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Virginia Tech And NC State To The SEC? Prepare For Some Political Battles

In the last hour a pair of emails have dropped into the MrSEC.com inbox asking if NC State and Virginia Tech are “really” going to join the SEC.  After a little digging I found that the folks over at OutkickTheCoverage.com have posted a story today predicting a 16-team SEC with four divisions, semifinals for football, and the Hokies and Wolfpack as the most likely entrants into the league.

Now, we first wrote about the possibility of SEC football semifinals back in August of 2009.  And we still believe that the SEC could someday end up with 16 schools, but only if the landscape changes elsewhere.  After speaking to people at schools across the conference, we do not believe the SEC is fishing for new members at the current time.  In any way.

In our view, if a 16-school is being discussed in the press, that’s a long-range discussion.  Especially with the BCS system sitting on the verge of change that might slow the current realignment push to a halt.

That said, if the SEC expands again, stretching into new markets and new territories is clearly the goal.  That was the goal when Arkansas and South Carolina were added.  It was the goal when Missouri and Texas A&M were annexed.  It’s been the goal of every league throughout the expansion/realignment process.  Our readers know we’ve been beating that drum for two years now.  (Only Florida State — in our opinion — would offer enough name brand value to make them a viable option from inside the existing SEC footprint.)

Looking outside the league, Virginia Tech does make a great deal of sense for the SEC.  But the Hokies used up a lot of political capital to gain an invite into the ACC.  It’s hard to imagine them having the clout or the intestinal fortitude to jump leagues again anytime soon.  Especially after Tech officials made it very clear this summer that their school is better off in the ACC from a travel perspective and an academic perspective.

As for NC State — a school oft-mentioned because no one believes North Carolina and/or Duke would move to the SEC — there would be some serious political issues to work out as well.  NCSU is a “constituent institution” of the University of North Carolina system.  In other words, the schools have a connection.  We’re not talking Texas and Texas A&M, here. 

State has a 13-person board of trustees.  One member is the president of the student government.  Four trustees are appointed by the governor.  The remaining eight NCSU trustees are elected by the UNC board of governors.

If State’s administration decided that their school would be better off in the SEC, it appears from afar that at least two of the eight trustees put in place by UNC’s board would have to okay the move.  And that’s if all the other non-UNC-elected trustees favored the move.  And that’s if a vote to switch conferences only requires a 7-6 majority. 

Is it possible that State would move from the ACC to the SEC?  Sure, anything’s possible.  Especially when millions of dollars are on the table.

But it would appear Virginia Tech and especially NC State would have to wage some large-scale political battles to exit their current league. 

If
they even wanted to switch leagues. 

If
the SEC decides to expand again.

The talk of 16 schools is fun and it’s always good for pageviews.  Trust us, we know.  But for now, there’s nothing to suggest that the league will be expanding again in the short-term.

(Usual caveat: Never say never.)

 


13 comments
Resonator
Resonator

LOL @ TexasSECPride...when you say 'we' I am going to guess that you are a TAMU fan. You jump to the false assumption that I am a UNC fan, just because I live in NC, and, accuse NCSU of having 'little brother syndrome,' a la TAMU and Auburn. Fact is, I am a USC fan. I have no dog in this fight. I simply called it as I saw it. I've lived here for 30+ years, and, I see the two fanbases up close and personal every single day. What research I have done has shown that few teams have contributed LESS to a major conference in the past quarter century than NCSU has to their league. One measley ACC title in hoops in '87, and, nothing else. No BCS bowls, no Final Fours, no trips to Omaha. From my own observations, they seem more happy when UNC loses, than when their own team wins. That is very sad, and, very telling. Your assertion that NCSU is an SEC school at heart could not be more wrong. They are a founding member of the ACC, and, simply being a land grant school does not make them SEC material. It might be a big deal to you, but, when/if the SEC expands again, believe me, that fact will have little to zero importance. Its all about the eyeballs and the money a school could help the league generate. And, by that measure, its not even close which NC school your league should/would take. Had you bothered to read my post in its entirety, you would have seen plainly that I believe both schools to be a package deal. For either the SEC, or, the B1G. I could be wrong, but, I don't believe that the NC Gen Assy will not allow them to be separated. JMHO. But, you did not do that. You got as far as 'little brother syndrome,' got an uber-serious case of the butthurt, and, that was it. Carolina may very well be 'elitist east coast pigs.' But, those swine have considerably more successful than the Wolfpack, and, in my personal view, would deliver more...MUCH MORE...to the SEC than NCSU would. NCSU is a fine university in its own right, but, in purely athletic terms, they're not in UNC's league, and, haven't been for a long, long time. That may very well change, but, it hasn't yet. Next time, please, save the namecalling, and, try to communicate at an adult level.

TexasSECPride
TexasSECPride

& Resonater just proves why we'd want NCSU instead of UNC, is the whole "little brother" mantra something you kinds of pricks seriously hang your hats on, how sad actually. UNC is an "East Coast" school with all the elitist pig, false bravado & blinding arrogance anyone could want. The SEC has the best culture, by far, of any of the conferences & 10 of the 14 schools are land grant schools, don't think that doesn't play a role. NCSU is a SEC school at heart, as is Virginia Tech, this means something, I take both of those schools in a heartbeat then flip the proverbial bird to the rest of the country & we can play ball in our real southern conference, not a southern conference mixed with some east coast elitist pigs.

JRsec
JRsec

This thread is a bit old, but may soon get some new life depending on the outcome of the playoff negotiations.  There is another reason it could get some new life as well.  Resonator's points are well taken pertaining to the prospective additions of U.N.C. vs N.C.St., or having to take both should the SEC expand.  I don't think the end game is 16 but either 18 or 20.  Eighteen gives you three 6 team divisions where division champs and the team with the next best overall record would constitute your 4 team conference championship field.  Twenty of course gives you 4 divisions of 5 teams which doesn't really affect scheduling any more than 16.

 

We forget that there will be at least 72 teams in an upper tier simply because there are 73 that would be qualified to make the cut.  There is a big distinction between the first 18 and the rest in earnings, but little difference between say #20 and #72.  So the field will be larger if we go to 4 conferences.

 

Then there is the problem with the ACC's and SEC's television contracts.  The ACC is locked into a contract that expires in 2024 and is really the only causal factor if a team ever does leave the ACC.  Should the Big 12 get a renewal in the amount of $20 million per team and the ACC get one (generous estimate here given prevailing thought) around 3 million per team pushing them to $18 million per team it sets up a dilemma for ACC teams.  All three tiers of the ACC are committed to ESPN.  Only two are for the Big 12.  The Big 12 contract will escalate 2.05 million for each school for each of the next two additions.  Teams like F.S.U., Clemson, Miami, and Georgia Tech will have to go head to head with SEC schools that might likely see a boost to the 30 million per team range (hopefully more).  If two of them moved to the Big 12 they would receive a 6 million plus boost in their TV revenue keeping them closer to the SEC, plus the revenue from their third tier will be their own.  This would keep them from falling farther behind the SEC.  Such a situation might destablize the Southern end of the ACC. 

 

The SEC contractually is going to have a hard time forming its own network.  The ACC is locked into a terrible contract (hindsight) for 12 more years.  How do both of them free themselves from this dilemma.  Legally they could disband and reform together under a new name like the "Great South" conference and break into multiple divisions.  They could then form their own network and make alot more money together than separately.  If the Big 12 joined in the new Uber Conference would have a monopoly on the best football played in the country and could set their own agenda as to playoffs, bowl utilization, and determine their own value through independent cable networks and their divisional and regional subscription packages.  Their regions would be essentially their old conference tweaked for geographical convenience.  Their divisions would be grouped on balance of strength and geography.  They could schedule out of division and region games with any of the teams in their conference, outside of their region.  You could have 4 regions of two divisions each of 5 teams per division.  That's alot of regional cable subscriptions!  You could sell them by division, or bundled into a region, or bundled into the entire conference.

 

Will they do it?  Probably not, but they should!

Resonator
Resonator

It cracks me up to see that some people outside the state of NC people think NC State is some kind of 'football school.' If you lived in NC, you would know straight away that they are just as much a fair-weather fanbase as UNC is accused of being. Maybe more so. If the SEC wants the state of NC, they should take UNC. Over the long haul, they will be better in football that State, and, they are already better in baseball. Don't even mention basketball. UNC would bring something to the table. NC State, not so much. The SEC already have Auburn and Texas A&M. Do you really need another school with 'little brother syndrome' in there? JMHO, Carolina and State are a package deal. Neither is leaving the other to die in a gutted ACC. The NC Gen Assy will not allow it.

hihoze
hihoze

@thedudeofwv I don't think expansion depends on the SEC. it comes down to play and money. lots of reasons to leave ACC for B12

Lupin
Lupin

If the BCS takes Notre Dame's sweetheart deal off the table it looks like all bets would be off with ND looking for a place to land. ND could not risk their strength of schedule depending upon how other teams fare alone. Due to the capricious nature of the strength of college football teams, ND risking their relevance in, and participation in, the national spotlight on their merits alone seems unlikely. A conference affiliation in either the B!G or the ACC would assure them a place.

Once ND comes into play the final act in this round of realignment begins.

It will be interesting to see if the big conferences are ready to set things in motion. We'll see if they throw ND overboard.*

* This would also help curtail teams like Texas, BYU, Boise State and so on from going independent and demanding/litigating for equal treatment and generally being a PITA.

football fan
football fan

As someone pretty familiar with what went on to get VT into the ACC, I think the whole "can't move due to political reasons" is WAY overblown. VT's last move was made in desperation to avoid what was believed to be a sinking Big East ship. UVA was positioned to help get them into the ACC and Virginia's politico's were rallied to the cause to assure it happened. A VT move to the SEC is a completely different animal. First, UVA can't do much to keep VT in the ACC and many UVA fans would just as soon see them leave. Sure, they'd probably raise a stink, but only because it gave them an opportunity to degrade VT, not because they wanted them to stay in the ACC. Politically, I just don't see there being much will to fight a VT move to the SEC. 1) It would more than likely bring more money into the state with bigger football games and more fans traveling from the SEC schools to VT. 2) The ACC would still remain a viable conference, no one is predicting their demise like they were the Big East back in 2003. This means the politicians won't be whipped up to stop the move like they were to force the VT move to the ACC. 3) More VT fans than UVA fans = more VT voters vs UVA voters.

That being said, the writer is much closer to a real reason for VT not going anywhere when he talks about VT administration comments this past summer. The academic reputation of the ACC has the VT administration pretty star struck and I don't see the current regime wanting to move without bone head moves by the ACC or the SEC putting together a package that dwarfs the money offered by the ACC (and even then I'm not entirely sure)

jrclick4233
jrclick4233

if somehow, Mike can get VATECH and NCSTATE come to the sec. so should we call this `The Confederate model`

Kevin O
Kevin O

I agree that the landscape would have to change. The landscape change would have to be the Pac-12 adding four schools from Texas / Oklahoma or the B1G adding more teams. If the B1G expanded and took teams from the ACC, then the ACC would become destabilized. Imagine the B1G picking off Syracuse, Virginia, Maryland, Notre Dame, or the likes. That would make other schools in North Carolina or Viriginia reevaluate their situation. All I know from the last couple rounds of realignment is that fear of being leftout makes a lot of schools move conferences.

JRsec
JRsec

I don't buy the wait on AQ status being rescinded. It's still about television money. If we are on hold for going to 16 its because it is more profitalbe after this renegotiation to wait and renegotiate again after we add two more. There are only a couple of schools that if they came into play early might speed up the process. If Virginia Tech or FSU (I know footprint) came into play by the Big 12 (remote) then the SEC might move early. If UT or ND decided to move, or OU & OSU suddenly wanted to bolt then we might make an early play. Look for the ACC to add two more before the SEC moves and look for two years to pass before we ask to renegotiate TV revenue due to such a move.

Holtbru
Holtbru

Re-alignment will definitely continue...... It will all begin again..... I really would not be surprised to see those 16 team conferences, and who knows what will happen with the teams from the MAC, USA, BE, etc..... those teams will want a piece of the pie as well....... Who knows, conferences could consist of 20 teams.......

Clarence
Clarence

There were some rumors on some message boards the past couple of days about Clemson and Florida State joining the Big 12, making for future east coast match ups with the non basketball powers. I suspect it is somehow related to the pending court fight with WVU leaving the Big East. Try and get the pot all stirred up and BE scrambles to protect the future instead of holding on to WVU and the past. The NC State and Va Tech avoids the "can't add schools from existing SEC states" argument.

JRsec
JRsec

@jrclick4233 Perhaps. Perhaps not. But, it's not unfair to refer to Slive by his Sith name, Darth Dixie!

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