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UF President: SEC Could Expand If An “Ace Jewel” Came Calling

The SEC and Big Ten appear to be playing cowboy these days.  Jim Delany and Mike Slive seem to be locked in a showdown, both men with hands on their holsters just waiting for the other guy to twitch and try to draw first.

And this showdown seems to be just as tense (and slow) as the famous climactic gunfight scene from “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.”  (Pencil Big XII commish Bob Bowlsby into the third gunman’s role.)


The Good The Bad and the Ugly Finale


While Slive has been quick to say that he’s simply keeping tabs on the situation, most believe he’s secretly working the phones and using back channels to communicate with other schools who might be on the SEC’s wish list.  An ACC source told The Sporting News months ago that the SEC has been chasing North Carolina and Duke for three years.

Well today, Florida president Bernie Machen has revealed that, yes, that SEC might expand again if “some ace jewel called us and said, ‘Can you help us?’”  But in a conversation with’s Jeremy Fowler he added: “We haven’t had any calls like that.  We haven’t made any calls.”

As we’ve stated previously, most of the folks we’ve spoken to at SEC schools say they would prefer the league finish digesting Missouri and Texas A&M before it bellies back up to the realignment buffet.  For that reason, we at continue to believe that the next domino to fall will have to be knocked over by the Big Ten and Delany rather than by the SEC and Slive.

Earlier this year, Ohio State president Gordon Gee let it be known that the Big Ten is still considering expanding further.  We’ve been saying for several months that Virginia and Georgia Tech have been in contact with the Big Ten.  It’s also been reported that North Carolina has spoken with the Big Ten at some level.  Other rumors have connected Duke, Pittsburgh, Florida State and Kansas to Delany’s conference.

Fowler, in addition to speaking with Machen, also talked with outgoing Nebraska AD Tom Osborne and he, too, seems to think the Big Ten will keep adding schools:


“From the way things are going, I would assume there may be some desire to add a couple more schools.  This is strictly opinion, no hard data or anything like that.  Where exactly they would go, I don’t know.  I’d imagine there would be some interest to the East.  I think the Big Ten’s wide open to looking to other places, too.”


Stay tuned.  Especially if an “ace jewel” decides to dial up the SEC office in Birmingham.



Timeline for conferences (my guess):

 -    The SEC will announce that the SEC-N will be launched in June/July 2013 with financial details undisclosed (ie not the millions / school).  Due to the low amount the SECN will generate, the SEC must slowly accumulate the funds (ie buyout costs) for additional members.  This will place some current SEC members at risk, like Kentucky and Mizzu (they won't move, but eyes be shifting all over).  It'll also mean UNC, NCSt, VT, basically anyone who's affiliated with the ACC, gets at least a 3 year breather knowing the SEC is financially strapped.  Don't look for any movement by the SEC until 2017-18 <strong>MINIMUM<strong>.

 -    The Big12...  Currently they're happy that Texas is sleeping.  If Texas continues to slumber, the Big12 won't do anything, and it'll survive... although severely weakened and acting like a CUSA-WAC affilate.  Their GOR won't stop others from looking, but it will make poaching from PAC12 or Big10 harder.  Timing for ISU, KU or OU will be "top secret".  Don't expect any news from any of those 3...  Only hope for insider new is Oky State, where Boon might let something slip?  Big12 may alliance itself with a scared ACC to bolster itself over the next 3-5 years, since it too is weak.

 -    Big10...  It just finished eating MD & Rutgers...  All conferences should be safe until 2015-16 and possibly longer?  Guessing 2017-18, Big10 will have <strong>MONSTER<strong> TV deal for Tier 1 rights.  With coffers overflowing, expect the Big10 to be on the hunt.  My guesses are UVA, KU, ISU, UK, Pitt, Mizzu, Cuse, with slim possibilities of UNC, GT, FSU, Navy & Dook...  Huge long shots are Tx, Domers, TN & FSU, but most are too far south and everyone knows Domers would rather commit mass suicide than join the Big10.  The real question will be how big does the Big10 really want to go?

 -    Pac12... They're the true "unknown".  More & more pressure will be put on the Pac12 to do something, and I'm betting they won't do anything?  Not because they can't, or won't...  But because of public perception.  Since few fans are voicing <strong>ANYTHING<strong> at all, the Pac12 will "monitor" and watch everything from afar.  If they can be sorta relevant come playoff time, they'll be happy enough.  No need to upset the apple cart, or even jiggle it.  The Pac12 will become CFB's largest savings bank that side of the Mississippi river, flush with cash, buying power galore.  Yet no ka-honas to do anything, until it's too late?

 -    Finally the ACC...  Who's that?  You know, the formerly known as Big East?  Yeah them.  Anyways, they will hunker down, cursing god for leaving them in their time of need.  Slowly they'll feel secure as the techtonics cool over time, but dought will always be there.  Swafford will hope no ACC president will pay attention to the future payouts of the SEC, Big12, Big10 & Pac12.  When the ACC Presidents do question the conference's leadership... the ACC Network will "pop" out of nowhere to smother the antagonists (pollitical postering which every US citizen has seen time & time again).  The ACC-N will be even less successful than the SECN, but Swafford (if still in charge) can point to it, saying "We have one too, its not his fault?"  My guess is that by <strong>2018<strong> the ACC Presidents will be fed up with the 10, 20 or 30 Mill difference...  Getchya popcorn ready, cause the show will begin right around then.  Don't be late.


The crown jewels are Texas,  UNC, and UVA. ND will not join the SEC, and neither will Texas. That would mean Texas admitting that TAMU was right and have to follow their little brother. Ain't going to happen. If the SEC thought that WVU was a crown jewel, they would have added them instead of Mizzou. Florida St and Clemson bring little to no value to the future cable channel because they will bring no more households into the footprint. So the only real crown jewels that they are looking for reside in the states of North Carolina, Virginia and possibly Penn, Kansas, and Oklahoma to round out expansion. The top choice would be UNC and Duke. UNC brings the alumni base for the state of North Carolina, and Duke brings in one of the most valuable properties in sports, though all basketball. Which is not bad. The SEC does not need another football championship mouth to feed. After UNC and Duke, the next choices are UVA and VT. All four would be the preferred expansion and lock up the south.


The question is...who qualifies as an "ace jewel?"



 To me the "ace jewels" in the ACC is:

North Carolina



Virginia Tech

Florida St.



Maybe I should change the "Back up Jewels" name to "Hey, I need a team Jewel".  Need Duke to get UNC, need FSU to break-up the ACC, need Clemson as an 18th team, need West Virginia as a 20th.


 @cjhadley  @AllTideUp Who's considered "Ace Jewels"?  My opinion is North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame.  The next group which I'll call "Deuce Jewels" include Virginia Tech and NC State.   "Back up Jewels" include Duke, Florida State, Clemson, and West Virginia.


@Seanbo @cjhadley @AllTideUp Anybody but Texas...


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