With talks continuing about expansion of major conferences in college football, the question of whether or not the SEC will expand looms.
If the SEC does choose to add a team or two, which teams would make sense?
The Southeastern Conference is undoubtedly the strongest football conference from top to bottom, so any team that joins has to be a top-tier program.
Factors to be considered would be the strength of the football program, the size and quality of the stadium, the fan following, rivalries that would be created by joining the conference, and the amount of national media that the school currently receives.
Based on these criteria, here are my top five.
The Seminoles are on the way up again and should be back in the top 10 mix year in and year out within a few seasons.
Jimbo Fisher, a familiar name in the SEC, knows the conference and knows how to win. He should have Florida State back to championship form soon.
The Noles' in-state rivalry with the Florida Gators would intensify with conference implications on the line. The recruiting battle between the two state powerhouse teams would also be taken to the next level.
All in all I think this would be a great move for both the Seminoles and the Conference.
The Tarheels are a vastly improved team in recent years and will have their chance to prove themselves in the season opener against a rebuilding LSU team.
The game will quickly show whether or not UNC can be competitive in the SEC.
A team on the rise, I think the Tarheels’ defense is strong enough to make them a legitimate candidate for the SEC. Their offense would need improvement, but even as is, UNC has the potential to come in and be a top five SEC team immediately.
The Cardinals are another team that is on the rise and seem to be getting top-tier recruits year after year.
With a nice new stadium that will be expanded in the near future to allow for seating of over 56,000, Louisville offers a venue and atmosphere that the SEC could be proud of.
This addition would also add another in-state rivalry that would not only create excitement, but has the potential to bring in serious money from television and ticket sales.
I don’t know if there is room for another Tiger in the SEC; but if there is, Clemson would be a great addition to the conference.
The Tigers have seen success and the national spotlight quite a bit over the past few seasons. 2010 will tell if this success was from a rising program, or from CJ Spiller who has departed for the NFL.
Clemson has the tradition and fanfare to warrant a spot on the big stage of the SEC and like North Carolina, could come in and be competitive immediately.
The Longhorns of Texas, in my opinion, would be the best addition to the SEC.
Mack Brown’s squad could come in and instantly compete as a top-tier team in the conference.
The Longhorns have as big a fan following, if not bigger, than any school in the SEC so their spirit, and more importantly, revenues would be a great addition.
Would Texas be interested in the move?
My logic would say no. Why would they leave a situation in the Big 12 where they play three to four tough games each season and then coast to a BCS game?
The SEC would be a much greater challenge.
Texas would have to compete each year with Florida, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Georgia, and Tennessee for a BCS spot, rather than just have to worry about the Red River Rivalry.
Regardless, I think the Longhorns would make an excellent addition and solidify the SEC as the strongest conference in college football.
Who do you think would make the best addition to SEC football? Vote for one of the above or comment to add additional schools.