. Adding in Oregon, Washington, Utah, and Colorado, Texas Tech, and the two Arizona schools and you have an 18-team academic conference that makes a ton of sense…academically. There are major teams in there for every sport, too.

That means the SEC is left to poach from Va Tech, Clemson, Florida State, NC State, Kansas State, Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma State, Cincinnati, Houston, BYU, UCF, and West Virginia. A case can be made for any combination of those, but BYU might ought to be added to that academic conference, even if they aren’t on the same level as the others - they are a much better fit there. Baylor and TCU just don’t fit much of anything, methinks.

I don’t think any of it makes any sense except the one that matters most. They can form a consortium that’s great for getting the most bucks for media exposure.

Oh I have. Lubbock is certainly unpleasant as well.

Ok St and bedlam mean nothing to anyone outside of Oklahoma…. Which the SEC has the brand name member out of that state now…

If ND goes BIG Ten the ACC will see that mass exodus…. But I’m not so sure ND doesn’t go ACC… the ACC would be the only conference to give them Texas like treatment in regards to payout split, but even that will prove to be slow burn to conference divorce…. To me the school and the state that holds a good hand is North Carolina…. UNC and NCst (ridding the coat tails of UNC) could see the biggest paydays…

Not surprised you have been to Lubbock. LMAO!

ESPN has spent a lot of time talking about/showing Bedlam in their Big 12 coverage.

I don’t know why OU’s switch to the SEC without O Lite would eliminate their game. There will still be nonconference games. UGA plays GTech every year. Same with UF-FSU and USC-Clemson.

Movement will start win ND makes it’s mind up.

IMO ND wants no part of the SEC.

QUESTION–With all this coming movement will this help or hurt the Razorbacks. In your opinion.

Yeah. But Texas hasn’t been playing A&M because feelings were hurt. And I suspect there are lots of hurt fee-fees in Stillwater. Florida didn’t play FSU for a long time and has basically stopped playing Miami.

In all likelihood it won’t make much difference. If the SEC expands further that will have some impact; we’ll play the new schools more often than we play East teams now other than Misery. And the playoffs are likely to be much different, which could actually benefit us.

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Yeah, but those were because one school or the other decided they didn’t want to continue the rivalries. Certainly there’ll be no Bedlam if either OU or OSU decide to abandon it, but OU going to the SEC doesn’t prevent the game. I have no doubt there are people in Stillwater who are mad as hell they’re left out of the SEC expansion. If that stops the game, it stops it, but no longer being part of the same conference doesn’t inherently stop intrastate rivalries.

As for the TAMU-Yewtee game, I figured that had more to do with A&M’s ability to finally “one-up” Texas by getting into a better conference & improving their profile.IIRC, it was A&M that stopped that series, not Texas.

Florida & Miami have never been in the same conference, so one joining a difference conference didn’t affect that series. I have no idea why they stopped playing. Perhaps UF just prefers to play only 1 in-state rival & prefers that FSU be it. Regardless, neither rivalry is tied to being in the same conference.

Expect that OU & OSU continue their annual Bedlam series. OSU may have their feelings hurt per being left behind by OU’s bolt to the SEC, but OSU only hurts themselves by discontinuing that cross-state rivalry. However, OU may choose to not play OSU in efforts to lessen OSU exposure to Oklahoma recruits. OSU has everything to gain, especially if they win, & OU has little upside to playing OSU. Similar reasons were discussed by many not wanting UofA to play AR State in football.

OU has renewed their football series with NE so times change & value of some old rivalries prevail.

I spent almost a week in Stillwater last month. The feeling I got was one of excitement with Oklahoma and Texas out of the way — that Oklahoma State was in prime position to become a premier football program in the league.

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