As Ben noted in the post just below this one, Louisville has denied premature speculation connecting them to a move to the Big 12 should Texas A&M decide to leave the conference for the money-green(er) pastures of the SEC.
Now, two other schools that have been connected to the SEC via the ever-churning machinations of the rumor mill have also attempted to toss some cold water on the rampant speculation.
First and foremost, Florida State president Eric Barron told the Associated Press that he has not had any conversations with the SEC about a move from the ACC. Of course, and I as hear the steady hum of black helicopters hovering overhead, he doesn’t say whether anyone connected to the Tallahassee school has spoken to the conference about a move. Barron does say that the ACC “is a good conference”, but, as expected, would not comment on what his university would do if presented the opportunity to jump ship for the SEC.
On the other side of the ACC, one of FSU’s conference brethren has brought its own bucket of water to the expansion fire burning on the outskirts of Blacksburg.
Speaking to David Teel of the Newport News Daily Press, Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver attempted to downplay any rumors connecting his school to the SEC, saying their current conference is “the right fit” and, after fighting as hard as they did to get in, it wouldn’t make sense to get out now.
“We always wanted to be in the ACC,” Weaver told the Daily Press, referring to their time in the Big East before jumping to their current conference “Now we’re there. Why would we want to go somewhere else when we finally have what we want?”
Weaver also doesn’t see the ACC being ransacked by the SEC, due in large part to the fact that pilfering the likes of Florida State and Clemson wouldn’t pull in any new television money as the SEC already has a large footprint in the states of Florida and South Carolina. The same theory would apply to Georgia Tech, another school rumored to be of interest (writer’s note: they’re not; trust me) should the SEC go to 16 teams. Of course, adding a school like the Hokies would increase the SEC’s geographic footprint, as would adding the Aggies.
So, do all of these “denials” mean FSU or Tech — or both — won’t be jumping to another conference at some point in the future? Of course not. But it does tap the brakes ever so slightly on the rampant speculation as far as their schools are concerned. Texas A&M, on the other hand, is apparently on a train headed east with no brakes and no way to stop until they hit Birmingham…