Conference Realignment: Possible SEC Super 16 (Part 2 of 4)
The Southeastern Conference has swiftly and clearly become the darling of the BCS, with teams from the league having won the past five national championships and supplying numerous Top 25 teams in each poll.
Many other conferences envy the SEC and its speed, strength and, most of all, dominance. With college football slowly creeping to the reality of having "super conferences," the SEC will almost certainly have the pick of the litter when it expands.
Even with the reality that the SEC could very well stop their expansion at 14 teams for the foreseeable future, this is about the possibility of having four major conferences with 16 teams each.
With Texas A&M moving through its divorce with the on-its-deathbed Big 12, the SEC (for now) will look to add one more team to the fold.
Seeing as the Aggies are out west, they will fit into that division of the SEC. Have fun in fifth place, 12th man (13th team).
Now on to the East division—the poor man's version of the West division. The candidates stand in line. At first glance, there seems to be many a suitor for the 14th spot.
Powerhouse programs like Florida State, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia Tech have all been linked to this top conference.
The thought of Texas and Oklahoma or Florida and Florida State moving their rivalries into the SEC may make more than a few (million) fans salivate, but I wouldn't count on it happening.
It looks as if Texas and Oklahoma will move their conference membership out west to the Pac-12, possibly within the next week. While Florida State seems like a great add to the conference, Florida may say otherwise.
Which team is more likely to join the SEC?
Reportedly, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina all will vote against the in-state additions of Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Clemson, respectively.
So, with those team eliminated from the conversation, what big-time programs remain in the running? Well, the first in line would have to be the Hokies of Virginia Tech, one of the heavyweights in the ACC.
Tech is a clear choice to bring in as the seventh SEC East team, matching the acquisition of Texas A&M in the West.
While I can certainly see the SEC stopping there, where's the fun in that? What about the other two programs that would bring the Southeastern Conference to 16 teams?
Seeing as the Big East is two teams short as of now (although Kansas and Kansas State could change that), the end for the conference could be near.
And while I think there is still a shot at the SEC picking-up Missouri, it looks as if they're headed to the Big Ten. Which leaves two highly likely Big East teams to fill the remaining spots.
West Virginia, one of the few highly regarded football teams in the Big East, is the first team I see coming into the SEC, fitting into the East division.
This leaves the Louisville Cardinals as the final team to add to the fold, as the program regains strength with former Florida Gators defensive coordinator Charlie Strong at the helm.
West Virginia is an easy pick, but Louisville is a bit tougher to call, with Kentucky already being in the league.
But if the league wants Louisville, then it will have them, even if it's not the ideal, superstar pick that some think they will get.
Also, Kentucky shouldn't expect the same privileges the other SEC East teams will get when it comes to adding in-state rivals.
So in the end, if the SEC were to expand to 16 teams, this could very well be what it looks like...
West: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Louisville, LSU, Miss State, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M
East: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt (surprisingly, yes), Virginia Tech, and West Virginia
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