SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey borrowed from Bob Dylan final summer at his conference’s media times when he teased what would shortly sharpen into emphasis: “I’m likely to depart you with this one final reminder: ‘Times are changing,’ Sankey said then. “It’s not basically a music lyric. It’s a truth.”
Two days later, news broke of the SEC’s plunder of the Big 12’s prized pieces, Oklahoma and Texas. That lit the fuse on a spherical of conference realignment that the Major Ten proved is much from concluded when, past week, it seized Southern Cal and UCLA from the Pac-12.
With their new additions, the SEC and Major 10 will element 16 teams.
Now, a unique Dylan tune title, recorded a long time following the hit Sankey referenced, seems ideal: Points have transformed.
And they’re not done transforming.
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Expect the SEC and Massive Ten to continue on their quest to create larger, richer and more strong mega conferences that morph the Power 5 into the Super Two, although other conferences struggle for scraps.
To retain its location atop higher education football’s throne, the SEC need to be open to supplemental expansion alternatives, but handle with treatment.
Never include just to include. Target on good quality over amount, and nurture the SEC’s properly-manicured brand rather than diluting it.
Inquire a admirer of an SEC football staff what they really like about the activity and the conference, and they’ll be aware the rivalries, the society, the pageantry, and the custom. Individuals features, combined with a high-quality on-field product, make SEC football exclusive.
SEC soccer is crimson Solo cups in the Grove.
It’s singing Tom Petty in The Swamp.
It is Kyle Field practically shaking in the din.
It’s Legend from Alabama sounding off on “The Paul Finebaum Demonstrate.”
It’s getting lit and taking in crawfish at a tailgate in Louisiana.
It is a black gown and cowboy boots in South Carolina.
It is boats on the Tennessee River.
SEC soccer is woven into the tapestry of the South, and vice versa.
USC and UCLA increase the Major Ten’s price (hello, Los Angeles media market place), and, as opposed to earlier additions Rutgers, Maryland and Nebraska, they may strengthen the all round solution. But the Massive Ten’s persistent enlargement attempts have not cultivated a defined identity or footprint.
Rutgers and UCLA are separated by 2,800 miles. They will phone the exact same league dwelling. Picture staying a Maryland volleyball player and acquiring to travel to USC for a midweek convention match.
The SEC’s many expansions have expanded its footprint without leapfrogging swaths of the country. Welcoming Texas and Oklahoma into a convention that residences Arkansas, LSU and Missouri would make sense in a way that bringing Piscataway and Hollywood below the identical roof does not.
If the Pac-12’s leftovers look for an exit, depart them for the Massive Ten or Huge 12 to take into consideration.
You won’t obtain a solitary Cracker Barrel or Waffle House in Washington state. Sorry, Huskies, your football plan is respectable, but the SEC is not for you. Identical for Oregon.
So, which universities would make perception for the SEC? Permit the additions of Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Texas serve as a design for how to improve the merchandise even though remaining on brand name.
Clemson would be a slam dunk, whilst the ACC’s grant of rights deal that runs by means of 2036 could complicate an exit. Also in the ACC, Florida Condition, North Carolina and Virginia Tech would suit the SEC’s identity. Miami would extend the footprint and crack from the Southern college or university-city mildew, but the Hurricanes boast football pedigree and would offer you rivalry video games towards Florida and FSU, ought to the Seminoles be part of.
The SEC corralled the Oklahoma Town media marketplace by welcoming the Sooners, but Oklahoma Condition continues to be for the using. The Cowboys would be a good in good shape, and locking up Bedlam as a conference clash would be sure to lovers and television executives, alike.
Things have improved, but some items continue being the exact.
The SEC continue to possesses a properly-crafted, recognizable, cherished and beneficial manufacturer, and when eyeing enlargement prospects, it should really go on to keep that brand in intellect.