When it comes to conference expansion and realignment, any scenario discussed is and will continue to be an exercise in futility up until the point where the Big Ten knocks over that first domino.
Just how many will fall and how far-reaching the tumble will be is solely up to the Big Ten, and will depend exclusively on just how many teams they decide to pluck from various conferences.
If it’s none — unlikely — or just one school — yeah, we’re looking at you Domers — the worries over a seismic shift in the collegiate landscape will have been for naught. Even three schools to push the 11-team conference to 14 might not result in the dreaded conference apocalypse.
However, if the Big Ten decides to go to 16 teams as most observers have projected, it could force other conferences to keep up in the football arms race. Especially, but not limited to, the SEC.
If the Big Ten super-sizes, and if the SEC feels the need to keep up with their Midwestern counterparts, the latter won’t be lacking in having schools line up to beat down the door for inclusion into the $3 billion world of Southeastern Conference football. In fact, the talk has already started making the rounds as to just who would fit into an expanded SEC.
Texas — with little brother Texas A&M tagging along — seems to be the most logical and most talked about. Miami, Georgia Tech, Clemson and Florida State have also been bandied about in expansion scenarios that will likely never come to fruition.
The athletic director at one of those schools, though, is making sure to be prepared, just in case the apocalypse rains down and a move has to be made.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, FSU AD Randy Spetman has already spoken to new head coach Jimbo Fisher to Fisher about the possibility of major conference realignment and what he thought about the possibility of the SEC one day knocking on the Seminoles’ door.
Fisher told his boss that he didn’t have an opinion, and that the entire scenario was “putting the cart before the horse.”
While that is indeed the case with any expansion and realignment talk, one of the jobs of the head of an athletic department entrenched in a major conference is to get ahead of the future and be prepared if something does go down. And, it seems, that’s the tack Spetman is taking.
“[I]t’s certainly a topic that we have to be aware of and we have to look [into it],” Spetman said. “You know, we’re very happy in the ACC. But there are so many different [scenarios], as you see written every day.”
“You have to look at all the different things out there. I hope we maintain [the ACC] where it is — the structure it is right now. But I don’t know if that’s going to happen.”
Interesting. Spetman doesn’t know if the ACC maintaining it’s current structure is going to happen. Very candidly interesting, actually.
Of course, and as we’ve stated before, this could possibly be for naught if the Big Ten doesn’t pick up a sledgehammer and smash the current conference structure into tiny little pieces. However, if they do, Spetman seemingly won’t be caught with his pants down.