Twelve teams enough for the SEC
by Johnathan Bentley
Aug 14, 2011 | 2397 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The SEC is the most powerful conference in college football.

There is a long list of reasons it’s the best of the best, but I will stick with the easiest — five straight national championships.

That’s more than some conferences have.

To make an even better point, four schools have won those five championships, so winning titles is contagious in the SEC.

The stadiums, fans and tradition add to the SEC’s aura.

Now comes word that Texas A&M could be joining the pack.

I have one simple question — why?

There was talk about super-conferences (those with 16 teams) last year. For a while it looked like the Pac-10 (now the Pac-12) was going to make the push for 16 teams, but eventually everybody came to their senses for the most part.

In the end, there were minimal changes with the Big 12 losing two teams (Colorado and Nebraska) and the Pac-10 adding two (Colorado and Utah).

I figured that was it and the talk would calm down. However, as is the case with the occasional argument with my wife, I was wrong.

Just one year later, the Aggies want in.

I’m sure Texas A&M is upset with Texas and ESPN coming together for the Longhorn Network, which basically left Texas thumbing its nose at the rest of the Big 12.

I can’t blame the Aggies.

Imagine if ESPN started up an LSU Network or the Vols Network. The rest of the SEC would never stand for it.

A few weeks ago, SEC commissioner Mike Slive commented that it wouldn’t be hard to add schools to the SEC. That’s true, but do we really need to?

Adding Texas A&M would probably be a proactive move since the era of the mega-conferences is about to begin. But even if the Pac-12 jumped to 16 teams and the Big 10 added another four, the SEC would still be superior to those conferences in every way — and that’s with Vanderbilt as one of the 12 teams.

As long as the SEC has Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, LSU and Georgia, it will always have an advantage over each and every conference when it comes to football.

Having Arkansas and South Carolina doesn’t hurt either.

What school could the Big 10 add that would made the conference rival the SEC, Notre Dame? That may have mattered 20 years ago, but not now.

The Pac-12 can add BYU and Colorado State and that still won’t make a dent in the big picture.

Admitting Texas A&M to the SEC would mean that adding a few more schools would be right around the corner. So far the other additions are rumored to be: Florida State, Clemson and Missouri.

The first two would make perfect sense. Florida State and Clemson each have rivals in the SEC already.

Missouri, on the other hand, is about as Southern as hot tea. And do we really need another school with Tigers as its mascot?

Missouri just doesn’t add up.

Oklahoma is just as close and would be a better all-around addition if the Sooners are willing to leave an imploding Big 12 for the greener grass of the SEC.

Georgia Tech would make more sense because it’s an original SEC member. Also, if we picked up both FSU and Clemson why not one more ACC team to give the SEC an even 16?

Texas A&M isn’t a done deal just yet. There are reports that it could be completed as early as Monday.

I hope it doesn’t happen.

I don’t want Texas A&M, Missouri or anybody else in the conference. The conference isn’t broken so there is no need to tinker with it just to be the first of the mega-conferences.

The SEC is already a mega-conference when it comes to football. They need to leave it alone. Those other conferences can keep trying to catch up, but they never will.

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Johnathan Bentley is the Sports Editor of the Daily Mountain Eagle. He can be reached at johnathan.bentley@mountaineagle.com.