Picking a Fight: Is the SEC Ready To Become a True Superconference?

Henry BallSenior Analyst IJune 10, 2010

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 05:  Members of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrate after defeating the Florida Gators 31-13 during the SEC Championship at the Georgia Dome on December 5, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The old playground saying goes "don't start none; won't be none."

Well, the fight in college football's yard started yesterday with Nebraska joining the Big Ten (aka Big 11, Big 12, Big 16, or whatever...) and throwing a right hook to the Big 12 that may well prove to have been a knockout punch to the former Big Eight and Southwestern Conference alignment.

The fight started over marbles, as they always do.  Some of the kids have cool colorful marbles and really want to prove they can beat the big kid—who always wins—and take his marbles. 

The fact is, however, the other kids keep sending the biggest, baddest kids on the block, and this kid has beaten them all—and taken their marbles too.

So, what are the other kids to do?

Team up—some call it "gang" up—to take the marbles from the big kid.

Here's the problem: The big kid—aka the SEC—has walked softly, but is carrying a big stick.

The Pac-10 decided it would go bold, announced that it would offer invites to six teams from the Big 12—the big kid's wannabe friend—and sucker-punched the Big 12 out of existence.

Reports today leaked that one of those six—Texas A&M—had been talking with the SEC for over a month, and another of those six, Oklahoma, has petitioned the SEC for acceptance in the conference.

So, the big kid might just "gang up" with the other tough kids in the yard and take EVERYBODY's marbles.

The SEC has always been on the cutting edge in the evolution of the college football landscape.  The conference was the first to split into divisions and institute a conference championship.

Its revenue sharing and TV deals (with ESPN/CBS, etc.), along with the overall success of the conference in most collegiate sports, makes it the most powerful conference in the nation, at least as the conferences existed yesterday.

So, how can the SEC maintain its dominance in the new world of "superconferences"?

Simple. Do it bigger, do it better.

The Super Elite Conference

North - Kansas, Kentucky, UNC, Duke, VTech, UVA, Notre Dame

South - MSU, Alabama, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Miami, UF, FSU

East - Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vandy, Clemson, Ga. Tech

West - LSU, Texas, Texas A&M, TTech, TCU, Arkansas, Ole Miss

I double-dog dare you to say that this conference wouldn't win 80 percent of the national championships for the next 20 years in football, basketball, and baseballprobably most other sports as well.

The Notre Dame TV contract gives the SEC additional weekly broadcasts above and beyond the current deal with ESPN/CBS, and that would likely expand.

The playoff issue would ultimately be settled, as this would no doubt bring about the Pac-28, Big 30 and one other superconference.

Each superconference would have its own four-team playoff producing a conference champion to take part in the national Final Four.

After the conference tournaments, there would be plenty of room for the existing bowls (realigned of course) using some combination of three of the top four BCS games as the national Final Four and college Super Bowl.

College football has never been better.

Bring on the expansion, Big Ten and Pac-10. Just remember though —you started it!