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Report: SEC to hold special expansion meeting

Bullett Train

As the A&M train barreling its way from College Station toward the SEC’s Birmingham offices shows no signs of slowing down, the first indications coming from the southern side of the college football landscape that the Aggies may indeed be on the move have surfaced.

According to MrSEC.com, as rock-solid a source for football news in that conference you’ll find anywhere, the SEC has called for a special meeting Sunday to discuss the expansion issues that the conference is reportedly facing.  All 12 of the conference’s chancellors/presidents will be involved in the meeting, although at least one may not be physically present and would participate instead via a conference call.

The website notes that it’s unclear if this meeting is simply a fact-finding mission of sorts or if a vote will be involved.  Based on the smoke coming out of one part of Texas, the latter may be the case by the time the weekend rolls around.

This move to a special meeting by the SEC, if it does go down as reported, would continue what has been a whirlwind last 24 hours generally, and the last 12 or so in particular.  Just today, the Higher Education Committee of the Texas House of Representatives announced a previously unscheduled meeting for Aug. 16 to discuss matters “pertaining to higher education, including collegiate athletics.”  A short time ago, and in what was obviously a preemptive move by the school, Texas A&M posted a notice of a special meeting that will take place one day earlier; one of the items on the agenda? “Authorization for the President to Take All Actions Relating to Texas A&M University’s Athletic Conference Alignment”.

It’s believed the A&M Board of Regents at that meeting will vote unanimously to give permission to President R. Bowen Loftin to accept/pursue an invitation to the SEC.  To show just how far down the fast track this has come in less than a day, that it’s to the point where Loftin will in short order likely be handed the keys to move his athletic department to a new conference, the agenda of the regents meeting that will be held Monday was originally scheduled for Aug. 22.

The SEC speculation, however, has not been limited to A&M.

Today, both Florida State and Virginia Tech have surfaced as rumored possibilities for an expanded SEC.  While officials from both schools have denied those reports, Chris Level of RedRaiderSports.com is reporting via Twitter this afternoon that “[a] high ranking Texas Tech official confirms to me that the SEC is in talks with Texas A&M and an ACC school.”  The specific name of the ACC school involved was not named by Level, but it wouldn’t take too great of a leap in logic and deduction to suggest that either the Seminoles or the Hokies are somehow involved.

While some have dismissed the talk of either school moving to another conference, the smoke is sufficient enough that the ACC’s commissioner felt compelled to release a statement addressing the speculation.

“As I’ve said previously, we’ll continue to be mindful of the collegiate landscape and what’s best for the ACC and its member institutions,” John Swofford said in the statement. “With that said, I’ve received no indication from any of our 12 Presidents that they have any intention of being affiliated with any conference other than the ACC.”

Slowly but surely, the timeline for an expanded SEC by way of an A&M defection has become compressed, going from 2012 to Aug. 22 of this year to now where we’re at the point where we could very well know something definitive in the next 72 hours or so.  Simply put, it’s to the point where the only pertinent question regarding the Aggies is whether they will be the only domino, or merely the first.

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20 Responses to “Report: SEC to hold special expansion meeting”
  1. bender4700 says: Aug 12, 2011 5:25 PM

    Revenue sharing will be the downfall of the once solid Big XII.

  2. southernpatriots says: Aug 12, 2011 5:42 PM

    The SEC is the best conference in major college/university football, has been for over a decade and will be for the foreseeable future for the reasons we have detailed on previous postings. The SEC will expand, either immediately, or in the near future to 16 teams and hopefully will welcome some quality schools, both academically and athletically.

    We have faithfully followed, oftentimes in attendance to football, basketball, baseball, etc. games throughout the SEC for over 4 decades and we welcome an expansion of the schools of the SEC, especially a school which beat their bigger brother (Texas) and their northern neighbor (Oklahoma), then later losing to a team superior to both of those teams (LSU).

  3. fitz66 says: Aug 12, 2011 6:01 PM

    TCU is so mad right about now

  4. bender4700 says: Aug 12, 2011 6:02 PM

    TCU wants nothing to do with the Big XII. The last thing they want is to be connected to Texas again. Let alone move to a conference that is basically the U of Texas Conference,

  5. jesse1834 says: Aug 12, 2011 6:09 PM

    The song Dust in the Wind is playing for the Big 12*, or um Big 8.

  6. rawgator06 says: Aug 12, 2011 6:28 PM

    Well, I am content with the way the SEC is aligned now….
    As long as the team from the ACC is FSU or Miami, I will be happy. If its Miami, that means that I can see SEC football down here in Miami and watch the Gators play without having to drive 5 hours.

  7. bender4700 says: Aug 12, 2011 6:30 PM

    I wonder if Miami will be open to that. Seems like they are comfortable being one of the top dogs. If they go to the SEC, they are no longer in the top 2, considering the 5 of last 5 titles hanging out in SEC school’s trophy cases.

  8. paulbrownsrevenge says: Aug 12, 2011 7:03 PM

    @raw gator06 Its called dishnetwork or direct tv man. I watch college games nationwide, and i live in indiana.

  9. paulbrownsrevenge says: Aug 12, 2011 7:39 PM

    No conference should have more than 12 teams. The season is 12 games long. This is money rearing its ugly head into something great and trying to ruin it. As long as there is a profit to be made, some asshole will try to make more money by making adjustments. BigXII needs to just add a couple teams, have a network like the big ten that isn’t bias towards one school. Big east add a few more schools and everything will be just fine.

  10. dcroz says: Aug 12, 2011 8:46 PM

    As much as the idea of FSU coming to the SEC interests me, I still cannot buy that the ‘Noles would be so willing to leave a conference they dominated for the first decade they were in it and are on the cusp of owning it again. I also don’t see what the SEC’s interest would be, since FSU really doesn’t bring anything that the league doesn’t already have (presence in Florida and top-flight football program). Virginia Tech makes more sense in that it gets the SEC into the Washington market, but considering that the Hokies just left the Big East to go to the ACC, would the SEC really want to trust a program that would show itself to be so mercenary by switching again so soon? It will be interesting to see how this continues to play out over the next few days/weeks/months.

  11. Deb says: Aug 12, 2011 10:19 PM

    @southernpatriots …

    For once, I’m in agreement with paulbrownsrevenge. With a 12-game conference, our teams can play their traditional rivalries and some interesting out-of-conference games in a 12-game season. The long-term hope is for a 32- or 16-team playoff tournament that will add more games to the season. We don’t need to add more teams to the conference because that will only mean current SEC teams will play less often, ruining traditional rivalries. Or–worse–the drums will beat to expand the season. These are young athletes. Their health and safety is more important than the whinings of the Aggies about Texas and its TV rights or the greed of the SEC in wanting to expand its footprint.

    This is not in the best interest of the conference, its rivalries, or its players.

  12. cincybengalsdude says: Aug 12, 2011 11:31 PM

    I think it’s inevitable that 2 or 3 years from now (most likely less) the Big10, SEC and probably the Pac10 are going to be 16 team conferences. The Big12, Acc and BigEast just can’t compete with those conferences financially and they will get picked apart over the next couple years.

    I don’t like it and I doubt many do, but I don’t think there’s any stopping it at this point.

  13. southernpatriots says: Aug 12, 2011 11:33 PM

    Deb: It becomes easy to see how the traditional rivalries would continue without alteration, when the out of confererence non-traditional and often mamby pamby opponents are reduced. All teams in the SEC and all conferences have these Div. II teams or other teams they pay a million or more to run up the score, etc.

    Keep also in mind…the current member presidents will have to vote on any proposed expansion and to allow the particular school in. We don’t think this is a simple majority but a super majority needed, if we understood correctly when AR was admitted in recent years.

    The few university reps we have heard speak on this topic were saying, (paraphrased)..we need to expand because that is the trending sentiment for other major conferences and we need to get ahead of the curve so we can choose the schools we want rather than just be left with those which remain, etc. If this is truly the thought of the presidents and SEC admin in Birmingham, then we fully understand a certain amount of urgency on their part. If they are not open to the Texas
    A & Ms, Florida States, Miamis, etc. then later they may have to take some which are not as desirable.

  14. rawgator06 says: Aug 13, 2011 1:12 AM

    @paulbrownsrevenge
    I meant going to the games, not seeing them on tv. I already have Directv and watch SEC football every weekend. Every once in a while, I would like to go to an SEC game without having to drive to Gainesville though. Instead, my only option for live college football is whatever crappy ACC team Miami is playing

  15. blitz4848 says: Aug 13, 2011 8:03 AM

    Let’s see–where do I start……

    1. academics won’t be the driving force. Only Florida & Vandy are AAU accredited schools out of the 12 SEC schools and A&M would make it 3 of 14 as FSU won’t bring anacademic footprint to the SEC.

    2. $$$ are the driving force but more to pay the bills and keep ALL sports active in member schools. Today’s economy dictates either growing your revenue streams or cutting back sports programs. Football pays ALL the athletic dept bills with BBK helping SOME at a FEW schools!

    3. If the SEC goes to (4) 4 team divisions they could keep rivalries and increase revenue streams. They could now play 9 conference games, the 3 in the div plus 2 in each of the other divisions which means they would play EVERY team in the conference at least every other yr.

    That’s better than the current system and would still allow for the inevitable “3″ give me games they will ALL schedule at home to have the “7″ home games they need to keep the coffers full.

    4. As I stated earlier having a 4 team 2 week conference championship will bring in millions with the “added” semifinal weekend games.
    This also fills the void for US college football junkies as there are NO worthwhile games the 2nd week of Dec and that would now be the SEC Championship weekend.

    5. These super conferences will be a win win situation for the fans as they will create more and better games to see on TV.

    6. As for why would FSU want to go the SEC—$$$ and prestige. FSU hasn’t been able to sell out very many home games the past 3 yrs and that coupled with few ACC teams in high paying bowls has hurt their revenue stream! FSU playing Georgia, Alabama or LSU at home versus playing Duke, Virginia and Wake Forest is all that needs to be said. Their TV exposure on national tv games will increase substantially as well.

    I love college football and this will do nothing but help put more good competitive games on the tube for us every week and we are ALL for that……..

  16. Derty Ernie says: Aug 13, 2011 9:14 AM

    If A & M makes the move me thinks it will trigger other moves down the road and we will end up with super conferences that all have 16 teams. Notre Dame can’t hold out forever either if some of these top teams go to the SEC, they better start looking around too.
    I could see Rutgers and ND and Pittsburg in the big 10 also just because of costs of travel.

  17. Deb says: Aug 13, 2011 12:16 PM

    No one is stupid enough to screw with the Iron Bowl, so I’m not worried about that. But Alabama/Tennessee is a big rivalry. We look forward every year to playing LSU, Mississippi, Arkansas. As it is, we don’t get to play Florida every year. Now blitz4848 is talking about a two-game conference championship. How will that impact the playoff tournament? You do have to account for the NFL schedule. I know Southern college football fans don’t like to acknowledge this, but the NFL is the biggest game in town and you can’t go stepping on their scheduling in December and January.

    If this is inevitable, then yes, I’d rather have the Aggies and FSU than a little sister of the poor. I do not want Oklahoma. You can’t make a passable argument that Oklahoma is part of the South. I never thought I’d see the day that the U was part of the SEC. That breaks my heart. It’s like we’ve decided to add the prison team from The Longest Yard. And I don’t want to hear about Urban and the arrests on his team. If you’re making that argument, you’re too young to remember when Miami stood for EVIL in college ball. Clemson, the Hokies. Okay. Fine. Whatever. I want Ga. Tech because of the tradition–something that’s lost in all this. But we should at least go through the pretense of adding Southern teams.

  18. blitz4848 says: Aug 13, 2011 1:29 PM

    Miami will NEVER get an SEC invite—they DO NOT have the facilities to compete or add anything to the SEC!!!!!

    It’s amazing all the pro players the “U” has turned out yet they can’t raise enough money to have top notch facilities in Coral Gables. That isn’t a slam at Miami–it’s just a fact. Their on campus facilities are not top quality and add to that they play in the Dolphins Stadium 20 miles from campus—they would NOT be an SEC fit because of their lack of facilities and fan support is terrible at their homes games also!!!!!

  19. Deb says: Aug 13, 2011 2:48 PM

    Well, blitz, that helps a little. If you could convince me I’ll never see Oklahoma in the SEC, I might stop having the urge to cry :cry:

  20. southernpatriots says: Aug 14, 2011 2:45 PM

    Deb: We wish for your mental and emotional state of mind, that we could make the assurance to you that Oklahoma would never be admitted to the SEC. However, there are already people working overtime to bring that about.

    It is not nearly at the stage or with the influential support as is the A & M situation, so it may yet be a couple more years. The admittance of A & M will pave the way for OK.

    Contacts we have in Norman say there are influential Oklahoma reps who have close relationships with SEC reps who are formulating a response if A & M comes into the SEC because they don’t want to be left behind. They plan to follow a similar plan as did Gene Stallings, if that proves successful in telephoning and meeting with all the individual SEC presidents and/or ADs and coaches and working to win support.

    Deb: It is hard for us for forget the many NCAA violations and blatant arrogance on the part of OK past coaches and players. But this likely will be few years from now so it should give us all time to come to grips with it. ugh.

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