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The Fri. Debate: Mike Slive Edition

A year ago a potential move to the SEC was a divisive issue amongst Aggie fans, but this time around it seems like Aggies have much more solidarity about a potential move.

Would you bring Florida State into the SEC?

But SEC or not SEC is not the Friday debate. No, that would be too easy.

This weeks Friday debate is as follows: If you were SEC commissioner Mike Slive, how many teams would you like to see the SEC expand to? And which team(s) would you like to see join the Aggies?

The Candidates

Clemson - ACC

Aggies got a taste of Clemson tradition in 2004 and 2005 when they split a home and home series with the Tigers. Clemson is also, like A&M, a public land grant institution.

Florida State - ACC

One of the nation’s best known teams, the Florida State Seminoles would add another power program to the SEC. Florida State also already has a natural rival in the conference.

Louisville - Big East

How do Aggie fans feel about Oklahoma coming along?

The Cardinals have had mixed success on the football field, but are a basketball power. Their inclusion in the SEC would likely give them a bump on the gridiron.

North Carolina - ACC

All things equal, North Carolina would be a prime suspect for the SEC, but their ties to NC State, as well as traditional Tobacco Road rivalries are going to be hard to pry the Tar Heels away from.

Oklahoma - Big 12

The Sooners would be an interesting partner for the Aggies. Certainly the SEC would love to have one of the nation’s premier football programs, but the Sooners seem unable to make a move without Oklahoma State. However, would Aggies even want the Sooners? A program that traditionally recruits Texas well is probably not what the Aggies are looking for.

Missouri - Big 12

The Tigers would bring new markets to the SEC, and a familiar foe to the Aggies. They recruit Texas, but the Aggies rarely go heads up with the Tigers. Also, Missouri has consistently made it clear that they’re no fans of the setup in the Big 12.

Virginia Tech - ACC

Does Clemson earn a spot in your SEC?

The Hokies are probably the favorites here. Aggie fans are familiar with Virginia Tech, having played a series against them in the early 2000’s, and they know the similarities between the two schools. Both land grant schools, both agriculture schools, and both with proud traditions in their corps of cadets.

Georgia Tech - ACC

Though a great fit geographically, Georgia Tech doesn’t bring any new markets to the SEC, and though they’ve had some success in the ACC, where would they fit in the SEC?

Let the debate begin

Taylor’s Take - 16 teams with Florida State, Oklahoma and Clemson. Why take baby steps when the end looks inevitable. If 16 team super conferences gets everybody one step closer to a college playoff then I’m all for it, and Florida State, Oklahoma and Clemson are the best programs available.

Aubrey’s Take - 14 teams, Virginia Tech. Nothing is inevitable in college sports, and with 14 teams you would still have the feel of a conference and not the feeling of two conferences with a combined championship game. You could play 6 intra-divisional games and then 3 games against the other division and still have 3 non-conference games. Virginia Tech is a nationally recognized program that fits in the SEC geographically and culturally, but also brings new markets and new fans to the conference.

  • Florida State, Clemson, and Georgia Tech are guaranteed non-invites because they do not add any television markets and Florida, USCe, and Georgia have a gentleman's agreement to vote against any of the three. Slive is known to only move forward on big decisions if it is at least an 11 school yea vote. The frontrunners as heard here in the heart of SEC country (Nashville) is A&M, Virginia Tech, and Duke/UNC. Missouri, NC State, and Virginia are second tier options, but the SEC is in the driver's seat this cycle. They can be picky. A&M and V.Tech will be great cultural fits, and Duke/UNC will help the academic standing while adding the burgeoning North Carolina markets. I hope we don't settle for NC State.

    This post was edited by blueblindness 3 years ago

    Land The Plane

  • By the way, if the South ever rose again, Mike Slive would be the consensus pick for President. He is beloved and as sharp as they come.

    Land The Plane

  • The Virginia Tech would seem to be the most appealing, to add the DC market as well as no in state rival already in the conference. Clemson, Florida State are in the same boat as Georgia Tech no new markets, even though both of these teams are a heads and shoulders above Georgia Tech. But with them would their fellow in state rival accept them in the SEC. There will be no movement with OU without OSU, I will bet a lot on that.

    So if its just one team I could see VT is my vote.

    For 16 teams my vote is VT, UNC, and Missouri, this move would create maximum amount of exposer for the SEC in many new markets. This move would make the envy of all college athletics.

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  • a&m does NOT want ou coming with them if you're talking potential recruiting advantages. but does the SEC want a school with an incredibly troubled basketball program that OU has?

  • Ceaux, I would be happy with VT, UNC, and Missouri. UNC has the school system to deal with just like the Oklahoma and Kansas schools; it is hard to move them. Without saying it, the SEC really wants to help Vanderbilt succeed in football because they can't get rid of them (founding member). Duke and Vandy already play football often as non-conference, and adding A&M, Duke, UNC, and either V Tech or Missouri would shift the SEC as the best basketball school as well as football. Very enticing. I think UNC was a guarantee until all the football issues came up. However, that may mean the SEC can buy low at the moment. We shall see. This conversation literally takes up a quarter of talk show time around here. I am still not giving up that Slive will coordinate a power play that brings Texas to the SEC along with A&M. The SEC does split revenues evenly for TV, but each school has total control (and profits) from other multimedia. Texas has got to know where the wind is blowing, and they are going to eventually end up in the PAC, Big 10, or SEC. I hope they come to the SEC so it gives everybody someone to hate along with Florida.

    Land The Plane

  • If OU could come without OK ST, the SEC would do it in a heartbeat.

    Land The Plane

  • tu doesnt want to compete. It will not go to the SEC. If they go anywhere it will be PAC.

  • If they came to the SEC, they would be public enemy #1, which is always good to have around. They do seem to fit better culturally in the PAC. Is the assumption around Texas that the PAC intends to bring OU, Ok St, and Texas Tech along when UT finally agrees to join?

    Land The Plane

  • I would go with 14 teams and take Va Tech (and us of course). The addition of Va Tech would open up that market and bring another school similar to us into the fold. It would be fun to play them and they're a good team year in and year out.

  • Va Tech would be a tremendous rivalry for Tennessee, too. There has been talk of playing that game at Bristol Motor Speedway, which is basically halfway between both school. They could potentially have 130,000 attend. Very cool. Curious, who would A&M consider to be their new SEC rival if they join? I would think Arkansas or LSU. Neither of those schools have a mutual "biggest" rival. Ole Miss/Miss St. and Bama/Auburn are already established.

    Land The Plane

  • blueblindness said... (original post)

    The SEC does split revenues evenly for TV.

    Might as well throw the tu out of that picture right there.

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  • Money is the key to all of this. A&M brings Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio tvs to the SEC. So the 14th to 16th teams would need to do the same. Those schools would need to add market value. Like VT with DC market

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  • Agsrwe said... (original post)

    tu doesnt want to compete. It will not go to the SEC. If they go anywhere it will be PAC.

    Considering Texas has a winning record against the SEC, your argument is a little hollow

  • Yep, and why a North Carolina school (or two, if required to get the deal done) makes the most sense, too. I really think Missouri waits it out for the Big 10; I think they get in if it expands to 16. I think the Big 10 eventually gets Notre Dame, Maryland, and Kansas if their legislature allows. Those make the most sense to since the Big 10 only takes AAU members.

    Land The Plane

  • neonmoon said... (original post)

    Considering Texas has a winning record against the SEC, your argument is a little hollow

    Texas is 6-8 against the SEC since 1974.

    Land The Plane

  • I would say A&m and LSU would be a great Rivaly. A&M and LSU played thru the 80's and early 90's and called it the Bayou Classic. They also recruit real hard against one another in Southeast Texas and Louisiana.

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  • Most of those listed (Ga Tech, Florida St, Clemson, Louisville) have "zero" chance of entry, and will be blocked by their SEC instate counterparts. And another west team will only happen if they go to a 16 team conference, which is not likely for a while either.

    On the otherhand, there's no mention of West Virginia. They bring many of the same attributes as VT, but with no instate political baggage to contend with as VT and UVA. Look for the Mountaineers to join the SEC before any of those other options.

  • If tu goes anywhere, they'd have to give up the LHN. $300M can soothe their pride over not being in a premiere conf. SEC and PAC-12 wouldn't allow them to keep the network. I see their options as idenpendent or stay in the Big XII.

    If tech, OU, OSU move to the PAC 12, and the Big XII adds teams that it poaches from the WAC, Conf. USA, etc, wouldn't it be funny if the Big XII lost its' BCS automatic bid?

    The true test of a man's intelligence is how much he agrees with you.

  • boone8466 said... (original post)


    If tech, OU, OSU move to the PAC 12, and the Big XII adds teams that it poaches from the WAC, Conf. USA, etc, wouldn't it be funny if the Big XII lost its' BCS automatic bid?

    That would take a lot cause the Big East still has it's auto bid

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  • Since when is TV revenue generated by markets? TV ratings are derived from VIEWERSHIP, not location. TV ratings are what drives advertisement revenue. The SEC doesn't have the entire Florida market, they only have those who follow UF. FSU would bring in some of the highest TV ratings in the nation, which would only increase the conferences revenue. With that said, I very much doubt FSU will be playing in the SEC anytime soon.

  • I really don't think 16 teams is something the SEC wants to do at this point. There are way too many logistical issues and the SEC doesn't want to be seen as the conference that starts a massive shift in college sports. I really think they go to 14.

    Obviously, A&M would be team 13. The SEC could add a 14th team from the west such as OU, OSU, or Mizzou but this would require moving Auburn to the East and would really mess with traditional rivalries (bama/auburn, bama/tenn). So it's very likely team 14 is in the East.

    Florida St, Georgia Tech, Louisville, and Clemson are all out because they would be blocked by instate schools. Taking all this into account, it seems clear that the team would have to be from North Carolina, Virginia, or possibly West Virginia or Maryland and these are the only states that would be remotely in the SEC's footprint. This would leave possible candidates as:

    UNC
    Duke
    NC State
    Wake Forest
    East Carolina
    Virginia
    Virginia Tech
    West Virginia
    Maryland

    Duke and Wake are obviously out because they don't place much value on football and tend to look down on the academics of the SEC. Maryland would also be unlikely because they are too "northern" and also aren't nearly as football-crazy as the rest of the SEC. Virginia seems unlikely as well; they are a founding member of the ACC and are closer to Wake Forest than Virginia Tech in terms of culture. East Carolina would jump at the first chance to go to the SEC and culturaly would be a great fit, but they simply just do not have the facilities or name recognition to earn serious consideration. I do believe that they would be a great fit for the Big East though.

    North Carolina would be an ideal candidate, but their rivalries with Duke and their desire to remain a strong academic reputation would cause some higher ups to scoff at an SEC invite. While the SEC would welcome them, their tobacco road roots would likely keep this from happening.

    NC State is in a simillar boat in terms of history, but would be more willing to leave the ACC for the same reasons A&M is - frustration with their fellow instate school who they (rightly) feel is treated better. Virginia Tech would be extremely high on the SEC's radar because of the DC market and its stron success on the field. However, they do seem determined to remain in the ACC that they fought so long to join. Instate politics also complicate the issue as well and a Virginia/VT split may be impossible.

    The final possibility, and I think the most likely, is West Virginia. While it is almost outside the SEC footprint, it is relatiively close to and could develop rivalries with Kentucky, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt. It has a passionate fanbase, a 60k stadium, is the flagship university of it's state (like the majority of SEC schools), has experienced plenty of on-field success (2-0) in BCS games, and would be an easier target being in the Big East and any ACC school.

    All this being said, I think team #14 is, based on likliness to happen is:

    West Virginia
    Virginia Tech -(the public denials may be misleading)
    NC State
    North Carolina
    Virginia
    East Carolina
    FSU/Clemson/GT/Louisville
    Missouri
    Oklahoma
    Oklahoma St.

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  • Nebraska doesn't even have 2 million residents (less than West Virginia), but the Big Ten thought they brought enough name cache to the fold to be worth the invite. They were chose over other schools that "supposedly" would've brought more and larger, new markets.

    Florida has nearly 19 million residents and will be the 3rd largest state within the next decade. The SEC doesn't have its own network. It makes money by putting out a good product each week. I think it's fair to say that FSU's marketshare in Florida is at least equal to the 2 million that Nebraska brought and on the original list only OU is as big of a national brand as FSU.

    I don't know if FSU will get invited or not but I think the talk about markets and the SEC is a bit overblown. Would more people in the country watch a Missouri vs Ole Miss game or an FSU/OU vs Ole Miss game?

  • tricknole said... (original post)

    Nebraska doesn't even have 2 million residents (less than West Virginia), but the Big Ten thought they brought enough name cache to the fold to be worth the invite. They were chose over other schools that "supposedly" would've brought more and larger, new markets.

    Florida has nearly 19 million residents and will be the 3rd largest state within the next decade. The SEC doesn't have its own network. It makes money by putting out a good product each week. I think it's fair to say that FSU's marketshare in Florida is at least equal to the 2 million that Nebraska brought and on the original list only OU is as big of a national brand as FSU.

    I don't know if FSU will get invited or not but I think the talk about markets and the SEC is a bit overblown. Would more people in the country watch a Missouri vs Ole Miss game or an FSU/OU vs Ole Miss game?

    Totally agree I think markets are way overblown in this, particularly with the SEC. The product on the field has made the SEC what it is. Almost none of our schools are in major markets, but tend to do very well. The Tuscaloosa market isn't very large, yet Alabama is a recognized nationwide. I think the SEC goes for a team that is a fit on the field as well as culturally. Geography will play a part too.

    I really don't think the SEC is interested in A&M because of its markets (although it certainly doesn't hurt). They like A&M because of its passionate fanbase, production, and recruiting potential.

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  • Adding FSU would actually be a bigger market than any team not named Texas A&M & even rivals that. Florida is the 3rd biggest state with around 35% of the state Noles. That alone would crush any new market in Virginia or North Carolina or Mizzou etc. Then you also have the fact of all the TV money the Noles could help the SEC get in the new contract for a expanded SEC. Only Notre Dame boast better national ratings than the Noles. The Noles have played in a few of the top 5 highest rated games on ESPN of all-time. In the past 3 years alone, FSU has broken ratings records for all the bowl games & attendance record in Jax for the Gator Bowl. The Chic-fil-a Bowl for the 2010 season was the highest rated one ever. The Champs Bowl 3 years ago was the highest rated bowl game in ESPN history. Also FSU is great all around athletic program! FSU is the only program in the nation to make post-season play in every single one of their athletic programs the past 2 years. FSU has an SEC-like stadium (85k) and would be a perfect fit. If only Florida wasn't so scared of us joining lol. All this said, I think we should stay in the ACC. As long as the ACC is pro-active in expanding once the dominoes start to fall & keeping our 12 teams intact.

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  • joetheogre said... (original post)

    Totally agree I think markets are way overblown in this, particularly with the SEC. The product on the field has made the SEC what it is. Almost none of our schools are in major markets, but tend to do very well. The Tuscaloosa market isn't very large, yet Alabama is a recognized nationwide. I think the SEC goes for a team that is a fit on the field as well as culturally. Geography will play a part too.

    I really don't think the SEC is interested in A&M because of its markets (although it certainly doesn't hurt). They like A&M because of its passionate fanbase, production, and recruiting potential.

    I disagree. The fact that A&M is in a supreme tv market is the primary reason that the SEC is interested. Transpose A&M with OSU in Stillwater and you'll get next to no interest. The state of OK brings comparatively nothing demographically.

    I've read that adding A&M and the Texas market will increase the SEC viewing area by 42%, which triggers a new SEC tv contract agreement that will result in a significant increase.

    Not dismissing that A&M's passionate fanbase and unique tradtions certainly added to their appeal, as well as their facilities, location and ability to compete. Those all played significant factors as well. But its money, specifically tv money, that is driving this bus.

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