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Who Will Be The SEC’s 14th Team?

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With Texas A&M all but officially moved in to its new home in the SEC, the hunt begins for the conference’s 14th team. The SEC has made it clear that it’s out for a new frontier, premier athletics, and new television opportunities from the addition. In order to ensure the right selection for the last spot in this round of conference expansion is made, I put together a well-organized list of candidates for Mike Slive and his band of money-hungry Southern gents.

————————————

WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS

Conference: BIG EAST

Enrollment: 29,306

Pros:

– By joining the SEC, the Mountaineers would have the opportunity to prove they deserve to be a college football powerhouse. West Virginia has done well against the SEC in recent years. They beat Georgia in the 2006 Sugar Bowl, beat Mississippi State in a two-game series, split with Auburn, and gave LSU all the Tigers could handle last season.

– West Virginia also has a top-notch basketball team. Imagine a border/conference basketball rivalry between John Calipari and Bob Huggins. I rivalry is already brewing after the two teams met twice in the past two NCAA tournaments.

– Adding West Virginia would keep the football divisions balanced. If the SEC takes another university from out west, a school like Auburn would likely have to move to the East Division, which would throw off the balance of power and ruin the significance of the Iron Bowl.

Cons:

– West Virginia isn’t exactly a huge television market. Morgantown is technically part of the Pittsburgh market, but it’ll be tough for the SEC to really dominate over the Big East in Pennsylvania.

– The Jokes. Imagine what we’ll hear every time West Virginia plays Kentucky. Are they playing for the Kissin’ Cousins Cup?

– Recruiting… Part of the SEC’s expansion is to open a new area of recruiting for the conference. West Virginia doesn’t offer much, especially in comparison to what Texas A&M is bringing.

MISSOURI TIGERS

Conference: BIG 12

Enrollment: 33,318

Pros:

– If Missouri joins the SEC, the BIG 12 will likely implode and that would end all buyouts, contract issues, etc. The Tigers and Aggies would be good to go for 2012.

– Missouri opens up two Midwest television markets in St. Louis (21st nationally) and Kansas City (31st nationally). It’s all about the money and SEC is out to get it. Missouri is the best option out of all the rumored schools for TV markets.

– Missouri football is a beatable opponent for Kentucky. The Tigers would provide the same competition level as Mississippi State and Ole Miss. It would be a game on the schedule that could have a big impact on bowl selections at the end of the season.

— Missouri basketball would come in and immediately be a contender in the SEC West. A Kentucky/Florida vs. Missouri matchup in the SEC Championship game sounds attractive.

Cons:

– Adding another team from out west would shift the conference divisions. Would Auburn move to the East? Would Vandy go to the West while the Mississippi schools move East? I don’t like it.

– Columbia, Missouri isn’t close to anything. That’s more like B1G Ten Country.

– Pat Forde went there.

LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS

Conference: Canada West

Enrollment: 8,000

Pros:

– If the SEC wants a new frontier, no land out there is more untouched than the Southern Alberta television market and recruiting pipelines. The area is only slightly smaller than Texas without the competition from other schools. Well, until TSN provides 24-hour coverage of the University of Calgary on the Dinos Network.

– Poutine, Molson Ice, and strip clubs. Road Trip!!!

Cons:

– We haven’t had much luck crossing into Canada in the past.

– Bears.

VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES

Conference: ACC

Enrollment: 23, 567

Pros:

– Virginia Tech adds another powerhouse football program with a loyal fan base to the already dominant SEC.

– Blacksburg is just four hours south of Washington, D.C., the ninth-largest TV market in the country. Virginia also produces a lot of high school football talent for SEC schools to feast on.

– Like West Virginia, Virginia Tech would keep the divisions balanced.

Cons:

– Would the Hokies do it? Why risk being a mid-level team in the SEC when you’re already the top dog in the ACC? Those 10-2 and 11-1 seasons wouldn’t come as easy.

– How does one get to Blacksburg? It’s out in the sticks. Do you have to wish yourself in?

TRANSYLVANIA PIONEERS

Conference: Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference

Enrollment: 1,100

Pros

– It would be awesome.

Cons:

– No football.

OKLAHOMA SOONERS

Conference: BIG 12

Enrollment: 30,303

Pros:

– Oklahoma would provide even more access to recruiting and televisions in the Wild West, to go along with what Texas A&M is bringing to the table.

– More powerhouse football. Bob Stoops’ visor.

Cons:

– Oklahoma State would try to follow and the SEC ain’t interested.

– The 30 for 30 on Marcus Dupree made my eyes rain. I just wanted to come clean on that.

MIAMI HURRICANES

Conference: ACC

Enrollment: 20,126

Pros:

– Miami is the nation’s 16th largest television market.

– Cash. Steaks. Lobster. Boats. Hoes. Boats ‘N Hoes.

Cons:

– The SEC isn’t looking to add schools from states where they already have teams.

– Cash. Steaks. Lobster. Boats. Hoes. Boats ‘N Hoes.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

65 Comments for Who Will Be The SEC’s 14th Team?



  1. Lick'n it
    1:11 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    EKU to the SEC



  2. jlee62279
    1:11 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Why not missouri, texas a&m, virginia tech, and west virginia? Also I think not just for athletics but for academic and research dollars i think duke and/or north carolina would be a new area and good schools to add.



  3. Wayne
    1:18 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Bigggest Con for Missouri is Pat Forde went there



  4. Jimmy Buffett
    1:19 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    We’d dominate Transy in FB for at least a couple of years.



  5. Go Cats!
    1:20 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    I say add Texas A&M and lose Vandy. Keep the Conference at 12.



  6. Jimmy Buffett
    1:22 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    The Pronghorn looks intimidating; we don’t need them.



  7. JustSayin
    1:23 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    I favor VT then WV, but if we are raiding the Big East what about Cincinnati? 33rd largest television market and gets the SEC into OH. I know, I hate OH too.



  8. Nerd
    1:23 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    According to the graphic Vanderbilt is in Nashville,Kentucky. Which clearly doesn’t exist, thus disqualifying them from the SEC.



  9. jp15
    1:24 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    I am a Cat fan living in St. Louis so, for selfish reasons, would love to see Mizzou in the SEC. By the way, Columbia, MO is closer to Lexinton (about 450 miles) than Gainesville, Fayetteville, Baton Rouge, Starkville, Oxford and Columbia, SC, not to mention Texas A&M’s campus. They have consistently been in the top 25 in football over the last several years and have had several basketball teams in the top 25 over the last 25 years. Also, their non-revenue sports like baseball, softball, etc are very strong.



  10. philthyphil
    1:25 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Columbia, Mo is a lot better than Starksville. Starksville is a suburb of Nowhere, MS



  11. ACOTKY
    1:33 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    I say lets just switch to a 16 team power conference and start the trend to follow Cal’s idea. I say add Texas A&M and either Missouri or Oklahoma to the west and West Virginia and someone like Clemson or Georgia State in the East.



  12. Drew
    1:35 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    I think we should just gut the ACC and take North Carolina, Clemson, and Florida State as well.



  13. Section 133
    1:37 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Why not take a run at UNC. Aside from the obvious basketball ramifications, it is a good TV market (Charlotte and the triangle)and produces good football talent. After a couple of years on probation, you could see their entrance to theSEC boosting their football profile.



  14. AZBlueCat
    1:44 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    I say go big with Univ of Texas & Oklahoma. West Virginia or Missouri to bring it to 16. If you want a huge TV market consider the Univ. of Houston as well.



  15. Mack
    1:44 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    In the short term I like the Huggie v Calipari a couple of time a year; but the way it is tracking with college sports all you can count on is short term.



  16. Bring it!
    1:46 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    When I hear Matt say that they want to add Missouri to the mix in order to get into the St. Louis market and that adding WVU doesn’t get you into any new recruiting bases, I have to somewhat disagree. Adding WVU gets you into the Pittsburgh market and opens up the recruiting base in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania produces some great football prospects, especially in western PA. Many of those recruits end up at PA schools, at WVU, or in Ohio. Bring on the Mountaineers.



  17. Don
    1:48 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    I would like to see Georgia Tech come back to the SEC, then Virginia Tech. I think WVU is too trashy, and Florida State would jeopardize us with lawsuits etc.



  18. Coach
    1:49 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    NC State. Raleigh is one of the fastest growing cities in the country.



  19. Joe Diesel
    1:56 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    CONS FOR ANY TEAM MOVING TO SEC: less sec tourney tickets available for me to scalp.



  20. ACatFanInKC
    1:57 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    I say make it a 16-team league and add WVU, MU, and Va. Tech in addition to TAMU. If we manage to pick up OU along the way, it’s a bonus for football. Besides, nothing would make me happier than to hear those whiney Gayhawk fans cry about not having a BCS conference to go to.



  21. docmartin10
    2:00 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Murray State Univeristy is only reasonable OVC school that could compete. EKU has their moments, but they are few and far between.



  22. Barry Obama
    2:00 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Please stop with the WVU talk. The SEC cannot tier 3 school. Adding A&M helps the league’s academic pedigree. Adding WVU will wipe away that good will.



  23. The Rev.
    2:10 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Appalachian State Mountaineers! They have dominated the FCS (3-peat what up) and beat #5 ranked Michigan. Let’s ignore the fact that LSU, Florida, and Virginia Tech have dominated them, and look at it as a way to enter the North Carolina Market. Also, their basketball team is a joke.



  24. WildcatfanEastKY
    2:16 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    21) What? EKU is a way better program than Murray man as far as football is concerened. Neither one could compete in any leauge other than the Sun Belt



  25. jrs
    2:18 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    I’m from Ky and went to Mizzou, The feeling in Columbia is far more southern than most people realize, Missouri is alot like ky (split state). Mizzou is 5 hrs from Fayetteville and 7 hrs from Lexington.



  26. serdi
    2:20 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    WVU brings in not only Pittsburgh, but Roanoke and Washington DC television exposure. I think it would be great to add an additional school in the league that could be with UK and Vandy and not having to apologize for loving and caring about basketball.



  27. Somervillain
    2:22 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    I agree that UNC should be the top target. I get that football is king in all of this, but I have a hard time believing UNC hoops doesn’t top Mizzou or even WVU football. If the ACC is ripe for the picking, then grab their hoops programs, since the SEC is already head and shoulders above everyone in football. UK vs. A&M or Mizzou in either sport has all of the excitement appeal of UK vs. Auburn or South Carolina. Sure, fun and pithy every so often, but nothing like a blue blood match-up with Carolina. I say grab UNC, Kansas and Maryland and I’ll bet their football improves with their new surroundings.



  28. J2
    2:35 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    @Somervillain: Unfortunately, this decision will be 100% driven by football. There is no comparision financially between football and basketball.

    Personally, I love the fact that this could lead to the breakup of the mighty ‘Big Least’. Should the emergence of the 16 team power-conferences begin, the SEC, Pac-12, and Big 10 seem to be three of the four BCS conferences. That leaves the ACC or Big East to start making moves or die. Since this is a football dominated issue, the ACC will survive and we can say good-bye to the Big East. Maybe U of Smell will end up back in Conference USA???



  29. Brentton Akers
    2:41 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Why are we worried about keeping the divisions even. I thought the SEC eliminated divisions after this year anyway?



  30. Fresh Prince of Adair
    2:48 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    there’s a lot of reasons to like cobb’s odds and i know that the nfl is a step up but who has gotten better experience than him the past 3 seasons reallly? he’s been going through sec gauntlets with him being the focus of every team’s D. im confident in what he had put before him and im simply saying, it’s going to help….it’s one of those things that cant be quantified but no else dealt with the sec like he did, as the focal point, with a team of comparable depth and talent



  31. Drew P Weiner
    2:50 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    29, divisions are only in effect for football. Basketball it is being eliminated.



  32. Fresh Prince of Adair
    2:50 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    4- and im pretty sure we’d dominate transy in anything other than tests for at least ever



  33. Frosty
    2:58 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    What about Northern Kentucky University? Going Division 1 in Fall of 2012



  34. BigBlueFan31
    3:07 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    You’re an absolute idiot if you think Missouri isn’t a better football program than UK.

    I’d love to see Oklahoma since they’re the main reason I watch college football. Yes, I like UK as well, but OU helps me keep my sanity until basketball gets here!



  35. MtnCat
    3:11 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Maryland and NC State to the east, A&M and Mizzu to the west and let’s roll.



  36. WildcatfanEastKY
    3:13 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    I hope they bring in WVU, I would like to see UK-WVU play a border rivalry, call it the battle for the Hatfield and McCoy trophy. Plus my cousin goes to WVU and gets free tickets with his gig at Consol. So I get in free and got a free place to crash.



  37. WildcatfanEastKY
    3:17 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Not to mention the parties, bring on the fishbowls



  38. Sump23
    3:30 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Just add WVU and get it over with. They’re just as “southern” as Kentucky, especially in the lower end. Kentucky could compete with them in football and basketball games would be fun. Go Cats Go!!!



  39. Sump23
    3:33 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Just add West Virginia and get it other with. Kentucky, Miss. St., Ole Miss, could compete with them in football and it would make 7 West/7 East teams. ALSO!!!, basketball games would be very fun.

    p.s. I’m from eastern Kentucky, so I agree with #36 on the Hatfield/McCoy trophy.



  40. Hero
    3:35 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    I don’t like WV at all…nothing is gained from them moving to the SEC! Nothing…no new market, no new recruiting ground, nothing!

    Missouri is interesting and a market that the SEC could tap.

    Maryland should be the next team added to get that area covered for recruiting and TV market and then a N. Carolina team needs to be added.

    Now the SEC has added two team out west (A&M and Missouri), two in the east (Maryland and a NC team), expanded their market and recruiting…added good teams too that won’t be bottom feeders for the SEC. Anyone other than OU coming in will be middle to low in football anyway.

    WV will be a terrible addition to the SEC…just terrible!



  41. LuisAAguilar (sic)
    3:36 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Global expansion is inevitable. Propose to add The University of Calcutta, also known as UC to the SEC.

    Calcutta Ghandi’s
    Conference: The Biggest Big East
    Enrollment: 100,000 plus

    Pros:
    -Largest world market (relatively untapped)
    -A genuine road trip instead of those sissy short trips to Baton Rouge
    -Will absolutely dominate the NCAA cricket, mens field hockey, soccer, tennis and mathematics championships
    -two words “Nobel Prize”
    Cons:
    -Bhullar brothers stay at home for BB
    -road trip
    -may have to add the University of Bangladesh to the SEC to create a real rivalry
    -damn crazy terrorists sneaking in from Pakistan and blowing up shit



  42. Calipari'sInYourEar
    3:46 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Should be USF (University of South Florida) located in Tampa, FL.



  43. Calipari'sInYourEar
    3:51 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Also, West Virginia sucks and deserves to be in a crappy league like the Big East.



  44. Calipari'sInYourEar
    3:56 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    It make logical sense to add North Carolina, but their football is less than stellar and most of their already on campus freshman ladies have STDs.



  45. Rynoski
    4:04 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Florida State?



  46. Brian Storn
    4:10 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Why not take them both along w/ North Carolina (from the ACC which is NOT going to make the Super Conference cut)? Go to a 14-team league.



  47. golfcat22
    4:12 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    this is terrible. they royally screwed this all up. we finally had top 5 coferences w 12 teams and a champ game. thank you texas, lil brother a and m, espn, mike slive. they screwed up the best thing going.



  48. Japrick
    4:14 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    NC State for the same reasons as taking TAMU.



  49. 2020
    4:20 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Probably go North (UK, Vandy, Tenn, Aub, AL, Ark, Missouri) and South (Fl, GA, SC, Miss, Miss St, LSU, Texas AM) to keep Aub-AL and Miss-Miss St together.



  50. Poco Chang
    4:28 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    29, NCAA rule requires divisions for a conference title playoff game.



  51. RYNO
    4:55 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    All this stuff makes me feel really lucky that Kentucky happens to be in the SEC. The road ahead looks very uncertain for schools like Kansas and K-State. Evidently, great roundball doesn’t translate into an invite to the conference shuffle party. I mean, how much could these schools actually lose in TV revenue if they get left without a conference?? I haven’t heard that really detailed yet. I assume most of the TV deals would be nixed if the conference disbands (like the ESPN contract we’ve all been hearing about).



  52. hoopster
    5:31 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Florida State or
    Georgia Tech



  53. hoopster
    5:32 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Florida State or
    Georgia Tech or Clemson



  54. SaggyWheels
    6:14 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    VaTech or Maryland all day erry day



  55. LexCat 5121
    6:16 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Lol at Missouri being a winnable game for UK. You haven’t kept up with their football program over the past 5 years if you really think that.



  56. ez
    6:39 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    Leave West Virginia alone. They are a thorn in Slick Rick’s side.



  57. Dave
    6:45 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    North: KY, Vandy, TN, MD
    East: FL, GA, SC, VA Tech (or WV)
    South: Auburn, AL, Miss, Miss St
    West: LSU, ARK, MO, TX A&M



  58. wildcat golf
    6:58 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    I know I’m gonna catch hell for this one… Why not UL? I hate them as much as the rest of you do… trust me! But think about this; their geography makes sense, their programs make sense (football and basketball both mid grade SEC material), and it would immediately challenge the “Duke-UNC” argument for top rivalry in college bball. To me you need your rivals in your conference, it’s good for fans, it’s good pride, and it’s just plain good for business. Think about how packed an SEC championship game between UK-UL would be. The intensity of the games would gain national prominence immediately. Not to mention that ESPN would get coverage for the games instead of AWFUL CBS. The peices are all there to intensify our in-state rivalry, someone just need to put them in place.



  59. Will
    9:02 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    If they add Mizzou to the West with TAMU, you would need to move MSU to the East and make them cross division rivals of Ole Miss. That way Bama still plays Tenn and Aub still plays UGA. You then just make Mizzou and UK rivals. TAMU would play USC.



  60. Somervillain
    9:49 pm September 8, 2011 Permalink

    So Mizzou football and basketball combined rakes in substantially more money than UNC football and basketball combined? So is it a leap to assume that Mizzou football and basketball combines also outpace other hoops first programs like … UK? Or does our SEC membership trump this? I just think of UNC overall having national appeal regardless of football recruting base, while Mizzou is strictly regional. Is football that much bigger. That sucks.



  61. jrs
    12:48 am September 9, 2011 Permalink

    Missouri was ranked #1 in the AP poll a few years ago in football. Since then they have played as well as anyone in the Big 12. I still think they can be beat any given year, if the SEC goes North/South I think the future looks bright for Ky.



  62. Rev28k
    3:25 am September 9, 2011 Permalink

    I’ve always bled blue, but Matt Jones is sniffing glue if he thinks we can play w/ WVU year in and year out!



  63. UTFaninKY
    10:20 am September 9, 2011 Permalink

    Clemson, GA Tech, and Florida State are out. Years ago Georgia, Florida and South Carolina all agreed to vote against any of these 3 schools so each wouldn’t deal with their rival being in the SEC and receiving SEC money (the diff of about $10mil). So unless those schools change their mind, Clemson, Tech and Florida are out.



  64. Zachary Jefferson
    12:48 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    Highly beneficial appreciate it, I believe your audience would certainly want significantly more stories like this maintain the good hard work.



  65. Wvu fan
    5:04 pm September 10, 2011 Permalink

    Why does it have to be kissin cousins, have we forgot about the Hatfield & McCoy. I do under stand that both states is a hillbilly state but get real come up with something better than UVA did when we played them in 2003.