Tuesday, May 25, 2010

SEC Expansion

I must admit that at first I really didn't appreciate the nuances of all the conference expansion talk.  After delving into it a bit, it makes a little more sense -- particularly about how dangerous it is for the SEC to sit by and think that it's just naturally always going to be the big boy on the block. 

The name of the game is revenue, exposure, TV markets, and physical footprint of the conference.  And the danger is that the conferences are playing a net zero game -- i.e. what the Big Ten gets comes at the expense of the other BCS conferences -- both directly (by actually poaching teams from other conferences) and indirectly (by increasing its leverage at the negotiating table with TV networks for finite dollars to be spent on TV contracts).

In other words, we may be entering an era of "Grow or Die."

Below are some interesting thoughts and links about SEC expansion:

+ Why the SEC Should be Working Now on Expansion (from MrSEC.com): this is a great article pointing out the dangers -- both short-term and long-term -- inherent in a "wait and see" type of approach:

None of this is to say that the SEC must expand right away just for the sake of expansion. But it is to say that the league needs to be considering anything and everything, including quick expansion.

Everything should be on the table right now. Not in two months, now. And if the Southeastern Conference feels that Move X would benefit the league long-term, then by all means, it should make Move X before anyone else has a chance to.

Things can change quickly in this world. If you don’t believe the SEC could go from the top dog to the runt of the litter, you’ve not been paying attention to just how quickly they can change.

Ten years ago newspapers were still powerful and successful. Ten years ago all 12 SEC schools had different football coaches.

And ten years ago you’d never heard of Twitter, Facebook, iPods, or some group of militants called the Taliban.

Things change quickly. Mike Slive and the SEC’s presidents need to keep that in mind.

+More Teams means Less (from Arkansas News):  Pointing out how an expanded conference would wreak havoc on SEC scheduling and existing "must-keep" interdivisional rivalries like Tennessee/Alabama and Florida/LSU.

+SEC Commissioner Reportedly Meets with CBS Regarding Expansion

+SEC Commish Talks Texas

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