You have to quit looking at this through political glasses. The SEC could use this realignment to become the top power rated conference, that's even better than having just the top team in the nation. The Big 12 and the Big 10 and the Pac 12 are within reach of claiming not just the top Power rating (Big 12 now) but could put teams in the National Championship game 2013 or 2014. So far the SEC is on track here but getting on top and staying there are things you have to do, not just say. The SEC should be able to recruit and coach as good as anybody in the new football world. One thing is for sure, just having Ala. or LSU in your conference is not going to keep the news media on your side. Everybody in the conference has to improve and challenge for the title, otherwise the other conferences will seem more exciting and then when the top SEC team has a bad day outside conference play the media will have no ammunition. One huge false idea the SEC has is that the nation will vote for defense over offense when the comparisons start looking close.
@jwolfe Understand what your point is jwolfe, but that was about as political a comment as any on the topic so far. And you know, that is just the way it is. No matter which way you slice this pie, attack this hill, work this room, or whatever cliche you want to use, no angle in tackling this problem is free of politics. College ball IS politics. We hate to admit it, but it is.
Two great things about your post though, (1) it confirms that moving to the SEC was the right move for us Ags. Finally, a Conference that things like a Conference, and (2) its nice to know who the Machiavellian thinkers are.
@OldArmy I should have identified myself as a Missouri Tiger watcher. The move of TA&M and Missouri at the same time should be good timing for everybody. I HOPE that old SEC fans see the potential for the realignment as clearly as the presidents and ADs. The Missouri Texas A&M series might come to be seen as one of the big saves in this change. Right now the only thing I am sure of is that the SEC talks balance and equality and the Big 12 doesn't aspire to such in any way. So who are the "end justifies the means" people in this money machine and who are the least jaded?
@jwolfe @buddha22 Just one thought. The Big 12 was a great geogrophical fit for A&M. In less than 4 hours drive you got to Baylor and tu, 6 hours to the Oklahoma and OSU guys, and 7 to Tech, although I cannot for thr life of me figure out why you would go there.
How many visitor tickets do you think Baylor fans bought on average? About 800 a year. Tech was pretty much the same, Point is, more Arkansas fans, by the many thousands, came to see their team play against us in a non conference game three years in a row, than did our Big 12 neighbors for decades. (As Winston Churchill said, "I like pigs. Dogs look up to us, cats look down on us, but pigs see us as equals.")
Its a cultural thing more than a geographic thing for us this time. Would love to play in a conference you did not have to book a flight to every away game.
@buddha22 @OldArmy @jwolfe Exactly right from you both. In the NCAA conferences are the closest thing to leverage over television money and public relations tools. I liked what the Big 12 did last year with the commercial "This is how we play". There may be any number of new media tools used to make cash flow through any given conference. I believe the SEC has a philosophy about competitive member programs. I believe they know that a few bad violation apples can hurt everyone. Missouri and TA&M fit the their 'new world order' for a lot of reasons more reason than this. No conference realigned better geographically for as long as I can remember. Maybe the Big 10 move was equal. Fans of other programs are looking at this and saying how is this going to help my university football program win the SEC, make a big bowl game, or otherwise be nationally recognized? Missouri had years when they were nationally recognized before the Big 8 became the Big 12 and after. So it is hard for the average long time fan to appreciate what the conference did to help them reach a national number one ranking again recently. No sane fan can complain about winning a division title unless the conference only has ie eight members. What fans don't see is the change in national trends and why conferences must change or die. The Big 12 stubbornly held on to a plan that benefitted Texas and to a lesser degree Oklahoma more than anyone else. In a 12 team league this is harder to accept than in an 8 team league and in a modern era where television means so much it not sufficient to tell your conference members, "Here is our 700 million dollar tv deal, now you go do your own, cause everybody going to do it someday". I tell this story because the SEC has it's own history of a something less that parody. In the future fair competition will be one of the important concepts in keeping a super-conference super. AND all the fans in the SEC who are resistant to having two more competitors in the mix will only be satisfied by seeing the whole conference grow in bowl bids, rankings, draft picks, NFL player success, and recruiting power. It is for sure that 14 teams are not going to tie for the conference championship, nor seven for the division title every year. On this subject the SEC is going to have to make division titles decided by division play to keep everybody in a fair title hunt every year.
@OldArmy @jwolfe Dan Devine, well they plucked him out of Arizona and he spent a great decade for MU football but as jwolfe said, lack of support for facility development gave him pause and he moved on to Green Bay. Still #2 all time in MU wins behind Faurot (but not for long) but will always be remembered fondly. It is no surprise to me that Mike Slive oversaw adding A&M and MU and the value it brought to the conference. That said, I also understand the collective thought of existing members for our programs to prove it on the field and not promising the moon but I am confident both programs will show their mettle. Culturally, there is a strong fit, perhaps more readily accepted for A&M but time will show MIZZOU is a very strong fit. Enjoy the give and take here, tickled to have found this site early in the process!
@jwolfe Dan Devine? Lord that makes me feel old, I can remember him as a coach (but not at Mizzou). Funny you should mention refs. I laughed at the Nebraska guys complaining about bad calls in the run up to leaving the Big 12 (and yep, that includes their game with us), but now I'm not so sure I should be offering to eat some humble pie.
Nebraska always had great fans, but man I just can't get up a lot of love for Bo. Colorado is located in a town that would make Berkley, CA look normal, and it rubs off on their students (can you say Ward Churchill), so just can't really feel it for them, but I do now better appreciate why they left.
A&M would have left the SWC and or B12 decades ago. We had an AD and President who were trying, but a lot of things did not go our way on that. Arkansas' administration actually tried to pull us out with them. Hard to love a pig, but those Razorbacks have their days.
I'm really not too worried about championships, as a Ag that's not productive. I'm in to the SEC because a couple of guys from Mizzou and A&M can share the fun of the game without the trash. So far, the Mizzou posts show you guys are more like us than anybody else in the B12. We don't have Mizzou jokes at A&M, but you can feel free to tell a few Aggie jokes to break the ice with your new SEC kin. A&M owns the copyrights to all of 'em, so we make money off the deal.
@OldArmy Thanks, I didn't read it as preachy. Maybe good football follows some politics and maybe some politics follows good football at different points in time. A smart coach or a great recruiter or both can hold a program near the political top for a long time. I wonder how long a troop of talking heads can keep a football program in the top 20?
My impression of other Missouri football fans is that they feel under-served by their college administrators going all the way back to the Dan Divine days in the 1960s. They have a lot of class and patience however, allowing mediocre coaches to have long tenures (7 years) to get their systems established. I really don't know the A&M fans or administrators that well yet. It's not right that a good coach got fired there last year. I really liked that team he put together. I think they were playing a bit ahead of themselves when they were fresh and trying to put teams away. I don't think they were playing at a game pace then collapsing late. I think this was a misperception by the media and some fans and there were zero signs of weariness. The coaching staff made sound late game plans.
I knew something smelled bad when both Colorado and Nebraska left same time, but where was the media on this? Losing Colorado was awful, except getting 5 downs where they cheated at Missouri to save a National Championship bid, (with a lot of help from the refs) I always liked Colorado. Nebraska fans and lately the coaches took a bad turn toward bad sportsmanship. Su's injurious tackle on Blaine Gabbert cost Missouri a top 5 finishing place that year. Su is now the bad sportsmanship polster boy in the NFL.
Everyone is nostalgic about the old Big 8 but it was never as good as it could have been with OK and NE trading championships in that league at everyone else's expense. When another program is challenging and the league let's a ref's bad call maintain the status quo or sends a program to a lesser bowl than they deserve or let's a program bring in an illegal ringer without long term penalties, it's a quasi-fixed league. Fair competition and the perception of fair competition mean a lot to a league.
You are being a gentleman to put it that way, so I will say it for you. T A&M will challenge for a SEC division title soon. No need to apologize for this, as i said "The reason Presidents and AD's picked TA&M was to make the league stronger" and get a strong recruiting and tv market. Fans in the SEC who feel it's their turn to win will be helped to the top by the new alignment by de-centralization, not piled deeper in the pecking order.
@jwolfe Apologies J, I re-read my post and it does sound a little preachy. No, I figured you were Mizzou faithful (I have been getting my butt handed to me by Buddha over Faurot South on another string), what I was trying to impart was no matter which way you slice the conference issue, its all about politics. And that is not a slam, the ability to work the room so to speak sometimes separates the winners from the losers. Your "The SEC could use this realignment to become the top power rated conference, that's even better than having just the top team in the nation," was what I was referencing as Machiavellian. And I liked it. I am getting the impression that the Tigers are pretty adept at working the room BTW. Great move for Mizzou coming in, and A&M was fortunate you guys were the 14th. Took some heat off us and confirmed something was rotten in the B12. I have a new found respect for the guys at Nebraska and Colorado. Here's hoping we merit the acceptance.