A report from the media voice of the University of Texas indicates Texas A&M was approved for membership in the SEC. Chip Brown reported via twitter that the Aggies won 10 votes for expansion with two negative votes. (Source.) A Texas A&M website echoed the report late Tuesday evening. According to Aggie Websider, “At tonight’s SEC Presidents Meeting, early word filtering out from Atlanta indicates that Texas A&M received the sufficient votes to gain an invitation to join the Southeastern Conference effective 7/1/2012.” (Source.)
The entry of Texas A&M into the Southeastern Conference (SEC) marks a new era for college football. Details of a formal announcement are unknown at this time; however, something is expected Wednesday or Thursday. (UPDATE: A&M to announce move on Wednesday, according to one newspaper.)
Additionally, both Brown and the Texas A&M website indicated the SEC is looking for a 14th team. Brown said “West Virginia is squarely on the SEC radar.” The Aggies website pointed to Missouri and West Virginia.
This is a dangerous situation for the SEC.
West Virginia is a good school with a fine athletic tradition. There would be worse choices for the SEC.
There are also better choices.
The University of Missouri should be the primary choice for expansion by the SEC. Missouri is a school with a fine academic tradition and good television markets.
Expansion to include Texas A&M makes sense on fronts of academics, culture and money. Missouri would similarly fit. While West Virginia would fit on some grounds, the most important—money and television markets seem lacking.
Money is the key. As Cicero noted, “money in abundance forms the sinews of war.” I quote this often because it is one of the most valuable pieces of advice ever rendered.
In driving expansion, SEC presidents should consider one thing—Does the addition of any school make the SEC stronger?
Texas A&M does.
West Virginia would not.