FAYETTEVILLE — The Arkansas Razorbacks and South Carolina were at the forefront of first wave of conference realignment in the early 1990s when both joined the Southeastern Conference, but it appears the Big 10 is the league that’s ready to make a bold step nearly two decades later.
Talk of the possible expansion of the Big 10 to as many as 16 teams began to float to the surface last December and news outlets began to report Monday that the process could be on the fast track.
Teams such as Missouri, Texas, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Syracuse, Connecticut and Boston College are some of the more prominent schools listed on the league’s shopping list.
If the Big 10 does pick up five additional teams to its current 11-squad lineup, wouldn’t the SEC certainly react?
One would think so. Florida State and Miami were the first two teams the SEC approached before they first opted to remain independents and later joined the ACC and the Big East respectively.
After Arkansas joined the SEC and before the Big Eight merged with remnants of the Southwest Conference, there was talk of Texas A&M, Texas and Oklahoma also joining the SEC to form a Western Division of the SEC that would also included LSU, Ole Miss and Mississippi State, but former Texas Gov. Ann Richards halted such a movement tying Texas Tech into any deal that would include the Longhorns and the Aggies.
But who would the SEC court this time around? Or would it be better for the Hogs to leave the SEC for whatever becomes of the Big 12?
These are obviously questions the SEC and Arkansas will eventually have to answer.
Personally, I would rather the Razorbacks stand pat in the SEC than to seek greener pastures.
Because despite the fact, the Big 12 might more geographic sense for the Razorbacks than the SEC, there is no greenter pasture than the SEC.
The SEC wisely distributes and shares revenue equally, which allows all programs in the league to maximize their potential whatever it may be. Certainly, some of the SEC athletics programs have more potential than others, but the SEC’s revenue sharing plan gives the schools the ability to be competitive. That’s not the case in the Big 10 and Big 12 where the big dogs take their share first.
As for who would be on my personal wish list to add to the SEC roster, how about Texas, Oklahoma, Miami and Florida State?
Add those teams to the SEC’s current roster and it truly would be a super conference.