Playing Risk: The Ukraine, errr The Big East is weak!
Playing Risk: The Ukraine, errr The Big East is weak!

NCAA President Mark Emmert urged caution during the latest round of conference expansion drama.

“This is not about playing Monopoly and moving pieces around on the board,” the NCAA president said of the latest round of conference-hopping in a USA Today report.

He is right.

This isn’t Monpoly.

This is Risk. The old board game where you place armies, invade neighbors and dominate the world.

It is strategic.

It is Machiavellian.

Just like the ACC was Machiavellian in its raid of the Big East the first time.

Just like the ACC was Machiavellian with its Saturday morning raid of the Big East this time.

How Machivellian can be seen in this nugget of information from CBS writer Dennis Dodd’s Sunday column. Dodd wrote, “A few weeks ago, ACC commissioner John Swofford, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe and Big East commissioner John Marinatto made some sort of pinky swear and promised not to raid each other going forward. They were going to work to stabilize their own conferences without wrecking the other.”

Any Italian Renaissance prince would approve of such duplicity. Swofford and his league should be proud. They have introduced to college athletics a level of political maneuvering unseen this side of Florence.

Swofford recognized something—The Ukraine is weak, err The Big East is weak. Why not carve it up? Take the best portions and leave the remnants in disarray? It makes good sense. You would do the same thing in a game of Risk. You want to secure your position—drive your competitor out of Western Europe, or Texas or wherever the latest game of Risk is being played.

The addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh shores up the ACC in multiple sports. They are good schools with good programs. You can’t blame these schools for moving, and you really can’t blame the ACC for letting the schools join the conference.

However, the duplicity gives one pause.

But, conference realignment continues at a brisk pace. The Austin newspaper reported that Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech were near a deal with the Pac-12.

Another point of interest is an article. It reported something I’ve mentioned many times in the last year. Demographics are driving expansion, and the Big Ten is in jeopardy of getting pinned into a dying region in locations with a serious population problem. Meanwhile, the future demographics show growth in the South.

Texas Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds understands this. The website reported, “DeLoss Dodds has told people who matter that Texas does not want to go independent and does not want to go to the Big Ten. Dodds has said the growth in the United States is south, and the Big Ten is not in the south.”

Get the obituary ready for the Big 12.

And get ready to carve up the remnants.

Will the SEC take more than Texas A&M? Missouri sits in a good position in large markets.

Speculation also centers on West Virginia. WVU could be in play as the Big East is wounded from the latest ACC raid.

West Virginia Athletic Director Oliver Luck released a statement today on the issue of conference expansion. “There is no question that the landscape of college athletics is once again changing,” Luck said. “West Virginia University has great tradition as the state’s flagship land-grant institution, and we will continue working to do what’s best for our University and its athletic teams. No matter how the college athletic landscape changes, there is no doubt WVU is and will remain a national player.”

National player?

Interesting. It sounds like WVU has big plans. Does that mean WVU is seeking entry into the SEC? Would this be team number 14? Or 15?

What is Mike Slive thinking? What is his next move?

This isn’t a game of Monopoly. It is Risk. Will the SEC invade the weak Ukraine, err, The Big East too?

12 thoughts on “SEC Expansion: This isn’t Monopoly! It is Risk!”

  1. WVU, aTm, Mizzou, and Texas with the State of Texas being so large a sister team from there would bode well. Let’s say SMU would give us the DFW markets and could fill up Cowboy Stadium every Saturday and provide a good national following in a couple of years when they get enough of UT’s big time recruits to become poll busters.

    It’s been said that Auburn would be willing to go to the SEC East.

    Just one man’s opinion, though.

  2. Ok the ACC just one upped us. There won’t be any Fla St, Va Tech, North Carolina or Clemson coming to the SEC. I told ya’ll that last week. With Texas, Oklahoma, Ok St and Texas Tech working on the PAC 12, we are now left with cherry picking the remnants of the Big 12 and the Big East. To me that’s not very damn appealing. There isn’t shyt left in the current Big East except for West Virginia. However, I think most people have overlooked the fact that TCU will be joining the phantom Big East next year. Today they are suddenly available. There’s your Dallas market right there and one of the nations top 5 teams for the last 3 or 4 years. West Va and Auburn in the East. Texas A&M, TCU and Missouri in the West. There’s your SEC Super Conference. We pick up a top 5 football school, all of Texas, Missouri and the midwest, the East from North Carolina to Pennsylvania and Ohio. Football wise I’ll take TCU and WVU over Pitt and Syracuse any day. It’s coming. Get ready. RTR!

  3. Well. If you want some kind of sober view of this – it really boils down to geography and Title 9. You are going to fly all the women and all the other sports – god bless them – that don’t make any money? To the edges of the country ? All of this – must be factored in the bottom line. I say Florida State for the 14 – and tell the rest to go to hell. Yes. State does not add the television factor – but the fan base – seals the state. I suspect that this is going to happen. Too many signals coming out of Florida State for too long. For quite some time.

  4. Obviously you don’t listen very well. There is no Fla St to add. With expansion the ACC has shown that all their members are firm. Nobody is leaving the ACC. Additonally Florida does not want Fla St in the SEC and it takes a unanimos vote. The four schools I mentioned are all the desirable ones that are available. Additionally the SEC has had some comunication with both Missouri and West Virginia. The only one we know nothing about is TCU. Who knows if they are interested in the SEC or or visa versa, but of the choices left in my opinion they are the best. Of course if the Big 12 is bellyup then BYU is available again. But who the hell wants a Mormon school 2500 miles away, or the Salt Lake City market instead of Dallas\Fort Worth. There’s SMU and Houston but neither bring what TCU does and we already have the Houston market with Texas A&M. I’m just hoping that TCU is being looked at since I myself consider them as the ONLY choice left for the 16th school. As for title 9, it ‘aint bothering anybody else. RTR!

  5. O.K. I’ll admit I was wrong about all this expansion stuff, and maybe the SEC will expand beyond the present 12 members. But I don’t believe the Awbies will consent and move over to the East division as long as they think they can beat the Tide everyyear. Let’s face it BAMA, that’s their season! and I just don’t think the Awwbies will consent to do that….. RTR

  6. You don’t understand. With 16 teams they will have to revamp the schedules. There will be 7 games within the division and either 1 or 2 in the other division so that teams can maintain important rivalries. Alabama would keep Auburn and if a second game, also Tennessee. I believe Aubie would love to go East as long as they keep the IB. After all, how many East titles have they managed to win in the last 50 years, and they have better luck with Florida than Bama. And just imagine sometimes an IB rematch in Atlanta the very next week. Bwaa haww haww! RTR!

    1. Thats because you spend all your time writing fantasy stories and drawing cute little cartoons ITK. Congrats on growing up!!!

  7. Why not try to get the Longhorns. With the Big-12 dead, they will have to give up their Longhorn Network to get into another conference. With A&M & Texas in the west, move Alabama or Auburn to the east and try to get Virginia Tech (better in football & closer to the majority of conference schools than WVa).

  8. Try reading a little news before you post dude. It’s on every single sports source in the country. Texas is going to the Pac 12 and will get to keep a revamped and shared Longhorn Network. But more than that the SEC is like a family and wants nothing to do with the snobby dictatorship at Texas that destroyed the SWC and now the Big 12. I grew up a Texas fan and I’m telling you – screw Texas. Give us TCU. RTR!

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