Time for the SEC to attack

Monday's report by a Kansas City radio station of the Big Ten expanding with the additions of Missouri, Nebraska and Notre Dame are likely rumor. But, you could see some truth in the report. By adding Missouri, the Big Ten would pick up the Kansas City media market. You would expect a Kansas City station to report on a development or at least hear a rumor and try to support it. Nebraska has a sizeable influence there, as well. Throw in the usual target of Notre Dame and suddenly you find yourself nodding in agreement to a story that no other outlet has confirmed.

It also helps that the Big Ten has decided to make their decision making process as public as possible. They have announced a timeline for a decision, picked out targets and allowed everyone to talk about it. They are the guy who hits on every girl and wonders why people think he's a man-whore. Meanwhile, the SEC sits and waits, when they need to prepare an attack plan.

There is not the 100 years of total tradition in SEC football that the Big Ten has. When Alabama and Georgia began the last century as great teams, the South was economically and culturally inferior to the Northeast and Midwest. It has only been in the last 40 years, and the South joining the rest of the nation in civil rights standards, that the SEC states could claim any equal standing with Minnesota and Michigan. It's hard to claim your legacy of football is better when it didn't include black kids for the first 60 years. (There aren't any Gator fans excited to recreate the 1962 Gator Bowl when UF wore Confederate flags on their helmets.)

With the Big Ten going for 13-14 teams, the SEC has to match. Texas is the one with the T & A everyone wants (town and alumni). Texas fits academically and culturally anywhere. Austin could matchup with Ann Arbor, Athens, Gainesville or Berkeley in terms of your typical liberal college town, even though it is growing out of being a college town only. If the Big Ten gets the Horns, there is a seismic shift in college football. That is why the SEC needs to be in their ear. Texas doesn't have to go alone, as the SEC could invite Missouri or Texas A&M. The Aggies count Arkansas and LSU as historic rivals. With Texas culturally fitting with the more liberal SEC schools, A&M would fit with the more conservative schools.

There is nothing that I've said that hasn't been written somewhere else. Aside from BCS Blowup, Big Ten Roulette is the next favorite parlor game of college football fans. But, there needs to be a greater sense of urgency from the SEC and other conferences. Just as the SEC can't sit around, the Big East shouldn't let themselves get picked apart either.

The SEC's current run of dominance will eventually slow, especially with the member states looking at higher education as the first to be cut in legislative budget battles. Adding two brand name teams, with Texas as the top target, would cushion any blow from bad football or cut budgets. Matching the Big Ten is necessary in the fight for media dollars, which will determine the future powerhouses of college football.

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