The SEC is officially in expansion mode.
They have absorbed Texas A&M and Missouri, both coming out of the Big 12. The Aggies fall into the SEC West at team No. 7, while Mizzou—although somewhat out of place—has been placed into the SEC East as their seventh squad.
It's clear that Missouri is easily the most western team in the SEC East, falling way outside the bounds of the other SEC East universities. The conference must be looking at options to add two more east coast-type teams so that Mizzou could move into its more geographically-fitting position in the SEC West.
Virginia Tech is the clear first choice for expansion into the east coast. Their football focus, as well as their position near a major TV market makes the Hokies an ideal option for the SEC.
The Southeastern Conference grabbed two new fresh TV markets that they, until recently, hadn't been able to move into. The Aggies bring the Texas market into the mix, allowing SEC network games onto screens in two of the nation's Top 10 largest media bases in Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth.
With the addition of Missouri, the SEC acquired TV rights in St. Louis and Kansas City—two strong Midwest cities that can draw in a lot of revenue. However, the SEC's purview is still held up at the Virginia border.
The Virginia and Washington D.C. markets are huge, and while the ACC has a nice stranglehold over them, the addition of a team like Virginia Tech would open up those media bases to the SEC. Look for rapid and aggressive talks to ensue between V-Tech and the Southeastern conference to start up soon.
Here are five reasons the Hokies should not only listen to the SEC, but should follow A&M and Mizzou into the best football conference in the country.
The SEC isn't exactly the premier basketball conference in the nation. They have had strong teams come out of Florida and Kentucky somewhat consistently, but on an overall basis, they fall short in the sport.
The ACC is a completely different story. Football season is basically the preamble to basketball, and the fans show that.
Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest and new additions of Syracuse and Pitt make the ACC the best basketball conference in the country.
Virginia Tech has always been more of a football school, making a strong appearance every year in the conference. Ten-win seasons have become the expectation on the gridiron. In basketball, the Hokies have dramatically improved in an attempt to match themselves with the rest of the power houses in the ACC, but so far they have still fallen a bit short.
A move to the basketball-weak SEC will provide V-Tech basketball to thrive against weaker competition. They may not be the best every year, but they will compete at the top of the conference every season, most likely providing Kentucky with a strong rival in their own division.
One of the best aspects about the SEC is their equal revenue sharing. The ACC is also an equal revenue sharing conference, as are most of the large, successful conferences in the nation.
However, in the college landscape, football is the moneymaker. With the addition of the new TV markets, the SEC will become a giant among giants in revenue every season. Their deals with networks will become tremendously huge, leading to every university within the conference to flourish from a monetary perspective.
Virginia Tech could not only receive some of that revenue, but could also add to it with their D.C, Baltimore and Virginia markets. Big time markets on the east coast are a huge draw for the the SEC, helping their conference expand not only to the west, but up into the eastern seaboard.
The Hokies have been and will continue to be the best football school in their state. Virginia is decent, but is not of the caliber talent and potential of their in-state brothers.
Frank Beamer knows how to recruit his state. High school Virginians love the idea of seeing Beamer show up in their school looking to have them play for his team, and it's going to stay that way as long as he heads up the ship at V-Tech.
However, over the past few years, some of the best Virginians have escaped his grasp and joined up at universities scattered along the ACC's eastern seaboard. For example, EJ Manuel played high school football in Virginia but now heads up the Florida State offense.
With SEC status for his university, not so many Virginians will be leaving for other ACC schools. Who would want to play football in the ACC when you could play against the best in the nation from inside your home state?
Although Virginia would become open to SEC recruiting with V-Tech in the conference, not many recruits would chose to leave their own state to play for another SEC university. The other SEC schools have been unsuccessful in recruiting Virginia for years, only grabbing a few top-notch players out from under Beamer and his Hokies.
Virginia Tech was a member of the Big East until 2004, leaving their 13-year conference for their Virginian brothers in the ACC. The move wasn't a stunner, being that the Big East was more basketball-focused and V-Tech was obviously more drawn to the strong gridiron competition in the ACC.
Since the move, they have dominated the conference, winning multiple conference titles and owning the record for most consecutive 10-win seasons, which they are looking to continue this year. However, many people believe that the ACC move for V-Tech was based around their desire to join the Cavaliers.
Not that these two schools have the same intense rivalry that some other in-state universities have, Virginia Tech and Virginia still love to play out their season finale in either Lane or Scott Stadium every year.
All the speculation that Virginia Tech only wanted into the ACC because they desired to join their in-state rivals could be killed by the Hokies moving on to the SEC alone. Proving one's independence is important to more than just teenagers nowadays—V-Tech would be showing they are set apart from the Cavaliers.
Virginia Tech will always be top-notch in the ACC. They win it almost every season, heading off to a BCS Bowl every year. Why would they want to jeopardize that kind of success by dropping into the meat grinder that is the SEC?
It wouldn't be arrogance or pride. It wouldn't even be a misguided sense of accomplishment.
It would be to become the best.
The Hokies have proven to the rest of college football that they are the best in the ACC.
Congratulations, you have consistently won the best basketball conference in the country.
V-Tech has played in one National Championship, losing to Florida State back in 2000, and that was when they were still a part of the Big East. They have officially reached a plateau, and will stay there unless they do something about it.
You know how many SEC teams have competed for the National Title since the BCS began? Five different universities with seven wins. The SEC has never lost a BCS National Championship.
The Hokies can be a part of that success, perhaps rising into that elite status by being that squad who goes to the championship game. They have the potential and the talent to do so, they just don't have the medium to do it in. The SEC is that medium.
Their national title hopes will never be realized playing in the weak ACC, and the Hokies have to know that. The SEC is where dreams come true, and it's time Virginia Tech made its fantasies become reality.