Kinda scary ain't it? With all of the talk surrounding everyone's new conference expansions and who will end up where, and the idea of "Super Conferences" all out there to make everyone nervous as a long tailed Cat in a room full of rocking chairs, let's just see what we can make out of all of this.
First and foremost, this is not about rumors, or backroom deals , or handshakes that get these kinds of things done. I will leave that to the experts who are going to comment on here that this kind of thing wont happen, and can never happen. But here is what the SEC should do to make itself the pre-eminent player in all of collegiate athletics.
Now, we have to decide on a number. And this cannot be an arbitrary number, because this number causes all kinds of complications when it comes to tournaments, post-season play, etc. So for the sake of this, I am going to go with what I think is the prevailing number, 16. That's right, 16 teams get to decide every year who goes where and how they are going to get there. Now we have to decide who, or should I say whom gets the nod. And some of you are not going to like what I choose here. I use three deciding categories.
2. TV Markets/Money
Intangibles is the most open of these categories, because it is so wide-ranging. Rivalries could play a part, also history, etc. But there is something for everyone here, so let's see. First group will be the existing members of the SEC I would keep.
1) Kentucky- Not because they are my favorite team, but because this conference should try to be balanced for all sports, and UK has started making inroads in almost all sports for both men and women.
2) Florida- See#2 above.....this is where the bucks are folks....gotta keep them in the mix
3) Georgia- I hate Georgia, but they are a staple of the SEC and one of our most feared football schools.
4) Tennessee- They have had a downturn of late in football, but with the newly appointed Dooley at the help, they will right the ship in Football....and we have to keep Brucie around for laughs in Basketball too.
5) Alabama- Again see#2 above.....Roll Tide Roll.....besides if it's good enough for Forrest Gump, who am I to question?
6) Auburn- See#3 above.....Auburn/Bama has just too many of these not to keep them, and they just built a new basketball facility.
7) Vanderbilt- Every conference has to have a "mascot" besides, this is where all the smart people go....just ask them....we need their GPA.
8) Mississippi- This one is borderline, but they still fly rebel flags down there and this would be called the "Southern" conference. Mississippi really needs to get themselves righted in athletics though. They have been slipping.
9) LSU- Geaux Tigers......Next to UK, this is my favorite color scheme in the SEC....just love the colors of royalty. And LSU used to be, and can still be one of the He-Studs of college football.
10) Miss St- see #3 again.....Ole Miss and MSU are a classic battle......MSU is always competitive in basketball, and we still dont beat them consistently in football. They need to up the ante like Mississippi in spending and properly fund their programs though.
Not making the cut- South Carolina/Arkansas Sorry folks, but the experiment just hasnt worked out the way it should have.
11) Texas-see #1, #2, and #3.......this is the crown jewel everyone wants.....and Florida might actually have to work a little harder in football. Texas Vs. LSU, BAMA,Florida the regular season games themselves every year would be instant classics.
12) Miami-Having Miami and Florida would basically let us lock up all Florida recruiting when you throw in my next one.
13) Florida State- We can use the Seminoles......great history, and it adds to the Miami deal.....ALL major university sports in Florida would go through the new conference.
14)Texas A&M- We bring in an in-state rivalry for Texas......and get another set of major boosters in the mean time.
15) Louisville- I know this is a "homer" pick, but this also lets us keep all Kentucky under wraps as well....
16) Georgia Tech- This rights a wrong that occurred when GaTech left the SEC years ago. Shouldn't have happened. Ga Tech is a natural fit for the SEC.
This new "Southern" Conference would be a powerhouse in both football and basketball. And also brings in great athletics in almost every collegiate sport. Basketball teams play every year, home one season away the next. Football plays every other year, same theory. Texas playing football in Commonwealth? WOW, Miami?YES! We get automatically upgraded scheduling in both sports as well as some new markets TV-wise for teams. The Big Ten and Big East will no longer be the only big name players in terms of expansion, and this could possibly force the Big East to start looking at other alternatives.
Louisville no longer has to travel to UCONN for a football game, their fans get more "localized" games....and a better TV package as well. Everyone will have their way with this, but this is something I would love to see happen. Now all of you can tell me why it wont....lol...