SEC Expansion: The Biggest Winners

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The ink is finally dry. Two former Big XII members have set sail for calmer waters and a more fertile, prosperous territory. As of Sunday, July 1, Missouri and Texas A&M are officially members of the SEC. They have left the conference they called home since 1994 (Big XII play didn’t begin until 1996). It was a young conference with troubled relationships, uneven revenue distribution, pointed fingers and hurt feelings, but it was one with deep roots and storied rivalries. The Tigers had to wave goodbye to their nemesis, Kansas, and the Aggies to the University of Texas. The move had better be worth it for these programs to turn their backs on so much tradition, but seeing as it’s the SEC, it certainly seems like the right call.

Obviously this is a big moment for these universities. It’s akin to getting the call up from triple A to the bigs. With the step up in competition and notoriety, each program will enjoy the many fruits of their esteemed membership, but they will also face new challenges.

So, now that the SEC has officially expanded, let’s discuss who the biggest winners are…

Missouri and Texas A&M

These two schools are making out like bandits. This is an across-the-board upgrade for them both. They are set to pull in way more money in a conference that shares revenue equally. SEC trucks filled with cash are headed to Columbia and College Station as we speak. To the contrary, the Big XII practiced uneven revenue distribution based on several factors, and the University of Texas cornered the market there. That’s certainly more of a capitalistic approach, but conference unrest can be the result, which was clearly the case in the Big XII. The SEC puts a lot of stock in conference stability, and that’s a welcomed notion for the Tigers and Aggies. For two summers they’ve found themselves in the center of rumors and speculation about realignment. They even watched former conference members Colorado and Nebraska pack their shit and move out. The catalyst for this discord was, of course, the aforementioned uneven revenue distribution. But this mild annoyance turned into full-on turmoil with the creation of the Longhorn Network, which not only puts more money into the pockets of the Longhorns, but provides them with constant program promotion on the back of ESPN (even though no one can see that God forsaken channel yet).

Finally, and most importantly, the Aggies and Tigers are joining the premier football conference in all the land. The quality of football, the game day atmospheres, the passion of the fans… it’s all better in the SEC. The conference boasts the last six national championship trophies. That’s big boy football. Conversely, like an MLB pitcher during the pinnacle of the steroid era, the competition for these new members just went from tough to damn near hopeless. We’re talking about two programs that had little to no success in the weaker Big XII, and now they’ll be going up against the best in our nation’s power league. You can bet it will be ugly, at least for a few transitional years.

The SEC

Here’s exactly what the SEC is acquiring in Missouri and Texas A&M. The following are all-time statistics:

Missouri

  • .544 winning percentage
  • 0 national titles
  • 15 conference titles
  • 13 bowl wins

Texas A&M

  • .598 winning percentage
  • 1 national title (1939)
  • 18 conference titles
  • 14 bowl wins

Given these numbers, does the move to allow A&M and Mizzou into the conference appear to be football motivated? Couldn’t they have pursued more relevant or historically rich programs in their region? Programs like Florida State, Virginia Tech or Miami? If not, why did the SEC lock these programs down? Are they the chosen sacrificial lambs? It’s big business, driven by money. It’s simple really: the more eyeballs on SEC football, the more valuable their product is and the revenue will follow suit. Missouri and Texas A&M conveniently reside in big market areas. Missouri brings TV sets from St. Louis and Kansas City, and Texas A&M will get people tuning in from Houston as well as parts of San Antonio, Austin and Dallas.

The biggest winners, in my opinion, are the existing members of the Southeastern Conference, at least for the foreseeable future. These members will reap the monetary benefits of expanded markets. They will also find two teams on their schedule that pose little threat. Again, that last part could be temporary, shifts in conference and program strength are always in motion.

Beginning this fall, A&M and Missouri will start the treacherous journey from the new, vulnerable, clean-cut kids in Cell Block D to revered legitimate conference players. It’s going to be a long, tough ride that will probably leave each program begging for mercy at times. But hey… at least now they’re in the SEC.

Follow me on Twitter @RogerDornTFM

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Roger_Dorn

Roger Dorn (@RogerJDorn) is the Vice President of Media for Grandex, Inc. He's a native Texan with a full head of hair and knows his way around a nice box of red wine. Dorn graduated (BBA) with a GPA sitting in the meaty part of the bell curve, not lagging behind, but not trying to show off, either. Golf is his game now. He's long off the tee but can't putt for shit. Email: dillon@grandex.co

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  1. 11
    ice cold frat

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    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • -1
      csh1858

      Mizzou is one of six teams in the BCS conferences to have won at least 8 games in each of the last 6 seasons. I’m sure they can win 9 games in 3 seasons.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • -2
      jayhawk13

      I’m a KU fan and hate Mizzou but why do ignorant SEC fans think they will get their shit stomped in the SEC? Mizzou will go 8-4 or 9-3 every year just like they do virtually every year in Big 12. Sure they’ve had years going 7-5 but also one year going 11-2. They play in the SEC LEAST. All they have do is beat Georgia, lord knows an overrated team every year. Obviously Mizzou will get destroyed at home by Bama, but after that SEC homers are ridiculous if they believe Florida who couldn’t score on a high school team last year, USC with a hurt running back and no QB, and any of those other three teams UT UK and Vandy, who should probably start getting ready for ball season, could beat Mizzou. Mizzou is lucky they don’t have the powerful Miss St. and Miss on their schedule. The Sec has 3 good teams, one QB, and they all play in West

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
  2. 2
    JParksCaldwell1855

    Want to talk about actual dollars? I’m shocked no other conference has found a way to replicate how the Big Ten gets and shares revenues. Which is why I wouldn’t call Mizzou a “winner” in this (more like a push), because they would’ve gotten a hell of a lot more money if the Big Ten didn’t reject their application.

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
  3. 2
    5fishlimitPhi

    Don’t kid yourself for a minute, the SEC is gaining nothing from getting Texas A&M in their conference! The only thing it did was raise the average GPA in both the Big 12 and the SEC.

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
  4. 1
    dye_fratting

    There are a few major things you are leaving out.

    While i know football is at the forefront of the decision – if you look at all around sports rankings (The directors cup) A&M is consistantly around the top ten, with the only SEC school ahead of it as Florida.

    Also A&M is in a league above almost all of the SEC (exceptions being Vandy and Florida(ish)) in academics – if anything, aggies are worried about their reputation being dragged down to the levels of the Alabamas, Mississippi States of the world.

    Lastly, SEC schools dont need to have the air that they are saving A&M from some sort of monetary dispair. A&M is one of the top ten schools in the nation in terms of wealth. They have an endowment fund of over 7 BILLION. That is more than double second place vandy and about 7 times the majority of the other SEC schools.

    With that said, Im pumped for the move and think it will be a great partnership, but if A&M were a pledge, it would be that one pledge that the actives cant wait to initiate because they know he’ll be a credit to them all.

    again….7 billion

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
  5. 0
    DoubleTap

    Does anyone else think the map of the divisions above is fucking stupid? Why not move Vandy to the West and Bama and Auburn to the East?

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
  6. 0
    American

    The Big XII went to shit when the Big 8 expanded to pick up the Texas schools. Missouri and A&M jumped ship because with Colorado and Nebraska leaving, it appeared the conference was crumbling apart. Can’t blame either school for wanting stability

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago

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