I will not let this dead horse go unbeaten

Day 3 of my writing about the A&M/SEC dance continues.  The reason, this is the most interesting thing for me to write about going on at the moment.  Except the fun that is going on in Miami.  You should really read the Yahoo! Sports article.

Now, as we move past the will they or won’t they phase of A&M’s expected move, we step into the completely amorphous discussion of, “Who is the 14th (15th and 16th) team?”

Whatever teams the SEC will poach will probably come from the ACC or what is left of the carcass of the Big 12.  The most important potential scenario to me as a UNC graduate and ACC fan is the UNC/Duke to the SEC and the ACC imploding.

John Swofford has consistently maintained that the ACC would most likely be reactive to any conference realignment.  However, it stretches the bounds of logic that he and the other muckity-mucks in the ACC do not see the folly in that attitude.  Last summer the impetus for realignment came from the Big 10 and they were looking towards the Big 12 and possibly the Big East.   It made sense for the ACC and the SEC to be reactive.  They would get the chance to pick up the pieces of whatever was left.

This summer’s aggressor is the SEC and they are looking to the Big 12 (this conference is only surviving because of the University of Texas and Oklahoma at this point) and the ACC.  The SEC has said two things:  they are not averse to expansion (meaning they are going to expand soon) and they would like to avoid expansion into states where an SEC school currently resides.

Now, I’m not a geography expert, but looking at a map of the United States it seems clear that there are only four states (not counting Texas) that would fall into the SEC footprint currently without a member school:  Oklahoma, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia.

Now comes speculation here on the interwebs (such a reliable source of information) that the SEC would love to expand with UNC and Duke (In other news, I would love to be dating a former supermodel who is now an orthopedic surgeon.).

Even if this is a piece of rampant unsubstantiated internet rumor, the ACC should take notice, because rumors have a good track record of being based at least partially in fact.  I believe this means the ACC should assume the aggressive (to use a phrase from Robert E. Lee).

What does that mean?  First, finish off the Big East.  Meaning, connect BC with the rest of the conference by picking off Rutgers, Connecticut, and/or Pittsburgh.  Let’s say John Swofford is a silver-tongued devil and is able to get all three of those schools to jump.  Here comes the real audacious act:  Go after Vanderbilt.  Anyone with any knowledge of college sports knows that Vandy fits the culture of the ACC much better then the SEC.   At that point you change your divisions to North:  BC, Rutgers, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest; and South:  UNC, NC State, Duke, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida St., Miami, and Vandy.

Vandy is probably not leaving the SEC because that is a lot of money to walk away from and the ACC seems to be in this reactive arrogance that believes that ACC’s tradition will keep it intact.  If we have learned one thing during the conference realignment follies of the last few years, it is that a lot of money always trumps tradition.


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