Mike Slive winning the realignment game

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive

Like Scipio in Hispania who saw danger in a combined foe, Mike Slive saw an enlarged Pac 10/16 and a Big 10/16 as a material threat to the SEC. The threat wouldn’t necessarily come on the football field, but the Pac-10 and Big Ten have historically worked together. This togetherness could threaten the SEC hegemony in the only sport that really matters—football.

Keeping with the theme of Scipio in Hispania, Slive wanted to the prevent the conjunction of these forces. He decided to deal with them before they were formed, and he had the opportunity to deal with them individually. In this case, he attacked the weaker entity first, the Pac-10/16.

Slive used the self-interest of Texas against the Longhorn plan to ally with the Pac-10 to form a superconference. Everyone in the Big XII understands the arrogant way the Longhorns have conducted business; the Longhorns view everyone in the Big XII as vassals—subjugated to the cash register of Texas. It has monopolized the cash flow, and created suspicion amongst its conference partners.

Slive used this simmering resentment to his own purpose. He contacted Texas A&M, and A&M hates Texas. The hatred has only increased as Texas conducted secret negotiations with the Pac-10 to form a Pac-16 from part of the Big XII. Chatter coming out of College Station indicated some of the regents resented the second-class way the Pac-10 treated A&M. Contrast that with how the SEC treated A&M—Texas wasn’t the intermediary of the deal. A&M was considered on its own merits.

Whether A&M stays in the reduced Big XII or joins the SEC, the SEC wins. If it joins the SEC, the conference adds the Texas television markets. By leaving a rump Big XII, he prevented the Pac-10’s power from growing. Now the Pac-10 is largely irrelevant in football thanks to the decline of its superpower USC.

With the map of college football about to be redrawn, Slive used his cunning to upset the plans of others. He defended the SEC’s position while making his opposition look bad. The tide of battle could turn at a moment, but today it looks like Mike Slive is winning and the SEC hasn’t added a team. Yet.

12 Comments

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  1. 2
    Sooner Fan

    The SEC doesn’t want or need Texas as they would be more trouble than they are worth. Slive just needs to convince aTm and OU to join the best conference in the nation, no matter how many members the BigTen or Pac-10 ends up with.

  2. 3
    Bamafan

    Sooner fan, I can understand your bitterness toward Texas, but would you be willing to possibly give up the Red River Classic, one of the top games every year in College Football?

  3. 4
    Another Sooner Fan

    It’s nice to see A&M stand up to Texas. The Longhorns mistakenly believe the Aggies need them.

    A&M would do just fine on their own in the SEC. They’ve got longtime rivals Arkansas and LSU,and could play them in Jerry Jones’ new stadium in Arlington.

    In fact, the Razorbacks and Aggies have already begun a 10-year series Cowboy Stadium.

    Texas really needs OU and A&M more than those schools needs them. Both would have outstanding regional rivals in the SEC West. And, they’d have more than their fair share of games at the new Cowboy Stadium.

    Texas should just quit threatening to leave if they aren’t going to do it. The truth is, no one needs them; and, worse, no one really wants to deal with them except also rans like Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.

  4. 5
    BPI

    I really am not wanting to sound arrogant or condescending, but in reality OU or UT really want to be a part of the SEC.

    After the 3-4 year period it would take you to adjust to our style of play..Not to mention the 8-4 or 9-3 seasons you would undoubtedly endure during that learning curve, your fanbase would be sreaming for heads.

  5. 6
    ITK

    Translation BPI:
    Please don’t join the SEC OU or TAMU because that’s just more teams that will continue to keep us light years from Atlanta. TAMU is a work in progress, but OU would run AU out of town.

  6. 7
    Help Please

    Could it actually have been well played by Texas A&M and The University of Texas?

    It seems to me these two schools played it perfecectly – The remaining members of the Big 12 played up a false interest in the SEC by Texas A&M to negotiate what is reported to be a television contract that will pay both the Longhorns and Aggies more than any team in the SEC will make under their current deal – and with a conference weakend this week by the departure of Nebraska. Just a thought as nothing has been officially announced and we need to stick to the facts. Well played Big 12.

  7. 8
    capstonereport

    If you think that. LOL, Longhorns are gullible. A&M beat the hell out of Texas here. A&M forced you to abandon the Pac-10. Deal with it. A&M made the Longhorns into the bitch this time.

  8. 9
    Help Please

    I will now leave the rumor mongering to you and yours, Tokyo Rose of the SEC – Hope you enjoyed being used. Without you and others like you, none of this would have been possible. Great Play Big 12, Great Play.

  9. 11
    Crimsonite from the planet Crimson in a galaxy farfar away. FormerlyE.G. White

    In a word no. Texas already had plans in the works for the network. That was one of the things that stuck in Nebraska’s craw. It was the Texas network with Texas getting the lionshare of the revenue. If Texas decides to split with A&M it just shows how well the Aggies kicked their asses in this power struggle. RTR!

  10. 12
    Crimsonite from the planet Crimson in a galaxy farfar away. FormerlyE.G. White

    On another note. I can’t believe how badly ALL 3 of our pitchers stunk in the super regional. And the fielding which has been exceptional all year sucked too. However, give them credit. They never quit battling until the last pitch. After five unearned runs Saturday, the nuke jobs on Morgan and Kilcrease, and a months worth of errors; Omaha came down to two ounces too little oomph on Jakes last swing. The final out of Bama’s season was just a cunt hair short of a walk-off home run. Hell, it hurts. But well done anyway, Tide. RTR!

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