Is it time for a new SEC?

Senior Writer InsideTennessee
Posted Jun 9, 2010


What if? What if Nebraska leaves the Big 12 and goes to the Big 10? What if Texas and several others head to the possible Pac 16? Should the SEC try to keep up? If so, what should the conference do? Go "Inside" to get one writer's take on the situation. Talk about a strong basketball conference and a very interesting football one.

For weeks there have been discussions and speculation about conferences expanding into super conferences.

When recently asked about the possibility of expansion, both Tennessee men’s coaches Bruce Pearl and Derek Dooley said a lot depended on what the Big 10 did, saying that would be the first domino to fall. Both said they had faith in SEC Commissioner Mike Slive to do what was best for the conference, and were relying on his experience and him having their best interests in mind.

It now appears that they may be right.

More rumors began to swirl Wednesday that Nebraska will leave the Big 12 and head to the Big 10. Apparently, the Cornhuskers have had enough of Texas getting more money than the Big Red.

If Nebraska leaves as expected, the next domino or team to watch will the Longhorns of Texas. If Texas bolts to the Pac 10, the Longhorns will take Texas A&M with them, which will be mandatory. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Baylor will give the conference six more teams to make it the Pac 16. The two Arizona teams would join the Big Six to make the East Division of the Pac 16.

Look for the Big 10 to at least become the new Big 12 or the Big 14. Add Nebraska, Notre Dame, Rutgers and Maryland, and you have the makings for a conference of everyone’s liking.

So what does the SEC do to keep up?

Some feel that they don’t have to do anything, but if the BCS goes bye bye with all the expansions, something might have to be done.

So, here are my thoughts.

Take this and $1 in the morning and buy yourself a Big Gulp or cup of coffee.

With the possible mass exodus of the Big 12, here is what I propose.

Take Missouri and Kansas and add them to the SEC. Yes, you heard me right.

Now here comes the fun part. Add Georgia Tech as another SEC team - the Yellow Jackets have been in the league before. You get the St. Louis and Kansas City television markets, you add the Atlanta television market you already have and then you select one more team to fill out 16 teams.

The three teams for the last spot are Clemson, Miami or Louisville.

It would also shake up the SEC West and the SEC East.

Put these eight teams in the West: Missouri, Kansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Arkansas, LSU, Vanderbilt and Tennessee. OK Vol fans, don’t overreact. Stop and think about this before hitting the Big Orange panic button.

Put these eight teams in the East: Florida, South Carolina, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Alabama, Auburn, and Kentucky.

Stop and think how strong this conference would be in basketball.

With the addition of the likes of Kansas, Missouri, Georgia Tech and Clemson it would make th SEC a very popular television conference.

In football it would keep some interesting rivalries while building some new ones.

Would it really be bad for Tennessee not to be in the East?

Auburn and Alabama need to stay together, and both can do well in the East. Now, here is the interesting dilemma.

Florida and Alabama officials will be screaming from the rafters. No way do they want to be in the same division.

How much power do they have over Slive and the SEC?

We are about to find out.

This will give all fans something to think about. The next few weeks are going to be interesting. Will the Big 12 go down almost as fast as the sinking of the Titanic?

Go to the Rocky Top News Forum to discuss the ever-changing landscape with other Tennessee Volunteer fans.



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