10/5/2011 2:08 PM
Back during the summer months when there wasn't much talk about football on the playing field since games were not being played, talk was turned to conference expansion. I stated several times over the summer that I saw the SEC expanding to 14 and then possibly 16 teams. 16 would be ideal, and then have 3 other conferences with 16, and thus you have the framework for a playoff system at the end of the year to determine a national champion.
By now you have heard of Texas A&M coming into the SEC next year. If I were Jeff Long I would work very hard to keep the Texas A&M game in Arlington at Cowboys Stadium. Kyle Field can be intimidating at times for a visiting team, and Arkansas owns the Aggies in Cowboys Stadium by winning the first 3 games of the 10 year Southwest Classic deal.
The question is who comes into the league next? I say Missouri, and yes it will happen before the 2012 season.
It is too hard to schedule with 13 teams in a league and have some teams not playing each other to try and dertimine a champion. I see the SEC adding another team so that scheduling gets easier. With the addition of Missouri, the SEC will more than likely move Auburn to the East. Auburn has a rivalry with both Georgia and Florida that can stay intact. Auburn can also play Alabama every year as the non-division opponent in the Iron Bowl.
Once the SEC brings in a 14th team, don't think that they will go to sleep. Mike Slive will keep his options open for further expansion and I think the SEC will eventually stop at 16. For now however SEC fans should get used to hearing "Gig 'EM" and "M-I-Z / Z-O-U"