Am I the only one not buying into all this Texas A&M to the SEC hype? I'm not saying that it's not going to happen, because I think ultimately it will. However, when you read things like this, it makes one realize that A&M is doing a lot more of the counting chickens than waiting for them to hatch. It's a pretty dangerous game that they're playing because noticeably absent from this conversation is anyone in an official capacity from the SEC, namely Commissioner Mike Slive.
My guess is, and I tweeted about this yesterday, that Slive is waiting for the whole plan of action to be formed before he goes and extends the formal invite to A&M. It's a given that A&M is the first piece of the puzzle, but they are certainly not the end game. If the SEC invites them, it'll try to achieve balance in the conference by either going to 14 or 16 teams. That means they're going to want to make sure they have a short list of candidates that should be no brainers to want to join. This list would include some teams from the ACC, and then teams from the Big East should the ACC ones all turn them down.
One thing I would suggest you won't see is FSU, Miami, Georgia Tech or Clemson on any list in joining. Tallahassee radio is saying that talk of the Seminoles to the SEC is heating up, but I think that's all speculation. I've heard that Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee have all decided that they'll vote together to keep their in-state rivals from joining. It kind of sucks because I think Clemson is a natural fit for expansion and the SEC, but I can understand the desire not to have your in-state rival now claim that they are an SEC team, which will help them in recruiting against you. Make no mistake, if any of those teams mentioned above join the SEC, they will take recruits away from the four SEC teams I mentioned above.
So, who becomes numbers 14 through 16? Word is names include Virginia Tech (I've read they're the SEC's first choice), NC State, North Carolina (unlikely in my opinion as they don't care as much about football and probably don't want to leave the prestige of ACC Basketball), Louisville, South Florida, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
Yes, you read that correctly. Not only would the SEC take A&M, but it might also take other Big 12 (10) schools, essentially killing the conference and forcing Texas and their pompous attitude that started all this, into being Independent.
Now, this post is already long enough, but if the SEC does add A&M for 2012 and then no other teams until 2013, then the SEC West is the only one affected. If they add two teams, the East & West both get new teams, but whether those new teams are also the new ones to the conference depends on where those teams are located. If both are geographically west, then Auburn jumps to the SEC East and those two western teams go to the SEC West. If you add A&M and then an ACC team, then each division gets its own team and you go forward from there.
Ideally, whether you add two or four teams, you want to add an even number from the Big 12 and the ACC. That way you make the divisions as even as possible and don't screw too much up with traditional SEC East/West rivalries like Auburn/Georgia, Tennessee/Alabama and LSU/Florida. If you don't overload the West with western Big 12 teams, then Auburn doesn't have to slide over and the same goes for overloading the East with eastern ACC teams.
Ultimately, if you're an SEC expansion fan, you want to root for the conference to expand to 16 teams, include A&M, Oklahoma (or Oklahoma State), Virginia Tech and NC State. If that happens, revenue increases greatly, the best conference in the nation becomes the first super conference in the nation and no one is drastically hurt in their traditional recruiting grounds.
Sorry for the long post, but I had a lot a wanted to get out about this.
Until next time kids.