Hey, remember the goofy looking 247 Sports writer I made fun of a couple of days ago? Well, it's looking more and more like he's going to be right and Texas A&M is going to make the move to the SEC. So, my apologies, goofy looking recruiting guy!
A&M-to-SEC isn't a done deal yet and as we learned last summer, conference expansion isn't a done deal until there's a press conference. But multiple sources are reporting the Aggies are heading to God's Conference, meaning another team is likely to join the party to give it an even number. Some sources are even mentioning Virginia Tech as that possible 14th team.
Not so fast, says Jim Weaver.
Weaver told David Teel of the Newport News Daily Press the Hokies are happy with their current home:
"Virginia Tech is exceedingly pleased with our membership in the ACC. It is the perfect conference for us. The university administration has no interest in any discussion concerning affiliation with any conference other than the ACC."
The reasons Weaver gave for Tech's comfortable position in the ACC are what we discussed a couple of days ago: Academics and geography. The ACC is full of Tech's research partners and most of them are within a short driving distance for the fans.
Things ARE great for the Hokies in the ACC, regardless of how much more money they could rake in by potentially joining God's Conference. But how much longer the ACC can offer that comfort is an excellent point raised by Joe:
As it stands, the ACC is is the best fit for Virginia Tech. I cannot disagree with that. However, it's naive to believe there's not at least a chance the ACC will be different in the near future after the SEC, Big Ten or even the Big East expand. The Big Ten was rumoured to be interested in Maryland, the Big East would welcome Boston College back with open arms, and Georgia Tech, Clemson and Florida State could all join their instate rivals in the SEC. There's a good chance the ACC becomes as weak and irrelevant as the Big East, the conference we fought to move up from.
I don't trust the ACC's leadership to be proactive when it comes to expansion and I hope Weaver's skeptical of it as well. If he is, he's at least saying the right things publicly to keep both Virginia Tech's admin and the ACC happy.
Another quote later in the story by Teel caught my eye. Weaver's saying the right things in regards to Tech's involvement in all this mess, but he also had this to say about the other ACC teams rumored to be involved in SEC expansion talk, Clemson and Florida State:
"I don't think that's going to happen," he said. "There's really no new TV money. (The SEC) already has the state of Florida and they already have the state of South Carolina."
My first thought is that's it's pretty naive for Weaver to think that neither of those teams will be heading to the SEC. But if you're like me and love a good conspiracy theory, you notice that he downplays the viability of the teams Tech is basically competing with for a spot in the SEC.
Politically, it's another good move by Weaver whether he meant it to be or not. The SEC already knows what each team would and wouldn't bring to it in a potential expansion move. But as we've learned, conference expansion is more about politics than we think.
So far, Weaver's playing the game well. Downplay your involvement, proclaim your allegiance to your current conference, but harp on the assets that make you appealing to a potential conference suitor.
Stay tuned. If A&M really jumps to the SEC this will just be the beginning.