Why Virginia Tech Is the Obvious No. 14 Mystery Team for the SEC
With the ACC in the midst of creating a super basketball conference, the "football schools" in the ACC should be worried just a bit. It is obvious once basketball giants like Syracuse, UConn and Villanova join the ACC, the priorities of football will get downgraded.
The ACC football heavies like Virginia Tech, Miami (FL), Florida State and Clemson should be feeling out SEC Commissioner Mike Slive on being the next SEC team, the mysterious No. 14, which will be taken in once Texas A&M because the 13th man in the conference.
Virginia Tech is the only one of the four that has a realistic shot. Even though each program brings strong positives to the SEC in football, the SEC is highly unlikely to add another program from the state of Florida.
Adding the Hurricanes or the Seminoles could have a negative impact on the Gators in terms of recruiting. Likewise, adding Clemson would impact the University of South Carolina.
The Gators could and would weather a new SEC team from the state, but the odds are the Gamecocks would find it harder to compete and recruit in state, if the advantage of being an SEC school was taken away. Just don't see Slive doing that to Columbia if Clemson did express interest in the SEC.
Benefits Virginia Tech bring to the SEC
The reason any conference expands is to gain market shares and help recruiting. Don't think the SEC for a moment took Texas A&M out of altruism. The SEC looks at A&M and sees Texas high school football recruiting for the conference and rich media markets like Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.
The SEC has no schools in the state of Virginia. Taking in Virginia Tech would open a new door to recruiting and media market especially the one near Washington DC metro area.
According to Forbes magazine, Virginia counties like Falls Church, Loudoun and Fairfax are some of the wealthiest counties in the United States. Which means lots of potentially new SEC fans with a good deal of disposable income to purchase SEC paraphernalia and travel to Virginia Tech road games.
Just like most of the SEC, minus Kentucky, Virginia Tech is all about football. ESPN voted Lane Stadium, the on-campus 66,000-seat football arena one of the "Top 20 Scariest Places to Play."
The Hokies have the second longest bowl streak in college football. Only Boise State and LSU have as long a streak of 10 wins or more then Virginia Tech.
Since joining the ACC in 2004, the Hokies have won the ACC four times. And last but not least, they have played once for a BCS National Championship in 1999.
From a pure football perspective, the Hokies make even more sense than Texas A&M. The Aggies haven't won a Big 12 conference title since 1998, and the last time the Aggies played in a National Championship game was 1939.
Rival with Tennessee Vols
Blacksburg, Virginia is only 236 miles from Knoxville, Tennessee. Which will mean that from day one in the SEC, Virginia Tech will have a geographic rival with the Vols.
The chairmen of the Bristol Motor Sports Speedway has been trying for years to get Virginia Tech and Tennessee to play football in in the 172,000 seat race car stadium. Five years ago, it was estimated that if the speedway was sold out for $50.00 a ticket that would generate over $8 million dollars.
Just think Bristol, with Virginia Tech in the SEC East, Bristol Speedway could be a permanent location every year for the Virginia Tech-Tennessee game much like the Florida-Georgia game is played in Jacksonville, Florida.
Why Virgina Tech Needs the SEC
ACC is holding them back
While Virginia Tech's four ACC titles in football in such a short period of time are impressive, the downside to this is that ACC compared to other BCS leagues has been exposed as unprepared when facing their equals in BCS bowl games.
The ACC is 2-11 since the creation of the BCS bowl system; the SEC on the other hand is 15-7 with five straight BCS National Championship victories.
Virginia Tech has to be aware of this. Getting into the SEC would make them rise to their competition or else. If Hokies are serious about winning a BCS National Championship, it is pretty clear the ACC is not going to get them there.
As mentioned earlier, with the ACC deliberately going after the creation of a super basketball conference, why does Virginia Tech, a football power, wish to stay in a conference where basketball, not football will always come first?
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