Now that Texas is being paid by the minnows of the Big 12 to remain in the conference, it appears as if the expansion excitement will die down for a while. The Pac-10 could still add one more team to get 12, but the Big Ten appears to be locked in at 12 teams. Of course, in five years, we could go through another round of this as TV contracts are kicked around again.
SEC fans, more than any other conference, have pride in their league. As much as we want to murder each other in conference play, fans will generally root for their rival in out-of-conference play. That pride I think was the reason why so many SEC fans wanted expansion. Adding any combination of Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Clemson, FSU or Miami would only hurt teams in the SEC, by competition or otherwise. But, it didn't matter if Texas was in a division with LSU or Oklahoma started recruiting Muck City. SEC fans felt if Texas and Oklahoma wanted a legit football league, they would go to the SEC, not Pac-10 or Big 12.
With the dust settling, take a step back and consider if a 12-team SEC is as far as the league should go. Barring the Andy Staples dream of four 16-team superconferences, there is no reason why there should be more than 12 football teams in a conference. (Especially when no one else is larger than 12 teams.) You can gain more TV markets, but the SEC already has an exclusive national package with CBS and a massive ESPN package. With 14 teams, you play six divisional games, limiting cross-division games or out-of-conference games. In Florida's case, UF would probably drop an out-of-conference game, the revenue of which funds non-revenue sports and provides a huge boost to the local economy.
Yes, having a SEC West with Texas A&M or a SEC North with Oklahoma would have been cool. But the SEC might be better off without them.
Did you want a bigger SEC?
Yes (43 votes)
No (141 votes)
184 total votes