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Arkansas AD: deadline ‘coming quickly’ on 14th team for SEC

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Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long has perhaps given more foundation behind the report that that Missouri’s move from the Big 12 to the SEC is “inevitable and imminent”.

During a speech with the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Monday, Long said that the SEC is preparing a 13-team schedule for 2012, but that he is hopeful the league can add a 14th team. A decision for either scenario, Long said, would be “coming quickly.

“We won’t stay long as a 13-team conference,” Long said, echoing the sentiments of Tennessee AD David Hart. From the Arkansas News:

Long told the Touchdown Club that there are a “number of institutions interested” in the SEC. In a brief news conference after the luncheon, he would not name names. Nobody expected him to do so.

He did acknowledge a gentleman’s agreement of sorts that the SEC would not invite a school from a state that already has a school in the league. Such an agreement would preclude Clemson, Florida State, and Georgia Tech, among others. A 14th member also must be a geographic fit, he said,

“There are not a whole lot of options out there,” he said. The SEC is “being cautious and rightfully so.”

It would appear the feeling, at least from those SEC officials who have made their feelings public, is that the SEC is looking to add a 14th team. As we’ve noted previously, Missouri presents some problems to the SEC in terms of how and where they would be placed. But if the criteria of the SEC is as picky as Long makes it out to be, and there doesn’t seem to be much of a reason to believe otherwise, then the Tigers still represent the best option if the conference decides to expand again.

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32 Responses to “Arkansas AD: deadline ‘coming quickly’ on 14th team for SEC”
  1. southernpatriots says: Oct 18, 2011 10:48 AM

    Thirteen teams in the SEC for the fall season of 2012 is a challenge for all schedulers and all coaches, teams, and fans. We trust Slive and the SEC presidents know what they are doing and will gain the best 14th member possible.

    The only team out there that would probably be near Alabama or LSU on a regular basis is Oklahoma and the president, former Senator, Boren has not reciprocated Slive’s interest and communications to this point.

    Oklahoma seems happy to make some changes in the Big 12 and stay there. They may have to be content to be a bridesmaid to the SEC champion as they have in the past.

  2. lbijake says: Oct 18, 2011 11:12 AM

    Oklahoma would require Oklahoma State, then you are at 15 teams. How about Temple?? Only kidding.

  3. deadeye says: Oct 18, 2011 11:26 AM

    The only way Oklahoma entertains going to the SEC is if the BIG12 disintegrates. If that were to happen, they would seriously consider dumping OSU to avoid being the last school standing in the game of NCAA musical chairs.

    The SECs next round of expansion is going to be on the east coast in Virginia and North Carolina. That will put them at 16. Mark it down. Even though the process is slow, it IS going to happen.

  4. msudog says: Oct 18, 2011 11:54 AM

    If not Missouri, how about Virginia Tech instead?

  5. dhnation21 says: Oct 18, 2011 12:04 PM

    I just hope the decision is based on best fit for the conference and not just pure cash. Missouri is only the logical choice financially (TV market). They have no other value to the SEC. Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Clemson and Florida State present much better options based on athletic prestige, academics, tradition, geography and fan base.

  6. southernpatriots says: Oct 18, 2011 12:05 PM

    ibijake: The LSU Associate Athletic Director was able to get Oklahoma to sign on the dotted line committing to a field on field game starting in 2018 in Norman then 2019 in Baton Rouge. We also have TCU now. Our family had pushed for this over numerous conversations with the AAD, as we posted here on CFT over the past several months. We are still working on Boise State, Notre Dame, Michigan, etc. We think you are correct about the OK/OKState duo.

    deadeye: All rumors and info we have heard from SEC headquarters in Birmingham confirms what you have posted. There are some hoops that the schools have to jump, some are facing exit fees they have to negotiate downwards as did Colorado and Nebraska did in their Big 12 exits. If they can’t, they won’t be exiting because these schools cannot afford these large fees. What is the exit fee in the ACC now, $20 million? ugh.

  7. brucewaynewins says: Oct 18, 2011 12:24 PM

    southernpatriots says:
    Oct 18, 2011 12:05 PM
    ibijake: The LSU Associate Athletic Director was able to get Oklahoma to sign on the dotted line committing to a field on field game starting in 2018 in Norman then 2019 in Baton Rouge. We also have TCU now. Our family had pushed for this over numerous conversations with the AAD, as we posted here on CFT over the past several months. We are still working on Boise State, Notre Dame, Michigan, etc. We think you are correct about the OK/OKState duo.

    Am I not picking up on the sarcasm here? Or do you really honestly believe Notre Dame and Michigan would go to another conferance? First off Michigan would be losing money and second they would never split from so many rivalries.

    Nobody is leaving the Big 10 or Pac 12 to go to SEC or Big 12.

  8. southernpatriots says: Oct 18, 2011 12:43 PM

    brucewaynewins: The SEC president has been in talks with President Boren of Oklahoma, last year and as late as a month ago or so. Don’t know any results.

    Can you read? We did not know anyone wanted any team from the Big 10 or Pac 12 to go to the SEC or Big 12. Where did you get that?

    We are talking about scheduling games with Notre Dame, Michigan, Oklahoma (which is now done), TCU (which is now done), Stanford, etc.

    On the part of my family and I, we have been urging the Associate Athletic Director at LSU to schedule Oklahoma, TCU, Notre Dame, Michigan, Stanford, Boise State, and other teams to a field on field or one game at Jerry’s World.

    The LSU AAD has been working hard on those. He has success. He was able to have Oklahoma agree to a field on field series of two games in Norman for 2018 and in Baton Rouge for 2019. TCU is now scheduled. These are successes for the LSU AAD and successes for the SEC, and we believe college football fans everywhere.

  9. lbijake says: Oct 18, 2011 12:43 PM

    Southern patriots:

    Thanks for the info.

  10. southernpatriots says: Oct 18, 2011 1:03 PM

    Ibijake: You are most welcome. Our brother is going by LSU later today on other business but will stop by the Athletic Department to keep a bug in the ear of the AAD about scheduling the other schools.

    Because of the uncertainty of the SEC 13 or 14, only one spot per outlaying year will be scheduled so if a school calls back and wants 2018 or 2019, it is now not available because Oklahoma has it. All are wanting this SEC situation to get settled very soon so scheduling can begin in earnest. Games and dates for next season are not fully scheduled yet!

  11. kcrobert10 says: Oct 18, 2011 1:12 PM

    I like the oklahoma schools to move with mizzou to the sec. It would make for a very good 16 team conference. Ou won’t do it till they have to cause they know the easiest path to a title is in the big 12 not the sec. My thought is Texas will do something to destroy what’s left of the big 12 for the sake of more money and ou will be forced to move within the next 5 yrs. This makes it even more important for mu to move now and not get left behind.

  12. footballgenius101 says: Oct 18, 2011 1:55 PM

    He did acknowledge a gentleman’s agreement of sorts that the SEC would not invite a school from a state that already has a school in the league.

    Can we also get the SEC to agree not to invite any more teams with a Tiger mascot?

  13. deadeye says: Oct 18, 2011 2:03 PM

    “deadeye: All rumors and info we have heard from SEC headquarters in Birmingham confirms what you have posted. There are some hoops that the schools have to jump, some are facing exit fees they have to negotiate downwards as did Colorado and Nebraska did in their Big 12 exits. If they can’t, they won’t be exiting because these schools cannot afford these large fees. What is the exit fee in the ACC now, $20 million? ugh.”

    ===============================

    southernpatriots, I have a question for you: I understand the SEC is very interested in the Washington DC market. Have you heard if there is a preference of one school in that market? Maryland is obvious, but someone told me (not sure if it’s true) that VT is also very popular in that region. Do you have any info on this?

  14. frug says: Oct 18, 2011 2:17 PM

    For those the issue is that V-Tech isn’t really interested in leaving. They had lusted for an ACC invite for years when they were in the Big East and are quite content. They historic rivalries with UVa, BC, Miami (and when they join Syracuse and Pitt) and border wars with Maryland and the NC schools.

    More importantly, even if VT they would likely have to get UVa’s blessing and it’s not clear they could. Back in 2003, the Virginia pols leaned hard on UVa to rescue VT from the Big East (essentially forcing the ACC to take the Hokies instead of Syracuse) so Tech is really in debt to UVa.

  15. southernpatriots says: Oct 18, 2011 2:21 PM

    deadeye:

    In all discussions of the SEC about potential new members, VA Tech has been mentioned, but so has various other schools such as former SEC member Georgia Tech, Florida State, North Carolina schools, West Virginia, Clemson, and others, but yes, VA Tech is almost always mentioned.

    If Missouri works out (MO appears not to have unity in ranks and may still be trying to join the Big 10 which rejected them several times before), then the East Division of the SEC will be the area of interest to the SEC and that fairly soon.

    We have heard no discussion at any time about Maryland as a potential school for the SEC, at least not so far.

  16. southernpatriots says: Oct 18, 2011 2:32 PM

    footballgenius101: Now that is funny!

    The so-called gentlemen’s agreement is bunk. When the SEC was formed there was two teams from Louisiana (LSU and Tulane); two teams from Mississippi (MS and MS State); two teams from Georgia (GA & GA Tech); two teams from Alabama (Alabama and Auburn); three teams from Tennessee (TN, Vanderbilt, and Sewanee, now University of the South). It was this way for many decades and continues with more than one school in many states.

    Don’t worry about the tiger mascots. Likely, there will always just be one school with a live Tiger mascot (Mike the Tiger) at LSU. The other pretend mascots are just “Tiger Bait!” ha.

  17. kcrobert10 says: Oct 18, 2011 3:28 PM

    Hey watch out for Truman he is very cleaver and could always spray u down with a fire hose or bomb u with a nuke just like his namesake did.

  18. Deb says: Oct 18, 2011 4:07 PM

    dhnation21 says:

    I just hope the decision is based on best fit for the conference and not just pure cash. Missouri is only the logical choice financially (TV market). They have no other value to the SEC. Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Clemson and Florida State present much better options based on athletic prestige, academics, tradition, geography and fan base.
    ————————————————-
    Although I tend to agree with you from a geographic perspective. Missouri outranks North Carolina and Florida State academically.

    The “gentlemen’s agreement” not to add schools to Florida, Georgia, or South Carolina is absurd. An SEC fan posted to me four separate times oon one thread that Alabama was being selfish by asking that Missouri be put into the east in order to preserve century-old rivalries. But it’s just fine and dandy for Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina to hold the conference hostage by refusing to consider the addition of Florida State, Georgia Tech, or Clemson–even though three other schools, including Alabama, play in states that have more than one SEC rep.

    People need to take off their rivalry blinders and get a grip on the idea of what it really means to act in the best interest of the conference.

  19. Deb says: Oct 18, 2011 4:08 PM

    @southernpatriots …

    Auburn can’t decide whether they’re tigers or eagles ;)

  20. southernpatriots says: Oct 18, 2011 4:39 PM

    Deb: There appears to be more than one team with an identity crisis! ha.

  21. stairwayto7 says: Oct 18, 2011 4:41 PM

    SEC want Tennessee Tech or Arkansas State!

  22. alligatorsnapper says: Oct 18, 2011 4:45 PM

    stairway: Let me put this in a way you will understand….huh?

  23. auburntigers34 says: Oct 18, 2011 4:49 PM

    Deb, that’s like saying that Alabama can’t decide if they’re elephants or Roll Tides. nobody from Auburn has ever referred to Auburn as ‘the War Eagles”. it isn’t Auburn’s fault that everyone else is too dense to figure it out.

  24. tgwinford says: Oct 18, 2011 5:45 PM

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the SEC goes one season with 13 teams just to shut up the critics. Everyone says they can’t stay at 13 and work out a schedule. So, I can see Slive going “Oh yea? Well, watch this.”

  25. southernpatriots says: Oct 18, 2011 7:07 PM

    tgwinford: You have a great point we didn’t think of. That is fun to consider. You are definitely right in that Slive does not get upset, he just sits back and relaxes.

  26. burntorangehorn says: Oct 18, 2011 8:33 PM

    Deb, I’m not sure Mizzou outranks UNC in academics, but I think they’re definitely ahead of FSU.

    Schools like Maryland, Virginia, and UNC are going to stay in the ACC with Duke, WF, and NC State. Academics and basketball rivalries aren’t always the top priorities, but between those, the politics, and the SEC recruiting environment, I think they’re non-factors in SEC expansion talks.

    Virginia Tech seems like a much, much bigger possibility. There’s not really a big football program that’s going to be a big draw for the DC market, because DC really isn’t a college football town at all–perhaps even less so than even New York, Baltimore, Philly, and Boston. Based on living in the Maryland suburbs of DC for about six years now, I would estimate that the biggest college sports (not necessarily just football) fanbases are Maryland, Virginia, VT, and Penn State. Geographically the only other program that could bring any regional ties and a notable athletics program to the SEC would be West Virginia, so if the “gentlemen’s agreement” is valid, and unless the conference would be inexplicably inclined to pursue NC State (the only Tobacco Road school I think would consider jumping) or Memphis, then I think WVU and VT should be the prime targets in the east. Obviously Mizzou would be the main candidate in the west.

  27. dmcgrann says: Oct 18, 2011 8:35 PM

    I’ll go out on a very rickety limb here. There’s not a single ACC team that wants to go into the SEC. I don’t think it’s going to happen.

    Cut and paste my comment to prove me wrong later, if you want. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

  28. tigersgeaux says: Oct 18, 2011 8:46 PM

    dmcgrann: It is a pretty sure bet. To bet any other way would be a poor bet. With a 20 million dollar price tag on exit, what team in the ACC can afford to pay that? No team is that successful and financially secure like a Texas, Notre Dame, Alabama, Georgia, or LSU. And even those teams would gulp greatly and second think any move if it cost them 20 million.

  29. deadeye says: Oct 18, 2011 9:44 PM

    “With a 20 million dollar price tag on exit, what team in the ACC can afford to pay that?”

    =================================

    You have to weigh the cost with the benefit. If a prospective ACC school is thinking about paying 20 mil, but knows that with a new ESPN contract with the SEC they will receive 10 mil more per season, then the cost to exit is paid for in two seasons. Everything after that is pure profit. I think it’s quite possible that some ACC school would be quite willing to cough that up.

    I don’t have a link to this tidbit, but I heard locally that the ACC proposal was to raise the exit fee from 14 to 34 million. Florida State and Clemson lead the charge to only increase it by 6 million, thus setting it at 20 mil. If that’s true, then I guarantee you that those two schools would at least entertain overtures from the SEC.

  30. burntorangehorn says: Oct 18, 2011 9:49 PM

    I generally agree, but I think that VT, and NCSU to a much lesser extent, would at least listen.

  31. digit960 says: Oct 19, 2011 1:16 AM

    It’s not the price tag. It’s because there isn’t any interest from the ACC schools in moving.

  32. waynefontes says: Oct 19, 2011 7:24 AM

    stairwayto7 says:
    Oct 18, 2011 4:41 PM
    SEC want Tennessee Tech or Arkansas State!

    You mean as opposed to Indiana State or Eastern Michigan? Who the hell would schedule those two creampuffs.. oh yeah, Penn State.

    You’re such a clown, I’m glad you post on here.

    Considering how bad Alabama has whipped Penn State the last two years, Tennessee Tech and Arkansas State would be better competition compared to the Whimpering Lions.

    Stick to your Steelers, at least they’re still relevant.

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