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Can Georgia Tech Count on Ga. Lawmakers to Ensure It's Athletic Future?

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 05:  A male cheerleader from the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets waves a giant flag in support of his team against the Iowa Hawkeyes during the FedEx Orange Bowl at Land Shark Stadium on January 5, 2010 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images
The ACC and SEC BlogSenior Analyst IJune 10, 2010

All this expansion talk and specifically hand wringing over the Texas schools invited or not invited got me thinking. Would Georgia lawmakers fight for Georgia Tech to be included in the expansion plans of the SEC?

The latest expansion model has the Pac 10 going to the Pac 16 by inviting Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Colorado.

One Texas school currently in the Big 12 was left out, Baylor, and that
has Texas lawmakers concerned .

I find this very interesting because Baylor University is a private school so they get little to no dollars from the state of Texas. But evidently there is enough powerful alumni in the state for the Bears to possibly force the big three’s hand.

A little history lesson, if you remember back to the original Big 12 formation, Baylor was a controversial pick over TCU because the Horned Frogs had more recent success and more tradition in football. But the governor of the state at the time was a Baylor alumna.

Now back to Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets could be an expansion possibility for the SEC or even the Big 10.

Tech has a long history in the SEC being an original member, but left in 1966 with some hard feelings on both sides. When they tried to rejoin in 1978 after 12 floundering years as an independent, they were rejected mainly by the Mississippi schools (Bobby Dodd would never play there) and state rival Georgia. It is fairly safe to say those schools would feel the same way today, especially UGA.

The business of college athletics was not near what it is today and the state of Georgia has become much more cosmopolitan and diverse since then.

But if those hard feelings are still coming from Birmingham, then the SEC could fly over Atlanta where they already enjoy a large market share and go with Clemson or even Virginia Tech in addition to the Florida schools. Tech’s athletic programs could be in a precarious position if they are also passed over by the Big 10.

The Yellow Jackets would be stuck as a football school in a basketball dominated conference at a time when the gridiron is grabbing all of the television dollars.

We will have to wait and see if the lawmakers in Texas win out or not, but is brings up again the melting of politics and college athletics again that was so crucial in the early 90's.

Would Georgia lawmakers step in and fight for Georgia Tech’s athletic future? Or would the interests of the dominant University of Georgia win out?

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