John Calipari weighed in on the issue of SEC expansion talk today, giving his notion of what the future of the conference should be. According to Calipari, the best plan for the SEC includes adding three new teams to the mix, Missouri, Maryland and Virginia Tech. He believes that eventually there will be four super-conferences and he likes the idea of a 16 that includes these three schools:
“I don’t think this stuff is done yet,” Calipari said. “I’ve said for months that there may be four conferences with 16 or 18 teams each. But I can tell you that the SEC at 13, 14 or 16 is going to be stable. We’re fine. If they’re going to add, I’d like us to go and get Virginia Tech, Maryland and Missouri to go along with Texas A&M. We’re not going to do anything at the expense of academics. You’re also going to see basketball step up in the next five years in the SEC.”
Calipari was the first person I heard suggesting that such moves were imminent and they have advanced on a timetable that is even quicker than he initially imagined. Whether we end up with four mega-conferences or five decent conferences and the Big East remains to be seen. But it is clear where Calipari would like to see the SEC headed and if the conference could pick up those three, I am behind it. All three would be fair to good football additions, but more importantly for me, all three have decent to very good basketball capabilities (especially Maryland). That should count for something and is almost certainly part of the reason Calipari floated those names today.