Tag Archives: SEC expansion

Missouri officially accepts bid to join SEC

Just yesterday the Missouri Tigers officially joined the SEC, bringing the number of member institutions to 14.  The announcement was made at a press conference held at the Missouri Student Center.  The excited crowd was busy chanting S-E-C right up until school Chancellor Brady Deaton took the podium.  Other speakers included Mizzou AD Mike Alden, SEC Board President Bernie Machen, and SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.

The new SEC logo, with additions for Texas A&M and Missouri

Missouri will join the SEC, leaving the Big 12, just as Texas A&M did only a month ago.  It appears that in 2012, Mizzou’s first season, that they will be a part of the Eastern Division.  Nevermind that Columbia is the third most westerly school location.  Putting Missouri in the East keeps Alabama and Auburn in the same division and preserves the annual end of the year showdown known as the Iron Bowl.  Plans for future realignment could still be seen later down the road.

I would like to extend a warm welcome to both Missouri and Texas A&M.  Glad to have these two institutions as part of the best conference in college football.  But now gentlemen, you will now need to up your game.  Losing to the likes of Baylor, Kansas St, and Arizona St (Missouri), and getting beaten by Oklahoma by 16 (Texas A&M) might fly in the Big 12 but you will be representing the SEC next season and that will not cut it.

-Jeff

Games of Week 4: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

I think I’m officially going to change the name of my picks column from Games of the Week to “I Curse You”.  Over the first three weeks of the season, I have kept my record afloat by correctly picking the worst games of the week with amazing accuracy.  On Alabama games that I’ve picked, in particular, I’ve been within about 3 points of the actual score every week.  On the games that actually matter, though, I’ve managed to go a whopping 1-5 so far.  If I pick your team to win, I apologize ahead of time because odds are that I’ve given them the kiss of death.

That being said, I feel pretty good about my picks this week and think that you should probably put any and all money in your name on all of them.

On to this week’s picks:

Best of the Week:

#2 LSU at #16 West Virginia

West Virginia fans aren't scared to burn a couch

Roughly a week after word came out that the Mountaineers had been rejected by the SEC as a potential 14th member, they will have the chance to prove their worth against possibly the best team in the conference (or the country for that matter).  West Virginia is coming off a 37-31 win over Maryland last week and while Maryland looked good against Miami earlier in the season, they aren’t LSU.  West Virginia will have trouble moving the ball against LSU’s smothering defense.

After this game, LSU will have played 3 ranked opponents, on the road, in the first four weeks of the season.  In a time where teams are loading up on cupcakes early, this is an impressive stat and one that will most likely benefit the Tigers once they get to the meat of their conference schedule.  Jarrett Lee looked in control against Mississippi State last week and they’ll need him to do the same this week.

Pick:  LSU 27  West Virginia 7

Tyler Wilson leads Arkansas' high powered offense into Tuscaloosa

#14 Arkansas at #3 Alabama

You’ve heard plenty about last year’s collapse by the Hogs at home against the Tide.  Ryan Mallett self-destructed in the final quarter to let the Tide steal a game that Arkansas should have won.  Much like last year’s Iron Bowl is bulletin board material for the Alabama, this one is for the Hogs.  Tyler Wilson has looked good early and no one has forgotten his performance against Auburn in relief last year.  He is more than capable of carrying the Arkansas offense against the Tide’s stingy defense.

Much has been made of Alabama’s defense versus Arkansas’ offense but this game will most likely come down to the other matchup:  Arkansas’ defense versus the Alabama offense.  Alabama hasn’t looked incredibly explosive in their first three weeks but anyone who has watched the Tide since Nick Saban took over knows that’s not his teams’ strength.  Alabama wants to grind the ball and wind the clock down to keep Arkansas off the field.

This one will be close but I think the Tide will control the clock just enough to keep their defense fresh against the high-powered Hog offense.

Pick:  Arkansas 17  Alabama 24

Dry Games of the Week

Georgia at Ole Miss

How could you fire this guy?

Should Mississippi State versus Louisiana Tech be in this place instead?  Probably, but there’s something about a horrible SEC on SEC matchup in Week 4 that got my attention.  Many are calling this the “Hot Seat Bowl”, including us during our Week 4 preview earlier this week and to me that says all I need to know about this game.  Any time there are two coaches facing off against one another that are both fighting for their jobs, I’m not going to be too interested in watching.

Houston Nutt claimed this week that he’s not listening to all the noise surrounding his job security but I’m guessing that he’s seen the writing on the wall.  Mark Richt, on the other hand, has been on the hot seat for about 14 years it seems like.  The winner of this one will do nothing to help their job security but we’ll act like this is a must-win to try and turn it into an actually interesting game.  On the field, Georgia is a much better football team and should roll.

Pick:  Georgia 41  Ole Miss 14

FAU at Auburn

Hopefully Ted Roof taught Auburn how to tackle this week

Nothing like a nice cream puff to follow up your first loss in 18 games.  Auburn’s defense has been horrible this season but fear not Auburn fans, FAU ranks 120th in the FBS in points scored AND they rank 115th in points scored.  All that tells me is this:  FAU might be the worst team in college football.  Auburn’s defense is bad but they’re not THAT bad.  You don’t back Ted Roof into a corner!  Auburn would win this one with nine guys on the field.

Pick:  FAU 10  Auburn 54

SEC Expansion? No Thanks

In the latest drama, Dan Beebe may be asked to step down as Big 12 commissioner

Conference realignment is all that anyone is talking about in the college football world these days.  The Big East is basically imploding on itself and everyone in (or who recently left) the conference is turning on one another.  The Big 12 is even worse, with Oklahoma and Texas recently deciding to stick it out after the PAC-12 decided not to expand.  Oklahoma demanded that Dan Beebe, commissioner of the conference, be forced out in order for them to stay.  Originally they acted like they would bolt to the PAC-12 if he wasn’t fired but then people found out that apparently Oklahoma saw that they weren’t getting in anyway and had simply seen an opportunity to oust the controversial commissioner.

It’s like watching one of your mom’s afternoon soap operas when you used to stay home sick from school.  But what would college football be without all the backstabbing and double-dealing?  If there’s one thing I’ve always hated about college football, it’s the hypocrisy.  This conference realignment issue is right at the heart of the hypocrisy of the higher ups in the sport.  They talk about the welfare of their student-athletes but don’t seem to think it’s a problem to make the volleyball team travel 2,300 miles for an in-conference game during the season if it will make them more money during football season.

Could Missouri be the 14th member of the SEC if expansion happens?

One of the big issues at the center of all this talk, is what will the SEC do in the event of massive conference realignment?  Who the SEC would add as it’s 13th, 14th and possibly 15th and 16th members, is the talk of the league right now.  Rumors are swirling around several teams, from West Virginia supposedly being rejected to whether the conference could still potentially steal Virginia Tech or Florida State despite the ACC recently adding two new teams in Pitt and Syracuse.  Will Missouri be added after Texas A&M and force the league to move one team (most likely Auburn) to the East?  These are all questions that are being asked and it seems that the majority of fans are for the conference expanding.  But I have to ask the question:  is expansion/realignment really what’s best for the sport or the SEC?

I understand that if other conferences continue on their path of adding teams and expanding, the SEC can’t be reactionary in adding new members.  I get that it is in the conferences’ best interest to look into what options they have before the dominoes start falling.  If the Big 12 implodes in a year and conference realignment soon follows, the SEC doesn’t want to be unprepared and end up with Memphis and Louisville as their final members.  I completely get that and if expansion happens, I will adapt and so will every other fan of the game.  We will keep watching and the people in charge of these decisions know that.

I do, however, have my doubts about how the decisions currently being made will change the game and I don’t think they’re for the best.  One of the biggest scenarios being mentioned is the addition of Missouri and the subsequent move of Auburn to the SEC East.  I firmly believe that this would be a huge mistake for the conference.  Some of the greatest traditions in the conference would be thrown out the window to make room for Missouri?

The Third Saturday in October could be no more

Alabama would most likely have to choose between Auburn and Tennessee as their permanent SEC East rival.  They of course would choose Auburn, ending a rivalry with Tennessee that has been played every year since 1928 and the Iron Bowl would most likely be moved up from the final conference game of the year to earlier in the season.  LSU would no longer play Auburn every year, a game that has become one of the most exciting rivalries in the conference in recent years.  The list goes on and on of games that the conference would lose because of these decisions.

A friend recently said to me that fans of the SEC fought the idea of an SEC Championship Game when it was first introduced to the league, saying that it would kill traditions, and this is true.  People got used to the change and now the SEC Championship Game is annually one of the most anticipated games in college football.  Alabama fans may have to get used to watching the team travel to Columbia, Missouri every other year on the Third Saturday in October.   Florida fans may have to start finding a way to make the long trip to College Station, Texas every few years when A&M rotates their way onto the schedule.  And I realize that if these things happen I will (and you will) get used to them and life as an SEC fan will go on.  I’m just not really sure I want to.

-Sadler

The SEC Through the Years: Birth to ’91

This is part two of three in a series about the history of the Southeastern Conference as a whole.  If you missed part one: Pre-SEC, you can read it here.

On December 9th, 1932 a beautiful thing happened.  The Southeastern Conference was born into this world.  It was birthed with 13 members when they left the Southern Conference for many reasons, including disagreements over freshman eligibility, as well as problems arising from having so many members (23).

The Founding 13 Universities

Clean Old-Fashioned Hate was once also an SEC match up.

We might have to retire the phrase “unlucky 13”.  As it seems to me, two great things in the world started out with 13 members, America and the SEC.  And if you do not like America or the SEC then you can get out!  The 13 founding institutions of the SEC were; the University of Alabama, Auburn University, the University of Georgia, the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Florida, Louisiana State University, the University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, the University of Kentucky, the University of the South (Sewanee), the University of Tennessee, Tulane University and Vanderbilt University.

Early SEC Defectors

I know hindsight is 20/20, but I think these schools might have acted differently if they had known what was in store for the SEC.

Unfortunately the 13 members were not together for long as University of the South was just a little out of their element.  After eight seasons in the SEC the University had yet to win an SEC game, and officially withdrew from the conference in 1940.  The Tigers athletics were deemphasized, and they are currently a non-scholarship Division-III school.

The Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech abandoned the conference in 1964 to become a founding member of the Metro Conference.  The Metro Conference was a non-football conference so the Jackets remained an independent in football till they joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in all sports in 1978.  They remain a member of the ACC today in the Coastal Division.  Tech won 5 SEC titles.

In 1966, Tulane University joined Georgia Tech in the non-football Metro Conference.  Tulane remained in the Metro Conference and through its merger with the Great Midwest Conference to form Conference USA in 1995.  Tulane played as an independent in football from their departure of the SEC till 1996 when Conference USA began competition in football.  Tulane won 3 SEC titles.

The SEC remained a 10 team conference from the time of Tulane’s departure until the expansion of 1991.  The expansion revolutionized college football as we know it.  Check back next week for part three and the full explanation.

-Jeff

Like what you read here?  Check out some of our other posts.                         Players to watch in 2011:  Bama’s Courtney Upshaw; Vandy’s Chris Marve        Also, like us on facebook and/or follow us on twitter @SEC_Dweller for updates.

Players to Watch 2011: Alabama LB Courtney Upshaw

Upshaw is a menace in opposing teams' backfields

In 2011, the Alabama Crimson Tide will have a defense with several playmakers and possibly several All-Conference players in the mix.  Picking one of them as a player to watch is a difficult task.  Dont’a Hightower is the leader of the defense and the defensive backfield is loaded with possible first-round NFL talent but in our opinion, the player to watch on this defense is LB Courtney Upshaw.

As a junior in 2010, Upshaw made 11 starts at jack linebacker position, an extremely important position in Nick Saban’s defense, and recorded 52 tackles.  Upshaw has shown the ability to be an elite pass rusher off the end and makes his presence known in the backfield on a regular basis.  In 2010 he led the Crimson Tide with 14.5 tackles for a loss and also led the team in sacks with 7.  In the final two games alone, against Auburn and Michigan State, Upshaw recorded 15 tackles, 6 for a loss with 5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles.

SEC QB's better get used to this

Odds are that once all is said and done, Alabama will have a defense ranked somewhere in the top 10 nationally and possibly in the top 5.  Upshaw will be a large part of whether the Tide is successful or not, as he will be one of the main pass rushing threats on this year’s defense.  Nick Saban himself talked at SEC Media Days about the fact that the team does not have that elite front line defensive lineman that they have had in years past, so Upshaw’s ability to attack the passer and cause mayhem in the backfield will be a huge key to the units’ success.

Like this article?  Check these others out:  South Carolina DB Stephon Gilmore; Ole Miss DE Kentrell Lockett

And follow us on Twitter for more posts and updates @SEC_Dweller

The SEC Through the Years: Pre-SEC

The hot topic issue in the Southeastern Conference right now is expansion.  If you get on any sports site at all, it is hard not to notice theories about which teams will be added, how/if the conference will realign, and the direction the conference will take in the near future.  What do you know, here is one right here.  With all this buzz about the SEC I thought it would be a good time to take a look back at the history of the conference as a whole.  This will be a three part series including pre-SEC, formation to the expansion of 1991, and 1991 to the present.  This is part one: Pre-SEC.

The SEC was established on December 9th of 1932, but what were the soon-to-be SEC schools doing before that formation?  This article will attempt to follow the history of the founding SEC schools before they joined the conference.

The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association

The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association was founded on December 21, 1894 by Dr. William Dudley, a chemistry professor at Vanderbilt. (Thats right, a Vanderbilt chemistry professor founded a predecessor to the greatest conference in collegiate sports, who knew?)

The 1900 SIAA co-champion Alabama Polytechnic Institute (Auburn) football team, kickin' it

This was the first organization of college athletics in the South.  The founding members of the SIAA included future SEC founding members Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Sewanee, and Vanderbilt as well as North Carolina.  Dr. Dudley originally started the association to standardize player eligibility rules and host an annual track meet and basketball tournament.  In 1896, Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi, MSU, and Tulane joined as well as a few other non-SEC schools*.

As time progressed the SIAA added more members almost annually.  Before long there were over 25 colleges represented in the association and  the disparity between the colleges was immense.  There was a dispute between the smaller and larger colleges over freshman eligibility among other things starting around 1915.  By December of 1920 the dispute had become irreconcilable and several universities left to form the Southern Conference between 1921 and 1922.

The Southern Conference

The charter members of the Southern Conference included SIAA defectors Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Mississippi State, and Tennessee.  Other non-SIAA charter members were Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Washington & Lee.  The next year Florida, LSU, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tulane, and Vanderbilt were all added from the SIAA.  Sewanee joined in 1923.

The stay in the Southern Conference was short lived by many of the schools.  On December 9, 1932 Florida President John J. Tigert announced that Florida, as well as twelve other universities, would be withdrawing immediately to form the Southeastern Conference.  The main reasons for the split were geographical distance, travel time and expense, a great disparity between the large and small schools in the conference, and the fact that half the schools did not play each other from one year to the next, if at all.  Sources are sketchy as to whether or not an “S-E-C, S-E-C” chant filled the room.

One thing to note is that besides disparity between larger and smaller schools, a main reason for the downfall of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association as well as the split of the Southern Conference were problems resulting from the conferences growing too large.  That is something to think about, especially when the SEC is ripe for expansion.  The next segment will focus on the birth of the SEC to the 1991 season, so check back later.        

*sources differ on the exact date when Kentucky joined, some say 1896, others 1906

-Jeff

Like what you read?  Check out some of our other articles.                                           Newest ‘hate’ entry: Tennessee,    This Years Key Non-Conference Matchups

or follow us on twitter @SEC_Dweller for updates.

SEC Pretenders

Golden Knights? Very intimidating

Now that SEC expansion is the hot topic around college football, I figured that it would probably be a good idea to address the candidates for the 14th spot in the league once Texas A&M inevitably is offered a spot.  Every other SEC writer out there is approaching this by who has the best chance to get an invite to the SEC but I’m going to go the opposite direction.  I’m going to look at the schools who are delusional enough to think they would have a chance to join and explain exactly why the SEC would never in a million years be interested.

Here are the pretenders:

Central Florida

I’ve been hearing this one a lot and it’s nonsense.  What conference is Central Florida even in?  I will give 15 points to anyone that emails me the answer without looking it up.  And what’s their mascot?  Nothing as cool as a Rebel Black Bear, I can promise you that.

Louisville

Is Brian Brohm coming back?  Is Bobby Petrino still the coach?  What?  He took a job at Arkansas?  Oh, nevermind.

Cincinnati

The Bearcats had two “good” seasons where they competed in the big and bad Big East, against the likes of West Virginia and Syracuse (or somebody else terrible, who’s paying attention) and all the sudden they think they’re good enough to join up with the SEC?  Please.  Just take a look at the 2009 Sugar Bowl. (Although, I gotta hand it to ‘em, the Bearcats new helmets are freakin’ awesome)

ECU

Hey look everyone, it’s the home of NFL superstar Chris Johnson!!  Quick, name one other player who’s ever played at ECU!

Rutgers

Official rule that I am making up right now:  If you are from a state North of West Virginia, you don’t get to join the SOUTHeastern Conference.  Make sense?

I think it’s much more likely that we’ll see a team like Virginia Tech, North Carolina State or Florida State join the conference.  Each of them brings something that these other schools don’t:  competition.  Sure, NC State doesn’t bring a huge level of competition but they do bring a new tv market and it’s not hard to picture them in the SEC . . . they’re at least relatively near the South.

I stand by my pick, though, by 2013 I say that the Virginia Tech Hokies are the team that joins Texas A&M in the conference.