Putting the Cart Before the Horse in Virginia Tech/SEC Conference Realignment Talk

SEC commissioner Mike Slive, enjoying a swim. via videogum.com

Since I got called out for not offering my own opinion on this "Virginia Tech-to-SEC" kerfuffle (what's AP Style for kerfuffle?), I figured I'd chime in quickly. Then again, it's me so quickly is a pretty relative term, right Joe?

First of all, I'm happy that Virginia Tech is in the ACC. It's a fine, stable conference that just signed a pretty good TV deal. I like the teams that are currently in the league and am enjoying the developing rivalries with schools like Georgia Tech in football and Maryland in basketball. I have a good deal of respect for almost every school in the ACC. The conference feels like home.

And stability isn't something to dismiss when talking about conference health these days. The Big 12 is being pulled apart from all sides, has a terrible TV deal and its revenue (non) sharing agreement has some schools feeling unappreciated. The Big East might see its destruction if teams are gobbled up by the Big Ten and/or SEC.

The ACC is a strong conference. But, at the risk of sounding opportunistic, ungrateful and unsatisfied (In all seriousness, read Pitt Blather. That dude has been summing up Expansionpalooza on a near-daily basis better than anyone on the Series of Tubes), Virginia Tech would pretty much have to accept an offer to join God's Conference.

Joe from The Key Play sums it up nicely

Being a member of the SEC, the premier college football conference, would provide more national and regional television exposure (CBS, ESPN, ABC broadcasts), increased recruiting clout and revenue (dump trucks full of money).

But while Joe and other Virginia Tech fans remain optimistic that Cool Hand Slive will eventually knock on Jim Weaver's door, I am not. It's been argued that Virginia Tech helps deliver a new media market for the SEC in Washington, DC. I don't think the Hokies deliver DC any more than Virginia or Maryland does or any more than Rutgers delivers NYC. None of them do because those are pro sports towns that really don't care that much about college sports.

Plus, the SEC doesn't need to expand carriage rights for a conference network like the Big Ten does because the SEC already has a conference network with four letters that doesn't need any help saturating any market.

Virginia Tech does fit into the SEC culturally, as a few mainstream media folks are quick to point out. But that's about the only way it fits. At the end of the day, the having the Hokies as part of an expanded SEC just means God's Conference would have to cut its pie into 16 slices instead of 12. And while the idea of expansion may have already been worked into the SEC's lucrative TV deal, I still think it would mean less money per team, something none of them will probably be willing to sign off on.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that when it comes to the SEC, expansion for the sake of expansion probably isn't going to happen and that means any expansion scenario for God's Conference probably won't involve Virginia Tech. I also don't think it involves the SEC "gutting" the ACC by taking four members.

So while you all fret about whether or not chips are going to fall a certain way and the Hokies might get into the SEC, I'm just going to remain satisfied with our current position in the ACC and enjoy watching the carnage.

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