Now that the Pittsburgh Panthers and the Syracuse Orange have bidden a fond farewell to the Big East, what's next for the SEC? The SEC has provisionally picked up Texas A&M, but at this point in time lacks the 14th member, and certainly doesn't seem to be aggressively looking for 16 like the ACC now appears to be doing.
There are a few things that occur to me after this move:
- Florida State, Georgia Tech, Clemson and Virginia Tech all previously mentioned as possible SEC additions, now appear to be off the table with the unanimous agreement to raise the cost of departure from the ACC;
- The Big East appears to have only one truly interesting football program left, namely West Virginia, who have to be considered the presumptive favorite to be team #14 in the SEC;
- The Big East is still a viable conference even after it loses all three schools, assuming the Big 12 continues its slow disintegration. They could replace up to four departing members from the leavings and scrapings of that conference.
- UConn has been mentioned as aggressively applying for ACC membership. That would put the ACC as the undisputed best basketball conference around.
- It's getting harder to see how the SEC gets to 16 teams without taking at least two more from the Big 12, or *gasp* Louisville.
- If the SEC doesn't want to be scraping the bottom of the barrel, it needs to make a move right now. Getting to 16 SEC teams could get hard if they wait much longer.
- This isn't Monopoly, it's Risk.
I have no idea how all this will shake out, but I think we are living in those "interesting times." Texas and Oklahoma, assuming they don't eventually decide to stay where they are, could be headed in different directions -- Texas to the ACC and OU and Oklahoma State to the Pac-12. Or, they could all head to the Pac-Gynormous together. Who can say at this point.
What do you think?