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Expansion By The Numbers 10: The Big Finish

From the beginning of our 10-part series on SEC expansion candidates, we’ve tried to make it clear that:

 

* The generic lessons of our “formula” are more important than the specific results.

* We chose a whopping 35 schools to examine solely because we wanted to prevent people from tossing out other schools that they believed should have been covered (to no avail).

* The categories we discuss have been provided and vetted by multiple sources from the television, media rights, and the sports industries.

* We don’t give a hoot who winds up on top of our list.

* Even when the list is complete and shown to you below, such unmeasurables as politics and league goals will still need to be factored in the equation.

 

In our opening explanation piece, I stated that if I had the power to expand the SEC to 16 schools, I personally would add Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, just because I think those schools would be fun gets.  However, from a business sense, this site has stated that we believe Florida State is the best brand name in the South that the SEC could possibly grab (and the senior executive at one of the Big 3 networks with whom we spoke agreed).  At the same time, most of our sources have said Missouri is obviously the most likely candidate to join; West Virginia is a fallback choice only; and FSU remains nothing more than an interesting possibility.

So there’s what I want personally… there’s the site’s official position… and there’s what we’ve been told.  Clearly we aren’t just trying to make the facts fit our argument.  We have no desire to influence anyone from Mike Slive to you, the reader.  We at MrSEC.com know there’s not a fact or figure in the world that will convince a Louisiana Tech grad that his school isn’t the best possible athletic and academic fit for the Southeastern Conference.  Likewise, if we state that academics at West Virginia are a bit of a concern for some SEC presidents, we know we”ll be met with claims that we’re “bashing” and “insulting” WVU.  That goes with the territory.  So if you think we’re cooking the books to coax you into sharing our point of view, you’re wrong.  This site has a pretty good track record when it comes to discussing the SEC’s plans.  Other sites might have talked about Texas A&M, Missouri and a possible SEC Network in recent weeks, but we’ve been doing so for more than a year and the search bar at right will prove it.  So we don’t need our views validated.  You are free to agree or disagree with our conclusions.

We simply want you to understand what factors play a role in expansion.  That’s the whole goal.  By cooking these categories down to nice, neat formulas, we hope you’ve gotten a better understanding of the kinds of things presidents consider… while not spending too much time worrying about whether a school is 199 miles from a Top 40 TV market or 201 miles away.  If you did the latter, it’s likely you missed the point.

That said, we’ve finally come to the big finish.  In this piece we’ll hand out bonuses in three additional categories, tally up our scores, and then discuss the results.  We’ll also factor in such things as politics to tell you whether or not a school has a realistic chance of entering the SEC.  All of that’s below.  But first, here are the links to parts 1 through 9 of our series, in case you wonder how schools garnered their points:

 

1: Grading Potential SEC Partners

2: Television Markets

3: Total State Population

4: Proximity

5: Fertile Recruiting Ground

6: Athletic Budgets

7: Football Stadium Size

8: Athletic Success

9: Academic Fit

 

On with the show, this is it…

When tallying our numbers, we’re just going to assign the number that coincides with a school’s finish in a given category.  If a school finished third in athletic budgets, that school will get 3 points in that category.  If a school finished tied at 30th in proximity, that school will get 30 points in that category.  (That’s not the best way to do it because there’s a difference between being a close 35th and a dissssssstant 35th, but since we’re only talking ballpark-type figures anyway, we think it fits our mission.)

Since we only provided three grades for the academic fit category, we’ll assign each grade a point value in that category.  A “perfect” fit will get 1 point.  A school that’s close to fitting the SEC’s academic profile will get 10 points.  And a non-fit will be assigned 35 points.

By keeping the points equal to the rankings we’ve set up a situation where it’s actually better to have fewer points.  Our bonus points, therefore, will need to actually be deductions.  If our scale goes from 1 to 35, we’ll slap down a value right in the middle as a bonus.  So any school scoring in a bonus category will have 17.5 points deducted from its final score.

 

As we’ve stated from the outset, the rankings have been designed to more greatly reward schools that provide something new to the SEC — new recruiting grounds, new media markets, new population centers, etc, etc.

Just to put things over the top in that area — because it’s clearly important to everyone trying to expand at the moment — our first bonus points will go to schools providing New Land.  Any school outside the current nine-state SEC footprint will have 17.5 points deducted from its final score.  (Those schools are: Boston College, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, NC State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Rutgers, West Virginia, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, East Carolina, Navy, Notre Dame, Penn State and TCU.)

Our next bonuses will be given to schools with prestigious AAU Memberships.  You might not care about that.  We might not care about that.  But the presidents of major universities most definitely do care about that.  All AAU schools will have 17.5 points deducted from their scores.  (Those schools are: Duke, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Rutgers, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Texas A&M, and Penn State.)

Finally, we tried to come up with a way to reward schools with Powerhouse National Brands.  Obviously this category can be debated.  We chose to go with national championship winners.  We wanted to look back a quarter of a century in football and men’s basketball.  But in football, one-time flukish winners like Georgia Tech and Washington would have gotten credit for being powerhouse national brands when they really aren’t.  So we decided to give bonus credit only to those schools that have won multiple national championships in football and/or basketball since 1986.  Nationally, there are only 13 schools that have accomplished that feat and three of those schools — Michigan, Nebraska and Southern Cal — aren’t in our survey.  Four more of those schools are already in the SEC — Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and LSU.  That means only six of our 35 schools will have 17.5 points deducted for their national brand status.  (Those schools are: Connecticut, Duke, Florida State, Kansas, Miami and North Carolina.)

 

Now that that’s out of the way, here are our 35 schools — ranked in order — complete with point breakdowns and our observations on each.  And remember, the idea is to give a ballpark idea of what schools offer the most to and are the best fits with the SEC.  Warning: If you just look at the rankings and not the explanations above and below, it’s likely you’ll completely misunderstand the message of this post.

 

1.  Texas A&M

Total Score = 8.0

(TV Markets 7; Total State Population 1; Proximity 18; Fertile Recruiting Ground 1; Athletic Budgets 7; Football Stadium Size 3; Athletic Success 5; Academic Fit 1; New Land Bonus -17.5; AAU Member Bonus -17.5)

Realisitc Chances: Done

Last year, our rankings had Texas barely ahead of A&M.  But tweaking the categories this year — at the suggestion of a some of our sources — we find that A&M winds up on top.  That’s no big surprise.  A&M offers everything the SEC could desire: TV markets, huge population, big budget, big stadium, athletic success, academic/cultural fit, AAU membership, and even a new and deep recruiting zone.  When you add all that up, it’s no wonder why the SEC opened the door when A&M knocked.  And that’s the reason we’ve been saying for more than a year now that an A&M-SEC marriage was destined.  (A&M’s first-place finish also makes us feel pretty good about the general accuracy of this survey.)

 

2.  North Carolina

Total Score = 28.5

(TV Markets 16; Total State Population 10; Proximity 9; Fertile Recruiting Ground 11; Athletic Budgets 9; Football Stadium Size 13; Athletic Success 3; Academic Fit 10; New Land Bonus -17.5; AAU Member Bonus -17.5; National Brand Bonus -17.5)

Realistic Chances: Very Slim

Now you see why so many people believe the SEC’s commissioner secretly dreams of a day when the Tar Heels will reconnect with their old Southern Conference partners.  Is this a realistic dream?  Only if Missouri joins the SEC to the West and the ACC someday destabilizes.  At that point, Carolina might be able to run with partner Duke to a 16-team SEC.  (Though even then it’s doubtful that NC State could be left behind.)  Maybe if 20-school conferences become the new norm…

 

3.  Penn State

Total Score = 38.0

(TV Markets 5; Total State Population 7; Proximity 29; Fertile Recruiting Ground 9; Athletic Budgets 3; Football Stadium Size 1; Athletic Success 9; Academic Fit 10; New Land Bonus -17.5; AAU Member Bonus -17.5)

Realistic Chances: Nil

When Joe Paterno recently brought up in a press conference the idea of Penn State possibly leaving the Big Ten for something back East, our ears perked up.  Not because Penn State would ever leave the academically-revered Big Ten — a former PSU athletic department official recently told us that academics and research funding topped athletics as the main reasons State joined that league in 1991 — but because this would be the exact kind of move other conferences would try to pull off.  Think of the Pac-10 chasing Texas and Oklahoma last year, the Big Ten stalking Texas last year or the ACC pursuing Notre Dame this year.  The distance would more than be made up for by all of the other pluses involved.  But Slive doesn’t want to stray too far from the SEC’s current borders.  And that’s why he won’t be approaching PSU to remind them that if they want to continue to grow as a school, they should try to tap into the nation’s population push southward.  Bottom line: not a chance.

 

4.  Texas

Total Score = 40.0

(TV Markets 7; Total State Population 1; Proximity 27; Fertile Recruiting Ground 1; Athletic Budgets 1; Football Stadium Size 2; Athletic Success 1; Academic Fit 35; New Land Bonus -17.5; AAU Member Bonus -17.5)

Realistic Chances: Nil

If there were a category for being a pain in the rump, UT would have scored awfully high.  The Longhorns want three things out of life: to make huge money with the Longhorn Network, to be the biggest fish in their pond, and to convince the world that they are America’s other Yale.  The Horns just aren’t a fit with the all-for-one, one-for-all attitude found in the SEC.  The Big 12 would have to fall apart and even then it likely wouldn’t happen.  Texas has talked to the Pac-12, Big Ten and ACC in the past 18 months.  Those are the three top academic leagues in the country.  UT’s administration looks down its nose at the SEC and they’ve made no bones about that in the past.

 

5.  Virginia

Total Score = 52.0

(TV Markets 10; Total State Population 16; Proximity 14; Fertile Recruiting Ground 7; Athletic Budgets 6; Football Stadium Size 14; Athletic Success 10; Academic Fit 10; New Land Bonus -17.5; AAU Member Bonus -17.5)

Realistic Chances: Very Slim

Virginia is a founding member of the ACC.  It’s an AAU school paired with several other AAU schools in a league known for basketball and academics.  It would be a great pull if Slive could make this happen, but he can’t.  Not only would the ACC have to implode, but UVa would likely have to move as part of a duo with Virginia Tech.  (UPDATE — Technically, Virginia was not a “founding” member of the league, joining in December of 1953 rather than in June of 1953.)

 

6.  Oklahoma

Total Score = 69.5

(TV Markets 14; Total State Population 23; Proximity 20; Fertile Recruiting Ground 20; Athletic Budgets 2; Football Stadium Size 5; Athletic Success 2; Academic Fit 1; New Land Bonus -17.5)

Realistic Chances: Very Slim

Some reports had OU ticketed to the SEC last summer.  Eventually, a greater number of sources emerged to call those reports nonsense.  By all accounts, Oklahoma’s president wants to partner his school with A-list universities (like those in the Pac-12 or Big Ten), with Texas, or preferably both.  The SEC isn’t high-brow enough.  And now that the Big 12 is being saved and Texas is being reined in — to an extent — the Sooners can serve as the prince to the Longhorns’ king.

 

7.  Duke

Total Score = 77.5

(TV Markets 16; Total State Population 10; Proximity 10; Fertile Recruiting Ground 11; Athletic Budgets 8; Football Stadium Size 34; Athletic Success 6; Academic Fit 35; New Land Bonus -17.5; AAU Member Bonus -17.5; National Brand Bonus -17.5)

Realistic Chances: Very Slim

Duke would have to join the SEC as a combo play with North Carolina.  And while that would make the SEC a basketball behemoth, it’s not going to happen unless the ACC totally evaporates and there’s no sign of that happening.  Duke is another Vanderbilt which means it’s not an academic fit with regards to the league’s profile.  The SEC wouldn’t have a problem with such a partnership, but Duke’s administration likely would.

 

8.  Virginia Tech

Total Score = 82.5

(TV Markets 16; Total State Population 16; Proximity 7; Fertile Recruiting Ground 7; Athletic Budgets 23; Football Stadium Size 10; Athletic Success 20; Academic Fit 1; New Land Bonus -17.5)

Realistic Chances: Slim

No school has been as vocal in its SEC denials as Tech.  The Hokies’ AD went so far as to list reasons why the ACC is a better fit for Tech than the SEC.  Tech also fought for 40 years to land an ACC bid and they had to play some serious politics to finally earn a place at the table.  It looks like the school’s administration would have to reverse field in a lot of areas to jump leagues.  However, we list Tech as a slim possibility — rather than a very slim possibility — because the school would be a great fit with the SEC on so many levels — academics, football wackiness, location.  And it would expand the footprint into a new, large Southern state.  Let’s check back in a year or two to see how the ACC is doing.

 

9.  Pittsburgh

Total Score = 84.0

(TV Markets 11; Total State Population 7; Proximity 24; Fertile Recruiting Ground 9; Athletic Budgets 25; Football Stadium Size 12; Athletic Success 21; Academic Fit 10; New Land Bonus -17.5; AAU Member Bonus -17.5)

Realistic Chances: Nil

Surprised by Pitt’s placement?  Pittsburgh isn’t that far from West Virginia — a school many SEC fans are campaigning for.  It’s also an AAU institution which would please SEC presidents.  The Panthers have also received 17 NCAA Tournament and/or bowl bids out of a possible 20 in the last 10 years.  They aren’t winning national crows, but the Panthers are pretty solid in the two major sports.  But Pitt just joined the ACC, Slive won’t jump all the way to Pennsylvania, and the school doesn’t it the SEC’s one-horse-town mold.  The Panthers share Heinz Field with the Steelers for gosh sakes.  A cultural fit, Pitt would not be.

 

10.  Missouri

Total Score = 87.0

(TV Markets 22; Total State Population 20; Proximity 12; Fertile Recruiting Ground 23; Athletic Budgets 19; Football Stadium Size 9; Athletic Success 16; Academic Fit 1; New Land Bonus -17.5; AAU Member Bonus -17.5)

Realistic Chances: Good

You know the drill by now.  Six million people in the state.  Two Top 40 television markets.  An AAU school.  Good facilities.  Solid athletics.  Borders three SEC states and isn’t far from a fourth (Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi).  A recent study showed that Columbia — home of the Tigers — is one of the 10 most college-sports-obsessed cities in the country.  Heck, for those of you crazy enough to think it has something to do with 21st century football, Missouri was even a border state just like Kentucky during the Civil War.  As you can see, there are many reasons we suggested Mizzou might be a fit for the SEC  way back in May of 2010.  Interestingly, some SEC fans are now ripping the Tigers and suggesting they can’t play football with the big boys.  That’s an odd argument because just as many people were saying last year that Oklahoma would make the SEC too tough.  You can’t have it both ways.  Besides, Mizzou should be able to help the SEC in basketball if nothing else.

 

11.  Florida State

Total Score = 89.5

Realistic Chances: Slim, for now

First, we’ve been told by two sources inside the SEC that there is no gentleman’s agreement to blackball schools from within SEC states.  Second, Florida actually pushed for FSU to join the SEC during the league’s first wave of expansion 20 years ago.  So don’t automatically mark this one off.  FSU officials have been coy about their intentions offering non-denial denials one minute and then stating that they would listen if the SEC called.  The big question is: What matters most to FSU?  Money (SEC)?  Reputation of academic playmates (ACC)?  Football (SEC)?  Also, would the Southeastern Conference make a move on a stable league?  It’s believed the answer to that question is no, so FSU would likely have to make the first approach.  Our listing is weighted heavily toward schools that bring in new areas, new recruits, new TV markets, etc.  Yet still FSU ranks as a strong fit for the SEC.  Like the Seminoles or not, they have a national name and like Notre Dame or Penn State or Michigan they will continue to have a national name.  FSU is an SEC-caliber program and it’s a cultural fit.  But at this point we believe — no sources, just our belief — that FSU might be the SEC’s next move should expansion begin again and the league have to look for 16 schools at some point in the future.

 

This is a good breaking point to briefly discuss the idea of Markets Vs. Brand.  Missouri and Florida State wound up back-to-back on our rundown.  That’s a perfect comparison.  Missouri brings the new television markets of St. Louis and Kansas City to the SEC.  Florida State would bring no new markets.  So Missouri would be the wise choice, right?  If you’re simply looking for cable households in order to launch an SEC Network, sure.  But ask a network television executive — and we did — and you’ll find that the networks would likely be willing to pay more in their contracts for FSU.  Why?  Simple — Alabama versus Missouri would attract new viewers in the state of Missouri for the SEC.  Alabama versus Florida State would attract new viewers from all over America for the SEC.  That’s the difference between adding markets and adding a good brand.  Now, we tried to quantify brand but that’s an awfully hard thing to do.  In fact, we’re guessing brand would trump just about everything else if the SEC could simply pull any school it liked with no regard for other conferences or potential lawsuits.

Back to the countdown…

 

12.  Maryland

Total Score = 91.0

Realistic Chances: Very Slim

Maryland brings big television markets and a basketball program that won a national title in the last 10 years.  It also brings top shelf academics.  But Maryland — like Virginia and North Carolina and Duke — isn’t leaving the brainy ACC for a berth in a football-first conference.  Would the Terps leave for the Big Ten if the ACC gets shaky?  Maybe.  But an SEC-Maryland marriage is a long shot.

 

13.  Notre Dame

Total Score = 96.5

Realistic Chances: Nil

This would be a jaw-dropper.  The premier football league in the country landing the premier football program in the country.  (“But they haven’t won anything since…”  Just hush.  You may hate ‘em, but no one else has their own national network.  The Irish are the best college football brand in history.)  What fanbase wouldn’t want to travel to South Bend?  What school wouldn’t want Notre Dame coming to campus?  It’s a dream scenario.  But if the Irish won’t join the Big Ten, they certainly won’t join the SEC (where they wouldn’t be a cultural fit).  The SEC won’t go chasing an Indiana school, either… even though Notre Dame is closer to Birmingham than Virginia, East Carolina, West Virginia, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Miami and Maryland.

 

14.  Rutgers

Total Score = 104.0

Realistic Chances: Nil

No chance, no way.  Rutgers only made our list because we included every Big East school.  And because we wanted to show the power of television.  If in the Markets Vs. Brand battle you’re a markets guy, Rutgers is your top choice.  Some league will eventually be sold on the potential to convert a few million New Yorkers into college football fans.  Those television households are the reason the state university of New Jersey keeps popping up ACC and Big Ten potential-partner lists.

 

15.  NC State

Total Score = 104.5

Realistic Chances: Very Slim

North Carolina, NC State and Duke are joined at the hip culturally and geographically in the Research Triangle.  State is also a “constituent institution of the University of North Carolina system.”  Eight of NC State’s 13 board of trustees are elected by the UNC board of governors.  What does that mean?  It means NC State isn’t breaking away from Carolina to join the SEC anytime soon.  Or vice versa.

 

16.  Connecticut

Total Score = 113.0

Realistic Chances: Nil

Again, this shows the power of television.  And, surprisingly, UConn would be an academic fit with the schools comprising the SEC.  But it wouldn’t be a cultural fit.  Only on the list because they’re in the Big East.

 

17t.  Baylor

Total Score = 115.5

Realistic Chances: Nil

The only reason Baylor scores this high is because its located in Texas, with big TV markets and plenty of all-star recruits around.  It’s not a private, Baptist school and that doesn’t fit the league’s profile.  It’s also been terrible in football and basketball for biggest chunk of the past 20 years.  Besides, can you imagine the phone call from Kenneth Starr to Slive?

 

17t.  Kansas

Total Score = 115.5

Realistic Chances: Nil

If the sports landscape had flipped and the SEC needed a hoops-playing partner for Missouri, then we’d have said “very slim.  But with the Big 12 about to be saved, you can downgrade those chances all the way to nil.  Like most Big 12 schools, however, Kansas would be an academic fit with the SEC (and it would add another AAU institution for league presidents to tout).

 

17t.  Texas Tech

Total Score = 115.5

Realistic Chances: Nil

Like Kansas, if the SEC had been forced into a corner needing a partner for Texas A&M, then maybe.  But that’s not the case and Lubbock’s literally the last place any SEC fan would want to travel.  Wouldn’t be considered.

 

20.  Oklahoma State

Total Score = 118.5

Realistic Chances: Nil

Oklahoma State and Oklahoma are a package deal.  If you don’t get one, you don’t get the other… and the SEC isn’t going to get Oklahoma.

 

21.  Cincinnati

Total Score = 120.5

Realistic Chances: Very Slim

Cincinnati makes some sense in a couple of areas.  It’s not far from Lexington and Knoxville.  It would give the SEC another good TV market and a foothold in recruit-rich Ohio.  But the Bearcats’ athletic budget ranked 33rd of the 35 schools we looked at.  Nippert Stadium seats just 35,000.  And UC would be considered a commuter school by most, located in the middle of a pro sports town.  That’s just not what SEC schools look like.  Won’t happen.

 

22.  TCU

Total Score = 124.5

Realistic Chances: Nil

A few fans have pushed this one but TCU was not a fit with the SEC even before it received a Big 12 invitation.  A religiously-affiliated, private school in a large market surrounded by pro teams?  That’s about as far from the SEC’s current profile as you can get.

 

23.  Clemson

Total Score = 125.0

Realistic Chances: Very Slim

Aside from Florida State, this is the first inside-the-current-footprint school to make our list.  Expansion is about bringing in new land, new people, and new viewers.  Schools like Clemson, Georgia Tech and Louisville don’t offer much in those areas.  FSU has had more athletic success than Clemson (Director’s Cup standings, two national titles in the last 25 years) and it has a bigger athletic budget, which is why it has a better brand name and a reputation worthy of consideration.  Clemson — while an absolute perfect fit in terms of SEC culture and road “tripability” — just doesn’t make sense when it comes to the current reasons for expansion.  If this were 1992 and TV dollars weren’t the biggest factor, the Tigers would score much, much, much higher.

 

24.  West Virginia

Total Score = 133.5

Realistic Chances: Very Slim, for now

Like Clemson, WVU is a perfect fit for the SEC.  Passionate fans, good athletics, plenty of tradition.  But there just aren’t that many television sets in them thar hills.  And adding a school with a ranking of #164 in US News and World Report would not help the SEC’s academic reputation.  Sad but true.  The ACC looked elsewhere in the Big East for a reason.  The SEC didn’t jump when WVU knocked for a reason.  The Big 12 might not even toss the Mountaineers a life raft.  TVs and academics are working against the Mountaineers.  But we’re still not closing the door completely on WVU.  If the Missouri situation falls apart and the SEC is next summer stuck facing more years as a 13-school league, West Virginia will start to look more attractive.  Here’s another scenario: Let’s say Mizzou jumps on board this month and then Florida State or Virginia Tech knocks on the SEC’s door next summer.  WVU might be more appealing as a 16th school — if the SEC has to expand again — than as a 14th school.

 

25.  East Carolina

Total Score = 146.5

Realistic Chances: Nil

There’s quite a drop from WVU’s 133.5 to ECU’s 146.5.  And in reality, East Carolina’s academic rank would be a serious issue for most SEC presidents (ECU ranked #194 in US News and World Report).  Yes, the Pirates would offer new land in North Carolina, but there’s the Rutgers Factor to consider.  The Pirates don’t have the brand appeal of North Carolina, NC State or Duke.  Most Americans could probably name Wake Forest long before ECU, too.  That’s not to say the school isn’t on the rise with great potential.  But it’s a couple of decades too early for anyone to seriously consider ECU as being SEC-ready.  The Big East is hemorrhaging schools and they’ve yet to to give a thumbs up to ECU’s application.  That should tell you something.

 

26.  Wake Forest

Total Score = 152.5

Realistic Chances:  Nil

Too small.  Not strong enough athletically.  Not a fit.

 

27.  Iowa State

Total Score = 155.0

Realistic Chances:  Nil

An AAU school.  An academic fit for the SEC.  But no chance whatsoever.

 

28.  Syracuse

Total Score = 156.5

Realistic Chances:  Nil

The Orange just joined the ACC, but they weren’t a fit with the SEC anyway.  Too far away.

 

29.  Louisville

Total Score = 163.0

Realistic Chances:  Very, Very Slim

The Cardinals play good basketball and have a great new arena.  U of L’s football stadium is a fine facility, too.  But Louisville brings nothing to the SEC that Kentucky doesn’t already supply.  Louisville’s basketball brand isn’t as strong as Florida State’s football brand.

 

30.  Boston College

Total Score = 164.5

Realistic Chances:  Nil

About as much of a cultural fit as the University of the Moon.  Distance-wise, BC might as well be on the moon.  The SEC doesn’t have to spread itself out as far as the ACC and Pac-12 do.  Its base is strong enough without having to expand 1,500 miles from nose to stern.

 

31.  Miami

Total Score = 168.5

Realistic Chances: Nil

The SEC doesn’t appear to want to raid the ACC.  The Hurricanes are about to get bombed by the NCAA.  Coral Gables is farther from Birmingham than Lawrence, Norman, Stillwater or Waco.  And The U is also a private school with an off-campus football stadium in a major league city.  Commissioner Harvey Schiller once dreamed of adding the Canes, but it’s no longer the 1980s and Miami no longer fits the SEC’s profile.  At all.  Plus, imagine adding Miami’s penchant for cheating to a league that’s already viewed as a rule-breakers’ paradise.

 

32.  Georgia Tech

Total Score = 174.5

Realistic Chances: Very, Very Slim

SEC old-timers — like the writer of this piece — would like to see Tech return to its roots.  Atlanta is the major metro area of the conference.  But the SEC doesn’t do major metro areas.  And Tech is like Louisville and Clemson in that it adds no new televisions, no new recruiting grounds, and no powerhouse national brand.

 

33.  Kansas State

Total Score = 175.5

Realistic Chances:  Nil

Manhattan, Kansas would give Lubbock, Texas a run in a “least popular road trip” category.  Not even a consideration.

 

34.  Navy

Total Score = 184.5

Realistic Chances:  Nil

The red tape involved with partnering a US government training academy with the SEC would be endless.  It’s hard to believe this one got so much play on messageboards.  As former SEC and Navy hoops coach Don DeVoe told us last month, there’s “no chance in Hell” of Navy joining the SEC.

 

35.  South Florida

Total Score = 211.0

Realistic Chances:  Nil

Adds nothing new.  Small athletic budget.  A commuter school.  Like East Carolina, let’s check back in 20 years.  But for now… won’t happen.

 

And there you have it.  A detailed look at 35 different schools based upon a number of categories that matter to league commissioners, school presidents and network executives.  In reality, the SEC’s pickin’s are rather slim.  Texas A&M is the best fit and they’re already in the house.  Missouri scores well in most areas and makes good business sense.  It appears that they might be walking through the door next.

There have been enough rumblings about West Virginia and Florida State to keep them on the radar for future developments.  Other than that, most other schools aren’t realistic options, would need to partner up with tag-along sister institutions, or would need their current conferences to decompose before they would be interested in moving.

For 18 months now, Slive and the SEC’s presidents haven’t seemed interested in raiding other conferences as the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC have all done.  They believe they’re dealing from a position of strength and they’re likely right.  If the SEC adds Mizzou to A&M, it will be the big winner in recent realignment moves based upon television households, recruiting ground and academics (adding two AAU schools would thrill presidents).  Some fans might not consider that “winning,” but as we’ve tried to show in this series, winning in expansion these days is as much or more about business as it is about football games and weekend road trips.

 


97 comments
HungaryGator
HungaryGator

Great job John!  I think the SEC was the big winner in conference expansion.  We picked up 31 million more people within the conference footprint along with two AAU schools and two solid all around athletic programs.  Also, Mizzou completely owns a good sized state and aTm has the 5th or  6th largest alumni base in America - meaning they will deliver a lot of that huge Texas market.  I think the SEC will be happy to sit at 14.  Things would have to change drastically for the SEC to expand again and the only way I see that happening would be for the Big 10 to take the first step by launching a massive raid on the ACC to gobble up several of Pitt, Syracuse, Boston College and Maryland thus giving the Big 10 effective control over both the Midwest and Northeast.  Only under that scenario with the ACC's northern flank crushed, could I see the SEC successfully poaching from a destabilized and weakened ACC.  Of course if that were to happen, NC State and probably Va Tech would easily be the top choices being located in 2 good sized markets and with each able to deliver enough of those markets to be worthwhile.  I know I'll get accused of hating a rival with me being a Gator and all, but I think the brand value given to FSU is a bit overblown even though I do think they are a good fit for the SEC.  Their basketball program is nothing special and their football brand is based on a great run in the 90's - they did not do much before that and have not done much in the last decade.  I do not believe their fan base in Florida is big enough to trump the addition of new territory the size of North Carolina or Virginia.  Again, if the SEC were to strike out on a potential acquisition in North Carolina or Virginia, then I think FSU would make a great addition assuming they wanted that 16th SEC slot.  Further expansion Westward or Northward is a non starter IMO.

JWtts
JWtts

Truly a great analysis. I wish someone would do something like this for the ACC, PAC-12, Big Ten, and Big 12. I've been all over the web and you really can't find anything that even comes close to this. I find myself coming back to review it over and over again.

JWtts
JWtts

Great piece! I inferred (correctly or incorrectly) that the author thinks FSU and WVU are the "most likely" options for getting to 16. Looks like WVU has been rejected by the SEC and will probably be headed to the Big 12. Out of this list, who do you think are the most likely candidates for the SEC to get to 15 and 16.

Brian
Brian

That was some fine number crunching and I liked your realistic summary. This whole discussion in the media has been extremely football centric but your analysis captured aspects which surprised me. Take Duke being so high on the list. Unless we can call soccer football as the rest of the world does, you will never see Duke winning a national championship in Football. Yet it finished quite high on your list. So the ACC has mediocre football but it offers its schools many advantages other conferences wish they could. For that same reasoning I really don't see how the ACC will implode. I just can't see teams jumping ship from the ACC the way they did from the Big Least which, honestly should have stayed a b-ball only league and became a mess the day it decided to play football. And its not the Big 12 either because we don't have to mess with Texas. The Big 12 should not be in its current situation given how many football powerhouses it has. It just has terrible politics that you won't find at the ACC.

That means the only NC school the SEC could nab would be ECU. Keep in mind that NC is the fastest growing state in the east. That is not to say I don't completely agree with your conclusion their chances of joining are nil. I'm routing for WVU to find a home when the Big Least looses it BCS bid. As a Duke fan I don't have a dog in this fight but it's just not fair they are being shunned for being in such a poor unpopulated state. They could easily develop into a national brand. I think the BIG 12 should stop being reactive and start being proactive and invite them so they can get back to being a 12 team conference as their name states.

Jack Edwards
Jack Edwards

The only thing that isn't bland at Kenan Stadium is the wine and cheese served there. College football is what makes the SEC the great conference it is and I've been to football games at UNC, Duke, NC State, and Virginia Tech. Of those ACC schools I can say that NC State or Virginia Tech would be a better choice simply because it's a let down to go play a football game in Durham or Chapel Hill. Also, is there really that much difference between the academic reputation of ECU, Louisville, and West Virginia? Those schools are all in the same tier according to U.S. News and the difference between 164 and 194 isn't exactly the same as the difference between #1 Harvard and #30 Tufts. A case could be made that ECU would be a better choice than WVA because ECU isn't in a state with essentially zero projected growth.

Ghost
Ghost

Excellent work MrSEC. I'm sorry there are so many people who don't get what you are trying to do. Even though you have repeatedly explained in detail how you have put this together, I'm still reading people complaining that "WVU won't deliver Pittsburgh TV market" I guess these people haven't read you multiple explanations.
Having said that, if you ever repeat this exercise, here are 7 schools I would like to see added/included in this little exercise (and yes, just like Penn State, 5 of these are equally unlikely to come to the SEC, but I'd still like to see how all 7 stack up):
Rice
Tulane
Illinois
Indiana
Northwestern
Ohio State
Purdue

I think you'd find that a LOT of these schools would fit right around in the rankings close to where your #5 & #6 teams fall, Virginia and Oklahoma. The exception being Tulane because they don't deliver the "New"

SEO
SEO

The problem is, I think most people see the quality of football and/or "passion" for football and that is it. Nobody is seeing the underlying potential that Missouri has in terms of revenue and academics. Bringing in a new state is huge for cable subscriptions. Going by the B1G model, states that have a B1G school can charge around $1 per subscriber. States that carry the B1G network but no B1G school can only charge like .05-.10 per subscriber. Between A&M and Missouri the SEC will add around 30 million new tv sets. Even if most of Texas is tuned into UT, there is potential for ALL of the tv sets to eventually be tuned into A&M/SEC football. Missouri is the flagship college, so the potential for all of the tv sets to be tuned into MU is much higher, and moving to the best football conference in America won't hurt either.

Jamie Thornton
Jamie Thornton

After going to the AUburn/Arkansas game this weekend and talking to both Auburn and Arkansas fans about it; about 90 percent of the fans don't want Missouri. Most of them all said the same thing. They don't bring the passion to the SEC and they don't want to take a school that looks at the SEC as an escape. Take it for what it's worth. There doesn't seem to be an excitement around Missouri from SEC fans. THat goes for sec message boards and the fans i've talked with.

kingottoiii
kingottoiii

The B1G and SEC could in theory kill off the ACC. UNC, Duke, and UVA would never go to the SEC. MD wants to be with those 3 schools and would not likely leave them for the B1G. VT and NC St aren't leaving UNC and UVA behind. And vice versa. But what if the B1G offered UNC, Duke, UVA, and MD at the same time that the SEC invited VT and NC St? Wouldn't that work out for all? If VT and NC St are safe would UNC and UVA really object to splitting? UVA only fought for VT to the ACC because of the fear that VT would be a 'have not'. But if UVA went to the B1G and VT to the SEC they would both be 'haves'. Same goes for VT.

Then there is the question of whether or not UNC and Duke would really leave the ACC. Well those two were totally against expanding the frist time around. They wanted nothing to do with going to 12. SO in there minds the old ACC is dead. Do they really care about anyone else outside the core 4 ACC teams (other two being UVA and MD)? They also care about academics which is a big draw in the B1G.

I think that this would be the best situation for the Core 4, the B1G, and the SEC. The SEC would be adding markets in NC and VA. Then they can take the last big boy available in FSU to get to 16. The ACC would be left with 7 teams and little influence in FB. The B1G and SEC woudl be waaaay ahead as kings of sports.

Scott
Scott

Nice article. I think a little more credit is due to WVU in regards to the Pittsburgh and Baltimore tv markets. Either way, you have written a compelling series of articles. Great work.

Jack Bird
Jack Bird

I don't know what's going on. Maybe some Mizzou fans can speak. But on Powermizzou twitter it's being reported that Mizzou is trying to talk with the BIG to see what can be done. If this is true, best of luck to you guys. THis is from a Mizzou source this time. I really don't think the SEC should take a school that doesn't want to be in the SEC. Despite how many more tv's they add. Or the bigger footprint. Or John's rankings for that matter.

Pablo
Pablo

BTW, I was curious...if you have done the analysis, how do the current 12 SEC schools rank in this point total? I would imagine that Florida, Georgia and Alabama are the most 'SEC'-like schools.

Pablo
Pablo

John,
Wonderful series. As a UVA alum, I'm more nostalgic about the ACC rivalries (and fully admit the basketball bias)...I've always been skeptical that an ACC school would switch confernces. It great to read such comprehensive analysis of the factors that go into conference alignment decisions.

So long as the major (B1G, SEC, PAC or ACC) confernces have cohesive core institutions, trying to poach a team from these stable entities would be a horrible business strategy for building the super-conference of the future. What is amazing is how opportunistic & cut-throat major conferences have been in pouncing when instability arises. Texas' willingness to explore its options opened the door for PAC, B1G and SEC to brighten their future. To put it diplomatically, the ACC aggressively defended its basketball future by accepting two original Big East schools.

Before reading your analysis, I actually thought that WVU was the perfect fit as the SEC #14. Although WVU would be a good add, Missouri really does offer much more upside to the SEC.

Great job in clarifying this process.

Red Thompson
Red Thompson

No one is being fair to WVU. Please look at the accomplishments in Research, Rhode Scholars, Truman Scholars, graduate success and merchandise sales. Lord, WVU has big followings in Charlotte, Nashville, Florida and the Atlanta areas. Please SEC do some homework before you put a fine school like WVU down. Plus, it is like adding another Arkansas and that was a good move,

andshar
andshar

Excellent analysis. I think you proved why Mizzou high on the SEC's list. One question I have is does the SEC really want just another very good football school? Would they prefer an average football school in Mizzou to FSU, Clemson and WVU because there's already enough good football competition and other factors such as new markets and academic reputation become more important in a 14th school?

kfhonline
kfhonline

John / Mr. SEC,

GREAT job on compiling all this info. I have enjoyed it and understand that it is only the numbers.

If you get the time (???), it would find it interesting to now add in the teams from the C-USA and Sun Belt conference into the final tally. I know I know...you had to limit the teams somehow, but these two conferences are already in the footprint or on the fringes of the footprint of the SEC and I am just curious how those team would stack up.

Would you be interested in adding those teams for each category?

Again thanks.

Gator39
Gator39

The SEC should take a page from the Big Ten and Pac-12's playbooks and hold pat until a better "opportunity" comes along. It's obvious the leaders of the conference aren't all on board with Missouri as they were with Texas A&M. Missouri needs to stay in the Big 12 where they belong.

Jamie Thornton
Jamie Thornton

Despite these big markets of Kansas CIty and St.Louis; has anyone done any research to see how many people tune in to watch Mizzou play? Several articles on the internet are floating around about people watching the Cardinals, BLues, or Chiefs. That despite those big markets, nobody watches Mizzou. The point of these articles are you can have NYC, but if nobody in NYC is watching; it does you no good. I'm just curious about it and I'm sure someone has the answer to it.

Bubba Gump
Bubba Gump

John : You did AAU, here is the ARWU 2011 rankings:

27Duke University
27The University of Texas at Austin
29University of Maryland, College Park
30University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
31Pennsylvania State University - University Park
36Vanderbilt University = SEC #1
38University of Pittsburgh
39Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick
43University of Florida = SEC #2
51Rice University - I know they were not on your list, but they almost acquired BU medical in Houston (lowering BU academic)
53Texas A&M University - College Station = SEC #3 (2012)

54-68Baylor College of Medicine (see Rice above)
54-68Georgia Institute of Technology
54-68The University of Georgia = SEC #4
54-68University of Virginia

69-89Florida State University
69-89Iowa State University
69-89Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge = SEC #5
69-89North Carolina State University - Raleigh
69-89University of Kansas - Lawrence
69-89University of Miami
69-89University of Tennessee - Knoxville = SEC #6
69-89Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Va Tech)

90-110The University of Connecticut - Storrs
90-110University of Central Florida
90-110University of Cincinnati
90-110University of Houston
90-110University of Kentucky = SEC #7
90-110University of Missouri - Columbia (historically AAU, but now equal to Kentucky & South Carolina)
90-110University of Notre Dame
90-110University of South Carolina - Columbia = SEC #8
90-110University of South Florida

111-137Brigham Young University
111-137Clemson University (I was surprised to find them so low, and under University of South Carolina)
111-137Kansas State University
111-137Syracuse University
111-137Temple University
111-137Tulane University (former SEC school)
111-137University of Oklahoma - Norman (why the B1G will not call)
111-137Wake Forest University (like Clemson, surprised they were so low)

138-151Auburn University = SEC #9
138-151Texas Tech University
138-151University of Arkansas at Fayetteville = SEC #10

Only 3 SEC schools were not ranked Mississippi, Mississippi State, and Alabama. To be fair the Alabama system is 3 parts Tuscallosa, Birmingham, and Huntsville (Birmingham was ranked 69 - 89 in the same group with FSU, LSU, ISU, NCST, KU, UT, and VT).

I could not find Baylor, Oklahoma State, TCU, West Virginia University, East Carolina University, Louisville, Boston College, South Florida, or Navy in the top 150 (granted Navy is an undergrad school only, so they should not show up on this list)

a) For all the claims of terrible academics, the SEC has some fine academic schools
b) The AAU is based on when you got in - so if you got in in 1910 the standards were lower. The ARWU indicates current standings globally.

Jamie Thornton
Jamie Thornton

I always thought UNC would be the best choice and it was number 2 on your list. I guess that says something. I know you would have to take DUKE to have any chance of them coming. But man, if you could get DUKE, UNC, and VIrginia TECH with A&M; that's an awesome 16.

JRUGA
JRUGA

Mr SEC,
With the addition of Mizzou to the SEC conference, it would in fact secure another star (state) from the original 13 southern states into the SEC membership. If this happens, could it be conceivable for the SEC and Slive to go after 1 Virginia school and 1 North Carolina school to solidify a footprint of the original 13 Stars ( States ) from the South? Also, I would be interested to know more of your thoughts on Slive, his legacy in the SEC and the fact that he is not getting any younger. Will we be seeing some changes if in fact Slive does retire? I know expansion is the driving news for now, but there is a changing of the guard in the not so distant future of the SEC. What can we be expecting if and when the time comes? Thanks for your great work that MrSEC provides. Keep up the exceleent work.

Bubba Gump
Bubba Gump

John,

Looks like I was correct about UNC ;)

Instead of MU, Slive should just say come along UNC, and bring 2 friends :)

Any ACC AAU school that jumps to the SEC starts shifting the curve, and the SEC has formed the SECAC to compete with the CIC, so any ACC converts would be in on the ground floor.

Seriously tho, with all the pickins in the ACC, MU seems like a dead end in the sense that MU will not get the SEC the longhorns, but adding and ACC school from the old ACC could lock down another two in slots #15 and #16. I think 16 is the max tho, as you encounter the laws of diminishing returns, and everything becomes to hard to manage. The SEC, ACC, and SWC were all formed from the first "super conference" and I think they already learned that lesson.

Good work, and thanks for the effort!

guest
guest

Regarding WVU and academics, WVU is essentially the same as LSU as a general comprehensive institution where state residents are (essentially) guaranteed access provided they make a minimum GPA. It is, after all, the mission of the university to provide a solid education for as many people as possible. Where this hurts WVU is that the state is comparably poor, small and rural, meaning the default pool of future students for the university is less appealing compared to states like NC, PA and FL. Their best may not match the best in other states, and there's likely to be much fewer top-tier candidates.

Similarly, the university has limited options for major research due to its location and this feature of the undergrad enrollment. Doesn't help that highly esteemed Pitt is just 90 miles up the road, giving WVU a short straw in terms of standing out to potential sponsors, customers and top students.

I say this so as to dispel the notion that WVU is an outright bad school. It's mission and resources are different than those for UNC, UF and other highly touted schools, so while it may not shine by comparison it's still a nationally rated research institution.

Josh
Josh

34. Tulane

(TV Markets 30; Total State Population 30; Proximity 4; Fertile Recruiting Ground 30; Athletic Budgets 35; Football Stadium Size 8; Athletic Success 35; Academic Fit 35; AAU Member Bonus -17.5)

Total Score = 189.50

Realistic Chances: Slim, for now

Although current C-USA member Tulane seems like an odd inclusion, here's what this SEC founding member does bring to the table... academic standing, The Superdome, and a nearly $1billion endowment. Not known as an athletic powerhouse, the Green Wave would be welcomed by SEC West teams as their "Vandy". It would be interesting to see the response if this school applied for admission to the SEC.

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

CollegeFootballTalk has a curious update. The KC Sports Commission and Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has asked them to stay in the Big 12 (using the same "support midwestern sports and tradition!" language that Baylor did regarding Texas football). “We know that many factors must be considered, including the academic, financial, and alumni relations implications of your decision. And, of course, the history and future of your University’s athletic program.

“That program, as you know, has Midwestern roots more than a century old… We cannot imagine the University of Missouri’s athletics tilting away from this region and the athletic history to which they have contributed so mightily.”

Bad news right? Not so much. That same article says this: "Will it be enough to persuade Missouri to stay? Donors have already reportedly threatened to withhold donations if the school doesn’t leave the Big 12."

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

I really don't think that the SEC's chances of landing an ACC school are that good. US News and World Report does a breakdown by conference - though their last available numbers were in 2010 - and by virtue of adding Pitt and Syracuse, the ACC can now stake a claim to be the #1 academics conference in the country behind the Big 10, and they are at minimum a very strong #2. And yes, academics is important. As much revenue as athletics brings in, it is a fraction of what the academics side produces. From research to donations to even how much you can charge for tuition (and I recall FSU jacking up their tuition when they joined the ACC) ... athletics brings in pennies by comparison. There is also the reputation of a school, and a big part of that is the reputation of the schools that your school is affiliated with. Add it all together, and the amount of money that an ACC school would lose on the academics side in going from the ACC to the SEC could very well dwarf any gain that they would get in athletics revenue. If you're a university president who has to consider the whole package - the amount of research your university does, the universities (and the caliber of researchers at those universities) that you can partner with, your reputation and your ability to parlay that reputation into fundraising and how much you can charge for tuition, how many of the top professors and administrators you can attract to retain or improve your academic standing etc. - and not just football attendance and the TV package with ESPN ... well that puts it into context. I really think that a Clemson, N.C. State, Virginia Tech or FSU would have more to lose by coming to the SEC than they would gain.

That also explains why Oklahoma and Texas won't consider the Pac-12, and why Missouri is still weighing their options. Oklahoma wants to be an AAU school, and joining the SEC won't get them any closer to that goal. Joining up with the Pac-12 (which is clearly behind the Big 10 and ACC but still has Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, USC and Washington, all of which rank higher than the SEC's #2 academics school Florida) would. And the Missouri people are no doubt wondering what SEC affiliation would do to their academic reputation and research programs.

Another thing: the SEC currently has 3 AAU schools (including A&M) and more with a shot at joining the AAU down the line. Say you are a Florida (who doesn't get nearly the credit as a top flight academic school that they deserve) or a UGA (who has been working towards getting into AAU for years) you would much rather add Missouri to the SEC than West Virginia, USF, Cincinnati, Louisville etc. The "academically inclined" SEC schools (a block that currently is at least 4 and may be as large as 7) would rather stay at 13 than add a school not in the top 125 (or add a school with a good reputation but doesn't do much research), and that this group would do all in their power to add AAU Mizzou. And look at Mike Slive's background: degrees from Dartmouth, Virginia, and Georgetown, AD at Cornell, worked in the Pac-10 office. He is going to side with the academic block over the football ones.

flimflamspam
flimflamspam

Love the website John! You do a great job and even if Mizzou F's up and somehow stays in the Texas 12 I will still check this site daily.
Great JOB!!!

Tyler B
Tyler B

John,

Great article(s) about this and you've been ahead of everyone else on the expansion issue for more than a year now. It's amazing to see what little is left if MU opts out. Not to say WVU isn't worthy to a certain degree, but if you look at the grading system above anything outside of the ACC isn't a great fit for the SEC.

What Slive needs to is meet with the heads of each BCS conference and figure this thing out the right way - the way of the superconference. Expansion right now is like putting a "new and improved" band-aid on an axe wound to stop the bleeding. This thing will never heal until someone decides to address it appropriately. And we certainly know the doctor walking through that door isn't going to be the NCAA.

Crickets
Crickets

Correction, A & M brings the SEC to three AAU schools.

Crickets
Crickets

Great work John.

A hypothetical for you. By my count the ACC has 5 AAU member schools. With the addition of A & M the SEC now has four. Were the SEC to add Maryland or UVA (unlikely, but this is a hypothetical) which would add new television and recuriting markets, the conferences would then have the same number. What then happens to the academic reputation of each?

jojo1504
jojo1504

I am a Missouri fan and can tell you that most of the fans I talk to want the SEC ! We want to be able to watch and cheer for our team but the powers that be will not show games on TV unless we are playing TX In the BIG 12 not one can be better that UT thay make sure of that. At the last few MIZZOU games no one one could dismiss all of the fans chanting SEC SEC SEC.

deltaboy
deltaboy

Now that's interesting. If Arkansas fans don't want Missouri, it's not likely that any other SEC fans will want them either. Arkansas & Missouri have the best chance of developing a real rivalry. I think LSU & Texas A & M will soon be more of a rivalry game than Ark.-LSU. The addition of Missouri just isn't worth the cost of disrupting existing rivalries [i.e. Ala.-Tenn.], the disruption of extensive travel for real student-athletes & fans, the cost of splitting the conference proceeds with an institution that probably can't pull it's weight. It doesn't matter how many TV sets are in Missouri if no one is watching Missouri football. Bring on Florida State!

Brian
Brian

Dream on. You're talking about a lot of people getting together and deciding to kill the ACC and go after its pickings. And why? For football! What if just some of those people say, hey wait! Isn't a university something more than just its football team!

Minnemo
Minnemo

Doubt it's true. But I'm not an "insider". If it is true then the SEC should drop all interest.

Minnemo
Minnemo

You are probably right. But the Big 12 has really ceased to exist. MU needs to move on for its own well being. If the SEC accepts they will be a proud member.

SEO
SEO

Cardinals play in the summer, Chiefs are on Sunday, and the Blues play Saturday nights, which more often than not will not interfere with Mizzou football.

Karen
Karen

And, to add to this comment, I for one am a Pirate fan forever (PFF)....AND, because ECU does not get coverage for FB games UNLESS they play precious UNC, DUKE, or NC State, or VATech..I like many fans are left to finding the game online., which we do for every game or event....if not in the stadium...like this week...who can go to middle America..half way across the nation for a conf game...TX...

That said, how many more people are watching via computers than these people realize, that are not counted either in WVA< NC< VA< MD, DC etc.... THATS TV MARKET LOST......my point is the TV market is faulty info.... it is more that homes will have a computer of some sort than a TV set...even an iPhone!!!! this tv market crap is geared toward the $$$$$$$$ households only and the ones tuned to UNC/DUKE....just my guess....check all facts not just the ones to build the case...

Tierlis
Tierlis

That survey is really bad....it looks skewed by opinion. For instance there is no way UT Dallas should be ranked waay ahead of Rice University.

Rusty
Rusty

Missouri is a southern state? Really?!

Missouri isn't part of the South. For that matter, the Deep South doesn't include Arkansas, Tennessee or Kentucky (or North Carolina).

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

I don't know why we would want Texas. They are a cancer and filled with elitists.

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

Looking into SECAC ... let's just say that they have A LOT of work to do before "competing with the CIC." Case in point: the leader of SECAC isn't some leading research type or former university president or department head or prominent politician, but someone with a B.A. in journalism whose background is in media relations - and that for an FCS conference - and as a compliance official in the SEC office. It's new initiatives: creating an annual policy meeting of distinguished faculty, and "Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award." Existing programs: "establishing and operating an Academic Leadership Development Program, enhancing coordinated Study Abroad Programs, engaging campus admissions offices in cooperative student recruiting efforts outside the geographic footprint of the SEC, and building collaboration among academic deans and department heads." And this is all that they have done since establishing SECAC WAY BACK IN 2005.

So ... let's say that Missouri STRONGLY PREFERS THE BIG 10 for a reason. Academics is not a point of emphasis for the SEC. Hopefully getting Missouri and A&M in the conference will change that.

Bubba Gump
Bubba Gump

PS, Not sure if it matters, but Slive is a UVA grad, and UVA + VT + MD gets you 2 AAU's (Maryland has already been identified as one of the "rouge 3". Maryland basketball would mesh with Kentucky basketball, and Va Tech football fits the SEC profile. The eastern division of the SEC would contain the academic weight of the current SEC (Vandy, Florida, Georgia) + (UVA, MD) and the basketball schools, so it would be a similar feeling to what UVA and MD would be leaving.

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

Yeah. Nebraska has a similar admissions policy. I have nothing against the Mountaineers. I hope they - and USF - get in when the SEC goes to 16.

Brad
Brad

Tulane could put itself in a position someday to become an SEC addition. It would have to follow TCU's steps, however, and build a powerhouse football program -- an undertaking that would take many years. I am afraid that is not going to happen. After Katrina the school's endowment took a major hit. Although it is approximately $1 billion, it should be close to $2 billion but for that major storm. As an alum of one of Tulane's professional schools, I can tell you the university is far more interested in gaining ground in the academic world with Emory and Vanderbilt than it is in athletics. Gaining this ground takes a lot of money. They do not want to slip in those mythical academic rankings to TCU's level, which the schools administration fears would happen if they diverted money that could be used for academics and put that instead towards their football program.

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

Tulane has yet to show a serious commitment to athletics, even at the mid-major level.

guest
guest

Pitt is also an AAU member that will be joining the ACC, and Cuse recently dropped their membership while the institution evaluates their relationship with the Association. The ACC is asking them to strongly consider reapplying, while NCSU and VT will likely be nominees within the next 5 years. Two other ACC members, BC and WFU are essentially too small to qualify based on their focus for undergraduate studies, much like ND.

While I agree that AAU membership (and the USNews rankings) are overblown, they do factor in these conference affiliations. Put simply, the ACC, Big Ten and PAC are/aspiring to be graduate research engines with strong international appeal. The AAU provides a beneficial marketing and lobbying force for federal and commercial funding for these universities that do roughly $500M per year in research. This is where keeping such good company comes into play.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

With A&M and Mizzou, the number would reach four. Apparently, Georgia is in position to receive an AAU invite in the near future with its ranking on postgraduate research funding which would bring the total to five. Coincidentally, the ACC just went to five last year when Georgia Tech was initiated.

That being said, I think the use of AAU affiliation to determine academic credentials is severely overblown. AAU has until recently, been a very northern centric association that’s historically looked down on Southern schools. Also, most credible school rankings like US News & WR and Forbes have Georgia ahead of many AAU universities including Mizzou and half the Big 10.

UofA72
UofA72

I'm in Arkansas (same as Jamie). I get a totally different take. The enthusiasm isn't quite as high as for A&M though. As a possible explanation, we have a history with A&M and not with Missouri.

Keep in mind, Jamie has been anti-Missouri to the SEC, and I have been pro. He has been more in favor of WVU. From an Arkansas standpoint, I think we would build a rivalry with Mizzou long before WVU.

Bubba Gump
Bubba Gump

tradeassociation,

a) if you are trying to win friends in a conference you would like to join, it is not good to belittle them.
b) you keep using the AAU as MU's sign of academic superiority, but be careful how you brandish that sword

Most of the midwestern schools got their membership around 100 years ago when entry was easier (most of the founding members were midwestern schools). The AAU must be taken with an objective view to what has happened in the 100 years since. Yes, only 3 SEC schools have AAU status, but you might look at the ARWU index for 2011. Currently there are 6 SEC schools ahead of MU, and 2 more tied with MU (USC & UK), so that means over half of the SEC are your peers, or better than you in the world of research. Please do not tell the folks that their SEC diplomas are worthless because "Academics is not a point of emphasis for the SEC" because it just makes you look foolish to us. We are partners in the SEC and change is made by mutual agreement. If MU is the woman who wants to change us once we are married, I can assure you the wedding proposal will not be forthcoming.

You say MU is a fit, but from your tone, you have no idea how far away your comments sound.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

I thought Wake Forest was already in the AAU?

Andy
Andy

"Pitt is also an AAU member that will be joining the ACC, and Cuse recently dropped their membership while the institution evaluates their relationship with the Association."

There was a story in the Chronicle of Higher Education in the last week that made it pretty clear that this was part of a larger trend of Syracuse shifting its focus from traditional research to more community-based, applied research. They aren't going back to the AAU anytime soon.

AAU membership is a great signalling device to granting agencies about whether your university is up to hosting major research projects. It also signals outsiders and propsective faculty about a university's priorities. I still think Syracuse is a great university and a good addition to the ACC. However even the non-SU advocates couched their support of the new research approach in terms like "Not everyone can be a top fifty research university." Ouch.

Andy
Andy

The problem with using USNWR summary scores is that schools can game the system by manipulating metrics like class size. Clemson did that a few years ago. If you want to measure reputation, USNWR report actually has a better measure that it uses as part of its overall rank: A survey of chancellors and provosts measuring peer reputation. Schools are scored on a 0-100 scale. In national research universities,

Wonder why Oklahoma didn’t get in when it was tied with Oregon and WSU and way ahead of Oregon State, Utah, Arizona and ASU?

SchoolUSNWR rankAcademic reputational score
Oklahoma 111(tied)63
Oregon111(tied)68
Oregon State13963
WSU111(tied)64
Utah129 (tied)63
ASU143 (tied)66
Arizona 120(tied)70

Oklahoma goes from being a member with a decent profile (tied for 7th) to tied for last. Oklahoma State goes from a respectable overall rank of 132 (higher than two schools and close to Utah) to a score of 59.

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

It isn't northern bias that holds UGA down (though that is part of it). It is UGA's lack of programs in medicine and traditional (meaning electrical, mechanical, chemical, civil) engineering. Now that UGA has added a joint medical program with GHSU (used to be Medical College of Georgia) and has been given the go-ahead to start the main engineering programs (finally breaking the Tech monopoly) an AAU invite for you Dawgs will come. But it might take 10 years, as it will take at least that long before your medical and engineering programs start pulling in any real research dollars.

Andy
Andy

Why OU and OSU are much more realistic candidates for SEC than Pac XII

SchoolAcademic reputational score

Vanderbilt 85
Florida 73
Texas A&M 73
Georgia 71
Missouri 69
Auburn 67
Tennessee 66
Alabama 65
Kentucky 64
South Carolina 63
Oklahoma 63
LSU 62
Ole Miss 61
Arkansas 60
Oklahoma State 59
MSU 57

GPBurdell
GPBurdell

So UGA expanion of majors is competition and thats good, but when GaSo (engineering) and GSU (medical, forensic sciences) seek to expand they're told there's no need becaue UGA has it covered?! Uh, right...

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

I posted a reply to his Georgia Tech propaganda, but looks like it is being held for moderation. Anyone who thinks that a state of 10 million people having only ONE research engineering program is a good idea while Florida, North Carolina, even Alabama and Tennessee are passing right by us in engineering ... well never mind.

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

Spare me the Georgia Tech propaganda. I am not even a UGA fan, and I applied to and was accepted into Tech (but chose to get my electrical engineering degree elsewhere). Georgia has an antiquated higher education system, built for a society and economy THAT NO LONGER EXISTS. Georgia Tech was able to take advantage of this by building itself into a top 10 public university. Good for them. But it was HORRIBLE for everybody else, and is a major reason why Florida, North Carolina, Texas and other states blew right past us in engineering and technology ... Georgia has no equivalent to Research Triangle Park or the I-4 research corridor. A state the size of Georgia needs more than ONE research engineering program, and as no large private universities in Georgia qualify (Emory doesn't offer engineering, Mercer doesn't offer engineering Ph.D's) the state HAD to create another.

And by the way ... UGA didn't muscle out Georgia Southern. Georgia Southern's programs were approved on the same day that UGA's were. Georgia Southern will turn out very good undergraduate engineers like Mercer, but they won't attract major research because they aren't a research school. But UGA is, UGA will shortly compete against Tech for research dollars in engineering, and that's why the Tech people were so furious.

As far as medical studies for Georgia State ... that's hilarious. With Emory, GHSU, Mercer and Morehouse already offering medical degree and research programs, engineering is a much higher priority for the state. Maybe a third medical school in Atlanta is needed down the line, but not right now. UGA has been blocking additional degrees at Georgia Tech? Well thanks to UGA getting engineering, the path is clear for you guys now. Go ahead and get happy adding programs in education, pharmacy, agriculture (?!?!) or whatever else your heart desires.

15 years from now, UGA and GT will be doing collaborative research projects that pull in tons of federal and corporate dollars just like the engineering schools in practically every other state does. That will help the state, and yes it will help Tech.

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

....or it could make those fields of study more widely available to students around the state by not restricting their control under, as was stated above, educational monopolies. You're really a glass half empty kind of guy, aren't you?

Guest
Guest

It wasn't a Tech monopoly but rather the defacto seperation of majors among Georgia's flagship institutions. Tech was deemed the State's STEM university, the med school was in Augusta and UGA would be the flagship for everything else. Realizing this marginalized their research options UGA has now muscled their way into the other majors despite the Board of regents being presented with other options that proved cheaper, availing more access to other parts of the state, or maintained the traditional institutional structures. UGA trumped GaSo's appeal for expansion of engineering, GSU's appeal for more medical studies in Atl, and still opposes GT's pursuit for any new degrees. A sordid political play to enhance UGA at the expense of the rest of the University System.

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