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Memphis AD: Tigers “Deserve” To Be In The SEC

Memphis — a school that drawn no interest from the wounded Big 12 or collapsing Big East — certainly has big dreams.  The school’s athletic director, RC Johnson, had this to say to WMC-TV in the Bluff City today:

“We want to get ourselves in the best possible place.  Ultimately we would like to be in the SEC.  That’s where we think we belong geographically.  We think we deserve to be.  But we’re talking to commissioners, we’re talking to chancellors, presidents.  We’re turning over every stone possible ’cause we want to make this a bright future for Tiger athletics.”

In this day and age, all it takes is a soundbite or a web video to convince people that a seriously long shot deserves serious consideration.  So no doubt, some will now follow up Johnson’s comments by talking about the Memphis television market, Tiger basketball, the geographic fit, etc, etc.

But the fact of the matter is, the SEC can already claim the Memphis television market thanks to Tennessee.  And Arkansas.  And Ole Miss.
SEC schools already recruit the area as well.  There’s no new ground — or viewers — added with Memphis.

From a football standpoint, the Tigers are abysmal.  In basketball they’re highly competitive, but they also have a couple of high-profile NCAA beatdowns on the ol’ resume (hey, maybe they are a fit for the SEC).

The school also fails to meet the SEC’s “profile.”  Counting Texas A&M, 12 of the SEC’s 13 schools are large, public universities located in towns of less than 300,000 residents with no major professional teams.

Memphis is a city of 600,000+ with an NBA franchise.  It’s viewed as a commuter school and the SEC hasn’t done commuter schools in the past.

In terms of academic reputation — something that chancellors and presidents take very seriously into consideration — Memphis is not numerically ranked by US News and World Report as it is graded instead as a Tier 2 school.

No offense to the Tigers or their fans, but this one’s a non-starter.  If the SEC were looking for this type of school, Cincinnati, Louisville and Houston would all be higher up the list.

 


19 comments
dcpowergator
dcpowergator

LOL at the thought of Memphis in the SEC but I am wondering whether FedEx Fred $mith'$ $$$ could mean something at the Big 12-2-1+1-? headquarters. It was just about a year ago he was reported to have personally offered $10M per year to get Memphis into a BCS conference. Now that is not quite the hurdle it used to be. In fact, DeLoss Dodds' calculator is extremely excited at the possibility of having more free money with which to line Bevo's stall with, so much so that he is actually considering waking up Chuck Neinas.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

Memphis...the only BCS school that has to actually pay to be IN an AQ conference? That would be hilarious.

Jack Edwards
Jack Edwards

Considering that you have compared the Undaunted video to the work of a former nazi propagandist I think you have been a little harsh on ECU. Nothing in the video has been fabricated. Your rank of UNC as number 2 on your list shows how valuable a North Carolina market would be for the SEC. Would you not say that if ECU wore the SEC badge on it's uniform that the schools brand recognition would equal Virginia Tech?

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Jack Edwards...

I think the key was the propaganda part, not the Nazi part. But no, I don't think ECU is equal to Virginia Tech. Tech has been winning on the national level for 20 years now, even reaching a national title game. And the school is a higher ranked institution as well.

I've said a million times that ECU is a fine school and it may make for a good fit for the SEC 20 years down the road. But there's no way the SEC would invite ECU in the present day. Again, if a team applies to the Big East and isn't welcomed immediately, it's not going to even be on the SEC's radar.

That's not an anti-ECU bias, that's just a fact. If the SEC did grab ECU, we would be more than happy to cover the Pirates. They clearly have a loyal group of fans.

John

Jack Edwards
Jack Edwards

Virginia Tech and ECU were at the same level 20 years ago. If ECU would have been included in the SEC at the same time the Big East took Virginia Tech, you could argue that it would have been ECU not Virginia Tech playing for national championship. ECU is a lot closer to Hampton Roads than Blacksburg, and the majority of the Virginia talent that ends up in the NFL is closer to Greenville than Blacksburg. Since when did the number of applications decrease after a school plays for the national championship? Academics would no doubt be better at ECU if ECU was in an AQ conference. I appreciate the fact Virginia Tech is ranked higher, but SEC needs to have the vision to see that ECU would be an excellent choice now and not 20 years from now.

Jack Edwards
Jack Edwards

Also, since when did the Big East become known for their adminstrative genius? This is a conference that didn't take Penn State either.

Southern_Guy
Southern_Guy

MTSU Southern Miss and South Florida and UAB would be a better fit. The big East won't take them either due to academics.

Jamie Thornton
Jamie Thornton

Tiger High has an entire new meaning after today. lol. Hey John, where was Memphis on your final expansion list? lol

ok-cats-computer
ok-cats-computer

I actually would like to see Memphis in the SEC. I know it is an extraordinary longshot, but I would enjoy having Memphis in the SEC. Geographically, Memphis is perfect. It is within a day's drive to any school in the SEC, including Texas A&M. Sometimes I think the SEC would be better to increase the strength of existing markets through a school like Memphis, Clemson, FSU, or Georgia Tech as opposed to expanding the geographic footprint into the midwest. Finally, I love eating bbq ribs at the Rendezvous in Memphis. The quality of a town's bbq should be just as big of a factor as things such as stadium size, acdemic reputation, and distance from Birmingham (just kidding . . . kinda).

BamaWahoo
BamaWahoo

Sorry to post-jack, but I'm contemplating going to another game (UVA @MD) on 11/5 but don't want to miss the Bama-LSU game. Any guesses on the likely game time for the Bama game? 3:30 or would this be the night game?

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

I have to assume it will be the CBS afternoon game. As it stands, it could be the biggest SEC game of the year. I'm not sure, but I think ESPN has the right to make 1 prime selection every year and I don't think they've used it yet. They may very well use it for the Bama/LSU game, but you never know what will happen between now and then.

BamaCLT
BamaCLT

Wow. I guess Vandy and Kentucky need someone to beat up on... I guess.

Thomas
Thomas

LMAO, Tiger High should be in TSSAA!

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

Thanks John,
I needed a good laugh today.

Actually I think it is more of positioning Memphis for the Big East or B12 than the SEC. If they can get press about how they would be such a good fit for the SEC, then it might have someone consider them for expansion.

TickleMeSanta
TickleMeSanta

The Big 12 would never happen, but in its current state, they might make the cut in the Big East.

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

I doubt the B12 would happen either. However the only two conferences that are currently desperate are the B12 and Big East.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

ESPN talked about Memphis in the Big East today and if the basketball only schools get a vote I would say that is more likely than some others.

John Bragg
John Bragg

When I first saw links titled "U of M says they deserve to be in the SEC", I assumed the article was about Missouri.

UofA72
UofA72

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