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A Few SEC Expansion Appetizers

Just a couple of Texas A&M- and Missouri-related tidbits for you this morning before we get into the main SEC news:

1.  A source told’s Andy Katz that there is “no longer any fear that the remaining schools (in the Big 12) will claim they were financially damaged by the Aggies’ departure.”

2.  ESPN’s Ivan Maisel lets Texas A&M have it for daring to do what the school has considered doing since the 1980s… moving to the SEC.

3.  This writer look at the existing relationships between the Aggies and their future SEC kin.

4.  From ex-Aggie coach RC Slocum (who got the news while in Knoxville) to ex-A&M AD John David Crow (who once worked with LSU to get his school into the SEC) to John Calipari (who tweeted a welcome to hoops coach Billy Kennedy), reaction to A&M’s move is pouring in.

5.  David Ubben of ESPN introduces A&M to SEC fans.

6.  For all Baylor’s talk of protecting Lone Star State football and keeping travel distances short, it doesn’t look like the Big 12 will be adding any teams from Texas.  Surprising.  Really expected Kenneth Starr to fight like Hell for the schools BU left behind in 1996.  (Sarcasm.)

7.  The St. Louis Dispatch now says all eyes are on Missouri to see what the Tigers will do.  The door for a move may be open following a comment by Big 12 interim commish Chuck Neinas on Friday in which he said he believe the league could be viable even without Mizzou.

8.  This writer for The Kansas City Star says MU’s heart may be in the Big 12, but its head might decide to go with the stability and security of the SEC anyway.


Michael Shore
Michael Shore

SMU Case Continued

11. $1.47 billion endowment, not counting $350 million endowment of Bush library
12. Would have highest athlete graduation rate in SEC if a member now
13. New facilities for football and basketball, with ability to expand football to 46,000
14. June Jones
15. Ranked in the top 35 right now, as high as 21, in the computer rankings used by the BCS -- only Boise State and TCU higher among non-BCS schools

Michael Shore
Michael Shore

SMU Case:

1. AAU School, Top 50 nationally on every list, Top 20 on a couple
2. Named in Top 50 All-Time of football programs, committed to long term football excellence
3. Dallas television market #8 nationally, largest without a BCS school
4. Dallas has tons of SEC alumnae who would want to attend games, and is a fun and convenient away game destination. Texas State Fair is available venue.
5. Dallas/Ft. Worth recruiting opens up more for all SEC schools when they come here
6. SMU is not going to cause problems related to revenue sharing or governance
7. Natural rivalry for A&M and Arkansas from SWC days
8. Basketball is getting better (20 wins last year), and has former National Coach of the Year
9. Perennial Top 10 soccer, and strong in multiple Olympic sports
10. Like A&M, would be one of the only 3 BCS schools with a Presidential Library, giving SEC status as only conference with 2

There are a lot more reasons, but put SMU next to any other candidate, and the only negatives are size and a 20+ year ago scandal that Miami now makes look like child's play. On balance, SMU stands equal to or better than any choice.


If Missouri turns down the life boat offered by the SEC, they're dumber than West Virginia in spite of their AAU affiliation. OU, OSU, Kansas, etc. they're all looking for a new home. The only team staying in the Big 12 by choice is Texas, and they're only staying put because the other conferences wouldn't let them keep their TV network. If the people running the University of Missouri are to stupid to jump off a sinking ship, then the SEC is better off without them.


Still say that the SEC's public rejection of West Virginia (though WVU put themselves in that position in the first place) makes me believe that they feel that they can get either FSU or Missouri.

As far as the former SWC schools go ... it has oft been stated that the primary impediment to letting the former SWC schools into the Big 12 is Texas, who feels that were Houston, SMU or TCU (who have good programs with good coaches right now) to get the resources and exposure that come with AQ membership, those schools would become real threats to Texas on the field (just like they were when the SWC existed, and particularly after Darrell Royal left UT ... a lot of folks seem to forget that Texas football wasn't real special between Royal and Mack Brown other than a few good years here and there, and once Brown leaves - he isn't expected to coach but a few more years - could easily revert back).

The ESPN hypocritical stance towards expansion continues. The ACC, Big 10, and Pac-12 continue to be free to do whatever they want - and so do the individual schools involved - but when the SEC and A&M does it, it's EVIL. Keep in mind: these same folks were thrilled when it looked like A&M was going to the Pac-10 just over a year ago. So, the anger isn't over realignment, it's over the SEC getting a good program that these folks would have rather seen go to the Pac-12, the Big 10 or the ACC. It's as if they want the SEC to add a bunch of mid-majors like the Big East always has to.

And going back to Missouri, I still remember it being reported when A&M first announced their leaving that they asked Dan Beebe about what their leaving would do to the conference, and were told by Beebe (who in turn were informed by ESPN and Fox) that while the Big 12 certainly wanted to retain A&M, that so long as the Big 12 retained Texas and Oklahoma and remained at 10 teams that the TV contracts with ESPN and Fox would not be in jeopardy, and so long as the Big 12 held onto its TV contracts then the conference could survive so long as Texas and Oklahoma wanted it to. If that applies to A&M, then it also applies to Missouri. The Big 12 could replace A&M and Missouri with (for example) Louisville and West Virginia and be not much worse off. Or replace them with Louisville, West Virginia, BYU and Cincinnati and arguably be better.

So, Mizzou and the SEC would have nothing to fear from Ken Starr and Baylor were they to bolt. The only question is whether the Tigers from Columbia prefer the bird in the hand or the one in the bush. The bird in the hand: SEC membership that they could have tomorrow by asking. The bird in the bush: Big 10 membership that they very likely - but not definitely - will have in a few years. And with all due respect to the columnist, the Big 10 is where Missouri's head AND heart lies. (Although I should point out that were the SEC to land Missouri also, it would become a not half-bad academic conference ... 4 AAU schools, 2 in each division, plus 3 other schools - Georgia, Alabama, Auburn for instance - in the top 100.)



As we have reported here, the SEC did not publicly reject WVU. They simply didn't accept their membership application. The school has called reports that it was rejected "an outright lie."

We believe Mike Slive decided to simply slide the application to the bottom of the stack. WVU is not a good business move for the SEC -- as we've addressed many times -- but it's highly doubtful Slive would take any options off the table... just in case of future emergency.


Jamie Thornton
Jamie Thornton

one sec report I read said that WVU was told to "hold on". SO that proves your point John. The SEC never told WVU that they were rejected. I'm sure if Missouri, FSU, CLemson, and VIrginia Tech all say no; that leaves WVU as the next option. And a better one then TCU imo.


i agree with that

its like when you go for a job interview, and they dont say you didn't get the job. They just say they aren't hiring right now but they'll keep your resume on file for the time when they may be hiring again... (IF they can't find any better qualified candidates)


Congratulations Aggies

but now the recruiting period is over... LET THE HAZING BEGIN

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