Monopoly: My (Fantasized) Proposal For an SEC Megaconference
If you have paid any attention to ESPN in the last month, you've probably seen it. If you live in SEC country, you've probably heard and read about it countless times to date.
The Big 10 is going to expand. They're making moves that may or may not include Notre Dame, Nebraska, Rutgers and Missouri.
The last two don't seem to intimidate anyone, but the first two would certainly raise the prestige of the conference considerably.
If you have heard about Big 10 expansion talk, you may have also heard our own commissioner, Mr. Mike Slive, say that the SEC would certainly be proactive and not fall behind in the college football landscape.
Certainly, many have made their voices heard on the major sports networks, but all are wary and realistic, to which I say, "Why not have fun with this? Let a boy dream..."
And so, without further ado, I present my proposal for an irresistible SEC.
First, let us discuss the players at hand.
Regionally, we can only stretch so far and still call our league the Southeastern Conference. This means the farthest we can go is the state of Texas in the west, and in the east, anyone is fair game.
The teams we are interested in adding, in no order of preference, are Texas, Texas A&M, Florida State, Miami and Virginia Tech.
Those on the wait list are Clemson, Virginia, North Carolina and Memphis (last two solely for basketball purposes.)
Texas and Texas A&M join the West
Since we are only adding two teams west of the Mississippi River, the western proposal remains independent of what happens in the east, so there is only one western scenario.
This scenario would create two stacked divisions and an unbelievably super-powered SEC.
Imagine a battle for the west title that includes Alabama, Texas, LSU and Texas A&M.
Arkansas would undoubtedly still be a factor, but not as much as now.
Ole Miss and Mississippi State, unfortunately, would most likely fall to the bottom of the barrel and perish. Sorry, Colonel Reb.
In terms of rivalry, I don't believe this would take anything away from the Red River Rivalry Between Texas and Oklahoma. Actually, this game would all of a sudden become more than it already is.
Now, not only will this age old tradition that stands toe-to-toe with the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry be a hot contest of two bitter foes, it will also be a rivalry of two prestigious conferences.
Till now, the only time we see these two conferences fight it out are in BCS games and random out of conference games every couple of years.
With the Texas-OU game, there is a perennial challenge between the Big 12 and the SEC to add more fuel to the argumentative fire.
Scenario One: Virginia Tech and Florida State join East
Honestly, this would be quite doable. Florida State has already reported interest in joining the SEC, and Virginia Tech falls snugly into the SEC market.
If you recall, Tech played Alabama in Atlanta a couple of seasons ago, and by all accounts, held their own against a historically well-traveling Tide fan base.
The same goes for the Chik-Fil-A Bowl last year, but as a Tennessee fan I try to forget as much about that game as I possibly can.
This scenario would place the east battle in hot contest with Florida, FSU, Va Tech, Tennessee and Georgia all dogging it out for the chance to play in the SEC Championship Game.
Vanderbilt, Kentucky and South Carolina would join our friends from the Magnolia state in Hades (or join the ACC, which is kind of the same thing).
Scenario Two: Florida State and Miami join East
No need to repeat Florida State's reasons, but a combination of the Seminoles and Miami would strengthen the east which has been largely dominated by Florida the past few years.
Georgia has largely underachieved, and Tennessee has gone through one of the most turbulent stretches of football in the school's history.
Adding these two teams would undoubtedly make Florida the most contested state for recruiting purposes. Florida would not only be battling intrastate enemies for recruits, they'd be battling conference rivals.
Let's say, for whatever reason, one or more of these teams don't join the SEC. In the west, if Texas doesn't join, then this is all useless. However, assuming that Texas joins and A&M refuses, I say we add Memphis to the league.
Sure, in football they would be bottom-feeders, but the Tigers would make basketball that much more interesting in the SEC.
Texas and Memphis would be battling in the west, and Tennessee, Kentucky and Florida would dominate the east.
Of course, Kentucky and Memphis would play every year, which would make the Calipari classic one of the biggest basketball games of the season no matter what the rankings are.
In the east, assuming that Florida State is the only one to join, I say we go the basketball route we did with the west and try to add North Carolina.
UNC, like those around it, falls safely into SEC territory. Also, it wouldn't be fair to say that we would add UNC solely for basketball, either. Butch Davis is slowly but surely turning heads in Chapel Hill with his football team.
Of course, if we make a gigantic conference like a 16-team SEC, there would surely need to be a playoff. Otherwise, at least two teams would be jipped out of a chance to play for the SEC title.
The week before the SEC Championship Game, there should be a preliminary game that sends a team from each division.
The top two teams in each division play for a chance to play in the big game in Atlanta, thus ensuring fairness for all involved teams.
Ultimately, none of this may happen. The Big 10 may not add anyone, and the SEC may not even need to follow up with any action. However, if expansion takes place, then a domino-effect is sure to follow.
Why not just create a splash and go with my proposal? After all, we already are the best conference in football, boasting six of the 12 BCS championships, and repeatedly placing numerous teams in top recruiting rankings.
The SEC has formed a reputation for domination, why not keep it going? We may dominate to the point of no return, or we may fall to the depths of Conference USA, but hey, a boy can dream, can't he?
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