published Friday, September 9th, 2011

Greeson: Expect 16-team SEC et al

Texas A&M almost assuredly is headed to the Southeastern Conference. It appears almost impossible that Baylor's threat of a lawsuit will prevent it. Be it within the next hour or the next 18 months, change is coming.

Texas A&M leaving the Big 12 will start the move toward the 14- and 16-team megaconferences that will dominate the college football landscape.

Here's one spit-ball projection as to how it could shake out:

The SEC

SEC East: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and West Virginia

SEC West: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri and Texas A&M

Pac-16

Current 12 teams and add Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and BYU

Big TEN

Current 12 teams and add Kansas, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Louisville

ACC

Current 11 teams (with Virginia Tech heading to the SEC) and add Connecticut, South Florida and Central Florida with possible spots for two more.

Everyone else will be jumbled into an NCAA field for football, not unlike the NCAA tournament, although it will feel more like the NIT. Remember that Georgia, Florida and South Carolina reportedly have a wink-wink, nod-nod deal in which none of those three will vote for inviting another school from those three states. So no Georgia Tech, no Clemson, no FSU, and that may very well save the ACC.

The overhaul is coming, gang, and the biggest question remaining may be whether the other schools have the strength and the wherewithal to force Notre Dame and Texas to join the fold so they can broker the TV rights deals together. Because expansion is not about competition or classification as much as it's about market shares and money.

In a perfect world, the conferences could stay where they currently are and look to tweak the BCS system. But all the hand-wringing and calls for playoffs jump-started the conferences to be aggressive and perform the sports version of the California Gold Rush of 1849.

If the TV contracts are deal-breakers for Texas and Notre Dame, then maybe they stay independent. But if they stay independent, do the future four power conferences allow them a special entry into the title games and the BCS billions? More than likely not, and if Notre Dame is playing football with no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (see what we did there?), how much is NBC willing to spend?

And if you're wondering why the NCAA has been quiet about this, maybe it is planning security measures for next week's football game between Miami and Ohio State -- two programs that have prominent spots on the NCAA speed dial.

As for next week's Da U/THE Ohio State Penitentiary, here's saying the NCAA buys two luxury boxes and has its quarterly meeting there. It would be cheaper than bringing all of the field officers down around South Beach back to the ranch in Indy.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

2
Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
Humphrey said...

War Eagle, Jay. I think I'd like to see Auburn on the East, because that would protect the uga rivalry and bring back old ones with florida and utk. We'd have to keep alabama as the traditional west appointment. I guess I'd hate to lose MSU as a historical opponent and LSU as a heck of a recent rival, though. I wouldn't want to see west virginia in the SEC.

One thing is, west va. would be dumb to leave the big east and go to the sec. They have a good thing going in the big east. It wouuld be dumb for va. tech to leave the acc, too.

I'm sure the big 10 would love notre dame, but they haven't been able to get them so far. And NBC has been willing to keep paying so far. I'm not sure it would change. I'm not so sure that Louisville fits the big 10 academically. Pitt would, and would be nice for the rivalry with penn state.

I think columubia mo is a great college town, but not sure missouri fits in with sec. Might be a better fit with big 10. I guess I could see Kansas in big 10. Where is K-state?

Baylor and Iowa st. are the flys in the ointment, because if the big 12 goes down, they are left hanging with no prom date.

September 9, 2011 at 8:50 a.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement

Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.