Super conference coming
Texas A&M is not going to the Southeastern Conference anytime soon, if you think soon is the next week.
But it's likely to happen, the SEC's weekend decision not to invite A&M only a stall tactic. The big holdup is the SEC taking a 13th team without identifying a 14th. There's politics down south too, so plucking Florida State or Clemson from the ACC isn't going to work with rivals Florida and South Carolina.
Virginia Tech would be a solid pick, but Virginia bent over backward to get Tech to the ACC. A good alternative might be North Carolina, with no SEC blood enemies. The Big 12 has to fear the SEC pursuing Missouri, which might start a chain reaction leading to the inevitable 16-school super conferences.
Are conference shifts what pass for moving forward in college football?
The problem with the SEC fattening up at others' expense is collateral damage. Such moves can produce a ricochet effect as the raided conference moves to restock. The rich get richer, but when does it stop?
Here's what can get trampled:
•Traditional conference rivalries such as Texas-Texas A&M, bursting in meaning and storylines.
•Academic sensibilities. The farther a conference reaches across the country for new members, the longer the road trips for fans and student-athletes.
Ah, the student-athletes. Anybody remember them?
Give Oklahoma a look
Utter domination of the civilized world is a fine goal, and who are we without footprint-enhancing TV markets to argue? So the SEC should, can and will expand, sending the proletariat scurrying for an occasional appearance on the Saturday TBS game.
But you don't build kingdoms in a day and certainly not with tortious interference claims mucking things up.
For now, see if Oklahoma is squirrelly. That domino becomes 16 teams and this media day line item: "Noon: News Conference & Ritual Sacrifice for Emperor Slive." If you go bust on Boomer Sooner, you entice Texas A&M and Virginia Tech and their three top-10 markets (Houston, Dallas and Washington) and settle at 14 until someone else comes begging.
Think big: Texas, OU
Like death and taxes, expansion is inevitable for the SEC.
Whether or not the conference adds Texas A&M in the coming months or coming years, it's just the tip of the iceberg for conference realignment. Florida State, Clemson, and Missouri have been mentioned as possible candidates as well; however, I think the SEC should think bigger.
Texas and/or Oklahoma would be home runs for the SEC and would make the nation's premier conference bigger and better. The history of those two programs alone, plus the added benefit of their prospective markets, would make the SEC even more attractive when it comes time to sit down and hammer out the dollars and cents of a new television deal.