Albama Arkansas Auburn Florida Georgia Kentucky LSU Mississippi State Missouri Ole-Miss USC Tennessee Texas A&M Vanderbilt

Report: SEC Would Be “Comfortable” With 13 Schools

From Day One of all this Texas A&M hubbub, our Southeastern Conference sources have told that if the league were to add a 13th school, it will need to grab a 14th, too.  Other sources have said much the same thing to outlets ranging from to The New York Times.

Now, the folks at said early on that the SEC would be okay with adding A&M as a stand-alone 13th school (and we’ll credit them if that turns out to be the case).  We disagreed with that assertion because we had been told the complete opposite.  And many respected Southern writers who have their own SEC sources have told us that they, too, have heard a totally opposite story.

Enter Thomas O’Toole of USA Today who writes today that “conference and league school officials, requesting anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, have said they would be comfortable with 13 teams.”

Last season, the Alabama administration had a hissy fit — and rightly so — over the fact that the Tide had to play six league opponents that were coming off open dates.  But now we’re supposed to believe that six West Division schools are onboard with the idea of having a 1-in-7 shot at Atlanta while their East Division neighbors enjoy 1-in-6 odds?  All to add a school that business analysts and ex-TV executives now say won’t add very much value to the league’s media contracts anyway?

Sorry, we’re not buying.  Not the idea that the SEC is welcoming A&M with no incentive.  And not the idea that the SEC is comfortable sitting at 13 schools.  It may have to for a year — because there’s apparently been less interest than anticipated from schools that were expected to want to join Team Slive — but we don’t see the league surviving long-term as a 13-school entity.

And before you ask, the NCAA requires conferences to field two divisions of six teams or more in order to hold a league championship game.  It’s possible the SEC could petition the NCAA to waive that rule, but it seems far-fetched — at this point — to be talking about one, grand 13-school league without divisional play.

There’s no question that Mike Slive and the SEC can still pull a total shocker of a move for School 14.  But judging by the silence and lack of leaks from potential members — the SEC is always quiet — it doesn’t appear as though the SEC is quite as sexy as it might have thought a month ago.

For that reason, a 13-team football season might be a necessity next year.  But we still don’t believe SEC officials are “comfortable” with the idea of a 13-school league in the long run.

Post Comments » Comments (60)



Follow Us On:
Mobile MrSEC