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I admit, I am an SEC homer, but I just have to step in and say a few things a couple of things here...
There is nothing anywhere from the SEC offices that state they are looking at adding AAU schools. That is just a made up attempt to portray the SEC as something it isn't out of fear the Big 10 has somehow "one-up'd" the SEC. It is mere coincidence that the most recent additions to the SEC were AAU schools. They were brought in for their markets. Texas A&M has a recognizable brand with historical significance in college football, and they reside within a state that has 26 million people, tons of recruits and huge metropolitan areas to sell the upcoming SEC Network. The AAU never came into the equation.
Essentially the same reasons brought Missouri on board. They don't offer the recruiting base that A&M does, but they bring 6 million potential viewers and two top 50 television markets in St. Louis and Kansas City. Again, AAU was never... I repeat... N-E-V-E-R part of the equation to bring them in. So just stop with that attempt at making it out as if the SEC is doing something it isn't just to try and pump up the SEC's academics as if they aren't good enough to stand on their own. The SEC's academics are just fine. Anyone graduating from one of their schools should hold their head high and be proud. There are nearly 1000 colleges and universities in this country alone. Every single SEC school is ranked in the top 20% of all schools in the country. Some of the schools have different missions than schools in other conferences, but they accomplish their missions just fine.
If the SEC brings in a school that just happens to be an AAU member, then so be it. Nothing bad about that, but it is not a deal maker or breaker in the least in terms of determining a new member.
The SEC has won the last 7 national titles because they put the best product on the field. Not because they get confused about whether or not football is noble or not. they recognize football for what it is... a sport and marketing tool to advertise their universities, and they do it better than all the other conferences combined. If AAU membership equated success on the field, the Big 10 would have won the last 25 titles in a row. All those US News rankings and AAU members haven't been able to figure out a way to beat the SEC in bowls with any regularity.
The one thing the SEC lacks is large metropolitan markets to sell its new network to.
As for the schools mentioned as options... in breath, it is claimed that AAU membership is a primary target of the SEC, and in the next, the talk is about bringing in Virginia Tech and NC State... neither of which are in any danger of being accepted into the AAU in the near future. Those two schools do offer a solid product on the field, which is what has separated the SEC from the rest of the pack over the last decade. Cincinnati is also a school that is not an AAU member, but has been bandied about in this discussion. I mentioned them in a previous post, but not because they have anything to do with AAU status.
So which is it? AAU or strong product in the field in a new market?
In reference to Virginia Tech offering all the same markets that WVU does... all I can say is... WHAT? You do realize West Virginia and Virginia Tech are in two totally separate states, right? You also realize that there are 11 FBS schools in closer geographic proximity to the D.C./Baltimore metro areas than Virginia Tech too, right? I bet you didn't.
I am no expert on West Virginia or Virginia geography, but I do have a marketing degree, and I am familiar with the top 210 TV markets. The first 100 are considered to be the so-called large markets and the latter 110 are considered the smaller markets. Typically, marketing firms focus on the top 50 markets when pushing a product, because most of the smaller markets are covered within those top 50 to a degree.
Looking at the markets in Virginia and West Virginia, VT has no influence on the #65 national market (Charleston-Huntington):
Morgantown, itself, is part of the #23 Pittsburgh market:
Although one of the smaller markets, the Wheeling, WV/Steubenville, OH market is not impacted in the least by Virginia Tech.
If your argument is that you just like VT better than WVU, then just say that outright. You don't have to justify it with made up reasons for your preference, just say you don't like a particular school.
So almost none of your arguments are based in fact, but solely your own opinion that your are passing off as fact.
The SEC is the dominant conference in college athletics, and we don't have to apologize for it, and we certainly don't need hyperbolic arguments to make our case for it.
7 national titles in a row speaks for itself. We also have at least 3 national titles in the last 8 years in basketball. We have done it all without a lineup of AAU schools or large media markets. If we add either of those, it will just be icing on the cake.
2 years ago on Big Ten To Add More Conference Games; Is This Another Lure For UVA, GT, UNC And Duke?
Going by the information posted about numbers for R&D, by adding UVA, UNC, Duke, GT, Missouri & ND, the Big 10 would effectively be adding Three Billion Dollars in annual research funds to their CIC.
That is a lot of money to add to their circle of power in controling the government's research dollars.
Delaney said recently that expansion could go south or west for the Big 10. The SEC has "no-buy" out for its members. Missouri originally wanted to be in the Big 10, and many believe after the manhandling they received this year in the SEC, they would love a chance to jump to the Big 10, which would be a penalty-free jump.
Boston College and Florida State are not AAU schools, and they will not be invited to join the Big 10. The only exception to the AAU requirement is Notre Dame, and I will address that shortly.
I agree that UVA, UNC, Duke and GT all end up in the Big 10. But I do not agree that it will end there. A 20-team Big 10 essentially creates two "Big 10's," if you will; a “Big 10 East” and a “Big 10 West.” They already said they were losing the leaders and legends divisional names. This 10-team divisional format allows them to work the Big 10 brand into media conversation more. Instead of saying Leader Division Champion, so-and-so, they will say Big 10 West Division Champion, so-and-so.
The four ACC schools will give the conference 18 members. Missouri will come on board and make 19 members. The ACC will be crippled. Notre Dame will have no legitimate home for its non-revenue sports. The Big 10 has always coveted Notre Dame. This is how the Big 10 finally forces the hand of Notre Dame, and gets their full membership into the conference as team number 20. Notre Dame's issue has been their independence, but there will be no one left to allow their Olympic sports to feed off of them. They also fancy themselves a national institution that plays a national schedule.
With 20 members in two time zones in several regions in the country including the northeast, mid-west, and deep south, this effectively serves as a national schedule for Notre Dame. With a 10-game conference schedule and two nonconference games, Notre Dame can still play USC and Navy every year and face most of their traditional rivals in conference play as well. Keep in mind that Notre Dame has already agreed to schedule 6 ACC teams each year in football, so changing up their schedule won't be the issue that some will claim it is. Notre Dame's Chancellor stated in 2010, I believe, that Notre Dame's hand may one day be forced in terms of having to join a conference.
Also important to note is that just yesterday, February 12, 2013, Comcast (the parent company of the Big 10 Network) bought out General Electric's stake in NBC for $16 billion. That can seriously influence the television contract Notre Dame has with NBC.
For the SEC and their new coming network, they will end up taking Virginia Tech and North Carolina State. After losing Missouri, this will put them at 15 teams. There are few options left on the table for the SEC if they truly intend to refrain from taking schools in states where there is already an SEC member. And with the grant of rights in the Big 12, that eliminates any of their members for the time being.
So the next logical choice in terms of adding a new large TV market for their network, adding a new recruiting area, remaining in a contiguous conference footprint, and shooting a cannonball across the bow of the Big 10 by moving into their back yard after having the Big 10 encroach upon SEC territory and take one of their members is to move into Ohio State's back yard and take Cincinnati.
I know people won't accept it. Save the arguments against it. I already know what you will say. And you have a valid point, I do not deny that.
But we as fans won't be making the decisions. Business men parading around as college leaders will make the decisions. Cincinnati may not be at the level of the upper echelon of SEC football, but they have come a long way in the last 10 years, and their basketball program would immediately be top 1/3 in the SEC. They also make a nice basketball rival for nearby state border rival Kentucky. Make no mistake, this is about football, but the SEC Network will need year-round content, and Cincinnati would be a nice get. Tommy Tuberville will begin the process of turning Cincinnati into an SEC-modeled program immediately. They won't challenge to top tier of the conference, but they will fit in nicely for the role they will be expected to play.
The Big 10 will be the only 20-team conference for the foreseeable future, but all bets are off after the Big 12's grant of rights expires if they fail to renew it when the time comes.
Until then, with the SEC growing to 16 members, and waits to see what happens with the Big 12 down the road.
With the ACC in shambles, the Big 12 could swoop in and offer homes to Florida State, Miami, Clemson, Louisville, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, Boston College and Syracuse. They probably won't grow that big, but it makes sense for them to expand into the huge eastern markets. The Big 12 currently sits in only 5 states. Adding those eight schools adds an additional 7 states to their geographic footprint and essentially triples the amount of potential viewers they have currently.
This would give the Big 12 18 teams, nine members in the west that are traditional Big 12 members, and nine members in the east that mostly have a history together.
In the West Division, you would have Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kansas State, and Iowa State.
In the East Division you would have West Virginia, Florida State, Miami, Clemson, Wake Forest, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Boston College and Syracuse.
Without specific numbers at hand, those 8 schools would bring approximately 15 previous national titles and 8 Heisman trophies to the Big 12's line up - give or take. It also brings in several national titles in basketball. That is a pretty good haul for the Big 12. It also brings in a minimum of four additional top 50 television markets.
Who knows what the Pac-12 will do, but they remain unchallenged out west, so they have no need to expand any further if they are comfortable at 12 members. They will act if the Big 12 allows its grant of rights to expire, but as much money as the Big 12 is making, that seems unlikely.