Yesterday, I offered up a poll as to who you would choose to be the 14th member of the SEC. Judging by those results, it looks like a lot of West Virginia fans think they should bolt the Big East for the SEC.
But there’s some news that came out today that might halt that possibility for a little while.
SEC commissioner Mike Slive dropped this little piece of info today concerning the issue of who might be the 14th member in the conference:
We have not initiated any conversations with any institution. This was about Texas A&M understanding that some of the complexities that 13 teams brings, and that’s really it.
Interesting, to say the least. But now that the conference expansion rush had been put on hold, I can’t say that it’s completely surprising.
Had the Pac 12 decided to bring in the four Big 12 schools, and had the ACC focused on finding two more members to reach a 16-team conference, then Slive and company would have felt more inclined to do something right away. But at this point, they can basically allow schools to come to them.
The Pac 12’s decision completely changed the game. We went from looking at super conferences as reality to super conferences as a possibility once again.
Do I ultimately think that we’ll see 16 teams in the SEC? Absolutely. However, there’s not a rush to reach that number anymore. At least not right now there isn’t.
The SEC does have some things that they need to work out though, specifically with a 13-team league.
There will have to be significant changes made schedule-wise (more so in football, since they’ve officially scrapped divisions in basketball) and those changes will have to be dealt with swiftly since the Aggies will join the league during the next academic year.
The lack of a 14th member doesn’t really change the expansion game as a whole. Conferences are undoubtedly still looking at potential schools to bring in. But it does offer a little relief for some of the other big conferences in that they won’t have to start shuffling all over the place to try and to keep up.
And it’s probably a nice relief for the Big 12 and Big East, who can perhaps woo Missouri and West Virginia into staying.