Why The SEC Should Grab Florida State Right Now As Its 14th School

As a Gator fan, I can assure you that I have often cringed at the idea of Florida State joining the SEC. Making fun of a ‘Nole for being a part of the ACC has been a default play of mine over the years. I’m not fond of Tallahassee which sometimes feels like downtown Detroit nor of the student body which on game day frequently resembles the cast of Jersey Shore. Despite my personal animosity towards the school, the city and the people, I’m ready to admit that the SEC should raid the ACC and grab Florida State right now.

Expansion talk has been dominated by the idea of adding television markets. This makes sense on a surface level, but after hearing many arguments against expansion and against the fallacy of new television markets always equating to higher revenue, I think the SEC should consider going after the best football program available. That program is Florida State.

An interesting take on the expansion topic comes from Mark Cuban’s blog. In his recent post on the subject, he takes the clear stance that more teams and more markets does not mean more money. Rather, he says:

The big college TV networks, Fox, ESPN, CBS pay for quality, not quantity.  They need marquee matchups that are “Must Tweet TV”.  The number of schools in a conference actually reduce the parity and quality of match-ups in a conference. The networks will not pay up for that.  Adding Texas A&M to the SEC is not going to add a single dollar’s worth of value to the owner of the SEC TV contract , regardless of sport.  Maybe the SEC has an escalator in their contract that increases the total value of the TV contract, but I’m guessing that it still will result in a reduction in the dollars paid to each school when compared to the amount paid had an additional school not joined the conference.

Now, I do think that Texas A&M is a good addition to the conference. It’s a logical fit, and brings in the Texas markets which is valuable in some ways.

But, Cuban has a good point. The reality is that SEC football is the strongest brand of football not because of which markets it is in, but because of the quality of football.

Seriously consider the markets of SEC football: Starkville and Oxford, Mississippi? Auburn and Tuscaloosa, Alabama? Gainesville, Florida? Columbia, South Carolina? Clearly, the marketability of SEC football has nothing to do with the markets it owns. Atlanta, Georgia is really the only major market (and maybe Birmingham).

The brand is what is so powerful about the SEC.

Florida State adds another nationally known football program to the mix.

Consider the alternative. What if the SEC adds a program like NC State? That adds a new market in North Carolina to the conference, but I would argue it absolutely dilutes the SEC football brand.

The SEC has penetrated Texas (at least almost penetrated). Getting some Texas audience is fine for television strategy. Now it’s time to bring in the best program possible, and that is Florida State.

It’s worth noting that Florida State has now formed a committee to analyze and discuss “conference realignment” issues. This could be meaningless or just precautionary, but it could also mean that there has been talks with other conferences or that FSU might push the ACC to try and grab other teams.

The common arguments you hear against the possibility of the Seminoles joining up with the SEC are three fold:

  1. There is a gentleman’s agreement in place to not add any teams from states where there is a current SEC member.
  2. Schools like Florida and even Alabama, Auburn and Georgia don’t want Florida State because it hurts recruiting for the SEC schools.
  3. Tallahassee doesn’t add a new television market

On the gentleman’s agreement, I’m not sure how important that is. First, who knows if it even exists? Second, nothing is set in stone. When it comes to business, a handshake from a decade or two ago can easily go out the window. The other thing is that Florida State did once receive an invitation from the SEC, and Florida was a member back then. Who is to say it can’t happen again?

With regards to recruiting issue, this is nonsense. Florida State is already a major force in recruiting. They are bringing in top classes right now. Florida, Georgia and the Alabama schools have already been competing with Florida State for every high school stud in the area. This is nothing new. Joining the SEC won’t change that.

On the fact that Tallahassee not bringing in a new television market, I think I’ve already addressed why this isn’t as important as we might believe.

Slive, go ahead and make this happen. Let’s keep SEC football as the strongest football conference and strongest brand.

Bring Osceola and his horse Renegade as well.

REFERENCES

COMMENTS

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  • FSU would be an OK fit in the SEC for football, but it doesn’t bring the new market, very little in other sports, and honestly is too tied to a shady past.

    Better ideas for team 14:
    Missouri – St. Louis and Kansas City TV market. Respectable team in football, Basketball, and baseball.
    VA Tech – Virginia and DC market. On verge of being “traditional football power” and fits in SEC geography.

    Now if you are talking about 15 & 16 then add both above and then for the 16th add:
    Louisville

    Yes, that is in the Kentucky “market” but if you want to add more gravitas to basketball (adding Missouri would help that) and balance out the east I think that would be a hell of an add.

    You would end up with this as the SEC:
    West
    Alabama
    Arkansas
    Auburn
    LSU
    Mississippi
    Mississippi State
    Missouri
    Texas A&M

    East:
    Florida
    Georgia
    Kentucky
    Louisville
    South Carolina
    Tennessee
    VA Tech
    Vanderbilt

    • I disagree that Louisville could add enough. Yes, they add some basketball prowess and the football program could be groomed, but I feel like there should be at least two advantages to bringing in a work-in-progress team. For instance, UNC kills in basketball AND brings in a new market. Also, UNC is part of the Research Triangle area which adds to the academic value of the SEC along with Vandy.

      • Louisville sucks. Go Cats!

      • I made the same statement as Mr. Cuban did here on the SDS web site!! The SEC is without a doubt bar none the finest congerence on the NCAA ! By adding other teams we only water down our recruiting and talent pool!! Not to mention sharing the wealth and prestige that the 12 current teams have worked so hard to establish in todays NCAA! Why would Florida want to just hand over the above perks to an in state rival? The Recruiting trail is already a dog eat dog game in itself! Now Auburn/Alabama have been charter members for years and like the Miss.St/Ole Miss teams have become ingrained in the SEC culture! But the NCAA has changed SO MUCH since the last and hopefully final merger 20 YEARS AGO! Once again YEARS & YEARS of superb planning and foresight have come to this crucial juncture! Some may think giving in to the whims of media blown hype may be the prudent move but as a student of history ,it failed Neville Chamberlin miserably!! I realize this is a very dramatic comparison but I meeded an extreme example to emphasize my point! HUMM, “Don’t mess up a good thing”,”If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”!! These old cliche’ remarks haven’t become relevant for no reason! So….”look before ya leap”!!

        • Opps,please excuse my horrid grammer in the last paragraph above! I’m on a “smartphone”and am often hindered by “lite” versions of these sites! I just hope this goes under the right comment!!! LMAO!!

      • Louisville would be a terrible addition….we should get Fla St and Va Tech

    • I would love to see Virginia Tech in the SEC, but they have absolutely no reason to leave the ACC…they are already in a AQ conference, that they usually dominate…and unlike Texas A&M, VaTechs conference is really in no danger of going anywhere, if “super-conferences” to become a reality, then sadly enough, the ACC will be one of them

    • Missouri and Louisville???? REALLY?! Neither of them fit the SEC brand, and they are on the fringes of the SEC “territory.” While It would be good to add new markets, Id much rather see Clemson and FSU, which would both bring good programs with rivals already in the SEC.

      • Back to back CWS NATIONAL CHAMPS S.Carolina WILL “BALK” @ Clem’s son’s entry,pun intended! A team would be insane to share the wealth & status of the SEC!!!! NA GANNA HAPP’N. Plus USC’s athletic dept topped even Vandy in this years GPA average!! Yes ,I was shocked as well but we do have the #1 MIBS program in the NCAA!(Masters in international biz) #10 in the AP this week!!

        People,this is a ploy to undermine the SEC!!! The other conferences are trying ANYTHING to ruin the SEC!! And this is gaining ground and will ruin the SEC!!! Careful what u wish for!!!

    • What shady past? Please elaborate? In the 30 plus years of Coach Bowden there was the “open book test cheating scandal” that cost FSU a handful of scholarships. There was also the shopping spree to Foot Locker after the 1993 national title. I’m not sure the NCAA handed down ANY sanctions for that (non) event. What else? Given the NCAA woes of some other SEC schools (Alabama, Auburn, Florida in the 1980s, Tennessee, etc.) it would seem the Seminoles have been “too clean” to fit in to the SEC.

  • I couldn’t ever cheer for the Criminoles.

  • i think the SEC needs to stay just how it is.

  • Although I agree with most of your argument for FSU, I disagree that bringing in someone like NC State would be a bad idea. It would dilute the conference at first, but programs have grown in the SEC. Being in the SEC can be a grooming process of sorts. Look at both Arkansas and South Carolina. They didn’t really compete well within the SEC for a while. South Carolina won the East last year and is favored this year. Arkansas kicked some butt last year until the bowl game. I think that some teams should be added solely on how great the team is, but I think it helps to add markets with teams that you feel could be groomed. You have Texas A&M, and you want FSU. What about the other two being market and other sport-centered teams like UNC, NC State, Missouri, West Virginia, etc.? I personally think adding UNC and Missouri/NC State would be good ideas for wrapping up basketball along with football. The SEC is on the verge of taking a share of softball dominance. They could be stronger in baseball. The SEC dominates to a degree in gymnastics. What if we also had basketball? Dominating every sport would help the SEC become THE conference no matter what.

  • Florida State is the best football program available? Haha! Back that up, please. Are you not counting all the other programs available? What about Oklahoma? Or Texas for that matter (if they dropped their network)? Far and away better football programs than FSU overall. Even Virginia Tech has been better over the years I believe. West Virginia too.

    Florida State would be fine, but to say they are the best possible football program made me laugh. Check these stats, and let me know if FSU is the “best possible” or if what you meant to say is FSU is the best remaining option in the current SEC states. I sure as heck know that they don’t have the best fanbase available. Clemson might have them beat there.

    Here are the 10 winningest programs in history:
    1. Michigan: 877-304-38
    2. Texas: 845-321-34
    3. Notre Dame: 837-291-42
    4. Nebraska: 827-341-41
    5. Ohio State: 819-308-53
    6. Alabama: 813-316-43
    7. Penn State 812-351-43
    8. Oklahoma: 796-305-53
    9. Tennessee: 783-333-55
    10. USC: 774-307-54

    Top programs since WWII (modern era):
    1. Oklahoma 567
    2. Penn State 532
    3. Texas 531
    4. Nebraska 528
    5. Ohio State 528
    6. Southern Cal 509
    7. Alabama 506
    8. Michigan 505
    9. Tennessee 504
    10. Notre Dame 491

    Top ten from 2000-2009
    1. Boise State: 112-17 (.868)
    2. Texas: 110-19 (.853)
    3. Oklahoma: 110-24 (.821)
    4. Ohio State: 102-25 (.803)
    5. Southern California: 88-26 (.772) (reflects victories lost in the 2004 and 2005 seasons)
    6. Florida: 100-30 (.769)
    7. TCU: 95-29 (.766)
    8. LSU: 99-31 (.762)
    9. Georgia: 98-31 (.760)
    10. Virginia Tech: 99-32 (.756)

    • Interesting—your forgot 1980-2000 when FSU dominated and Bama was average. It goes in cycles. You spout what we call as ‘selective history”. Nice try though–what was the Bama-FSU score in 2007????? Cannot hear you???

    • No what makes me laugh is all you football pro’s forgetting is this is the SOUTHEASTERN Conference. What Makes it the TOP Conference in the Nation is the SOUTH…..Not the Mid west or the West. Adding texas a&m is fine so we can get into their markets and Recruit but FSU is the top football program left in the south not in the SEC. So quit your whining.

    • You lost me when you started out with suggesting Texas may drop their network. Not going to happen. They will go independent before they do that. When you get as big as they are, I would rather be independent anyway. I would have more flexibility in scheduling an appropriate schedule for the strength of my team which would make winning tons of games every year an easier thing. Someone like Texas means big dollars when you play them, so they wouldn’t have too big of a problem coming up with an acceptable schedule every year.

    • Stats aside and all things being equal Fla. St has a very storied past and was a great football team wiyh a great history! And thier program is on the rise again.

      BUT PLEASE WATCH OUT,THE OTHER CONFERENCES ARE DOING ANYTHING THEY CAN TO UNDERMINE OUR TOP CONFERENCE! NO EXPANSION!! NO WAY NO HOW!!! It will only serve to disrupt a smooth ride!!! NO,NO,NO,NO,NO,NO!!!!!!

  • Um, whats your point? Michigan? USC? Boise?

    Best program available means best program AVAILABLE.

    Texas isn’t available. It’s not gonna join the SEC. Penn State? Nebraska? Notre Dame? Are you serious?

    I agree, FSU is the best program available. Not Clemson. Not Virgina Tech. Not NC State. Not Missouri.

  • I dont think we are in a position in the SEC to criticize any other institutions previous or even ongoing transgressions as it relates to “our” interpretation of the rules. Last I checked about half, or more, of the conference is on probation or being investigated so the argument that FSU is too “dirty” for the SEC is an insult to dirt. I think they are just dirty enough to fit in just fine. They do bring a lot to the table in terms of other sports – baseball, basketball, track. But at the end of the day, this is a football decision and a football decision only. They are #5 in the country now and there is little to no reason to think that they arent going to continue to prosper now that the transition to Jimbo is complete.Their addition will also help the entire SEC in recruiting the state of FL because it grows the SEC brand even more, more exposure, more talk, more TV, more radio, etc. Its a no-brainer and their addition should be our last. 14 teams is enough for now.

    • Being in the top confreence only makes them more of a target for NCAA investigations! I firmly believe 95% of tje “top”teams are guilty of some infraction and the rest just didn’t get caught! Sad but True!

  • Florida State is a smart add. I also understand the inclusiveness mentality. However, the SEC is going to have to adapt to the growing conference structure or they are going to lose solid recruits to other conferences. Yes, we are powerful now, but so was the Big XII during the first part of the last decade. They refused to adapt (granted their are many, many other problems) and it is leading to their ultimate demise. The SEC needs to bring in either Florida State or West Virginia both of whom have great records against the SEC. But fans need to understand times are changing, and any program we bring in is going to have at least a few drawbacks, however it is better than the alternative.

  • Oklahoma is headed to the Pac-10 and OK State with them.

    The Big 12 is history, and the ACC is about to follow the Big 12 in the history books.

    Boston College and Maryland should both be Big East schools. BC has not been happy since joining the ACC and rumors are circulating that both schools will be going to the Big East once the dominoes start to fall.

    The SEC will expand to 16 teams and two ACC teams will be joining the SEC. Miami is going to take a vacation from college athletics in the near future. Four schools are already gone from the ACC we just don’t know which four yet. BC, Maryland, and two others. ACC is working to make it more expensive for a team to leave the conference, but it is too late. The Big East will expand to 16 teams and will survive by picking up all the basketball first schools that the football conferences aren’t interested in. The Big East will survive because they don’t have any assets that other conferences really want. Duke, UNC, and Wake will be a package deal.

    The ACC has been in contact with Texas hoping that bringing in Texas can save the conference. Nobody else is desperate enough to want Texas. Texas is caustic. They have single-handedly destroyed a top BSC conference.

    FSU and Clemson are good fits because of geography and rivalry. Schools like Missouri, NC State, & VT just don’t bring in the TV audience. Last year the Iron Bowl was one of the top games in college football (one of the most watched). Even though the state of Alabama is irrelevant in terms of media market share. It has to do with the finished product and the intensity of the game. Quality rivalries sell better and make for a better TV product.

    I expect that the SEC is going to do a combination. They are bringing in T-A&M which is a solid school and in a major market. Games between T-A&M and Arky or LSU will make for strong TV interest and with 25 million people in the state of Texas it is going to generate a good TV audience. They are also going to bring in some schools that will provide for high quality football match ups.

    Whatever happens it is going to be fun to watch.

    • #10 in the AP football poll & back to back CWS CHAMPS ,who won the exciting all SEC CWS !! Plus topped Vandy in the athletic GPA averages this year will do everything in its power to keep the awesome SEC TV revenue and stature AWAY from clem’s son (Formally Clem’s som A&M) And was only granted University status in the early to mid 60’s when they finally allowed minorities! They were forced to of they were to gain university status and all the perks that comes with it!! Sad but true!

    • You have to be a fool to think that the ACC is going to implode. You really think that the ACC will implode with the basketball and football tv revenue that the conference generates? I don’t think so. Last time I checked no one in the nation can match the money that UNC and Duke generate in basketball.

      “Boston College and Maryland should both be Big East schools. BC has not been happy since joining the ACC and rumors are circulating that both schools will be going to the Big East once the dominoes start to fall.”

      Maryland is going no where, BC, don’t really care what they do. All of you SEC pundits who think that NC State is trying to join the conference have to remember that to do this they must go in front of the NC Board of Governors and guess what NC State belongs to the UNC System.

      • No, you don’t have to be a fool to think the ACC is going to fall apart.

        ACC is making an move to raise the exit fees for team that want to leave (wonder why?)
        ACC has contacted Texas about joining. Trying to be proactive.
        FSU is formally putting a committee together to explore conference realignment. Trying to be proactive.
        BC is not happy in the ACC. Their traditional rivals are all Big East Teams.
        Maryland has been an ACC member since the 50’s, WVU (BIG EAST) and UV are their two biggest rivals. When the ACC starts to fall apart Maryland will join the Big East where it is culturally and geographically a better fit.

        The SEC is going to take teams from the ACC when it expands. If they go to 16 teams they could take up to 3 teams from the ACC, and yes there are 3 teams in the ACC that would jump at the chance to join the SEC. Who will those team be?

        The rumored sticking point last year that kept Texas and Oklahoma out of the PAC-12 was that the PAC-12 wanted to organize into East and West and put Texas and Oklahoma in the same division. Texas and Oklahoma don’t want to be in the same division, and Texas wanted more money. Oklahoma stayed with Texas, and now they are having second thoughts.

        NC State is a name that has come up in the past. I think NC State approached the SEC. If NC State wanted to join the SEC they would have the same obstacles as Texas A&M. NC State is part of the same system as UNC, but that does not mean they have to be in the same athletic conference. There are a lot of schools that are part of the same college system, and more often than not they are in different athletic conferences. I have no idea if NC State will be the next SEC school or not. I was told by someone who I respect and trust on the subject to keep an eye on NC State as this unfolds.

        Duke & UNC do generate a huge amount of money from basketball. They could both go independent or they could join the other basketball conference in the county. The Big East is a good fit for Duke and UNC. Duke and UNC could both actually be competitive in Big East football and the value of the basketball TV contract for a Big East with Duke and UNC would be huge.

        The ACC’s problem is that they have 4 really strong basketball schools and 4 decent football schools. The ACC is a cultural and geographical Frankenstein.

        The Big East has 16 team in basketball (includes Notre Dame), but only 8 football programs. Add BC, Maryland, Duke, UNC, Wake, Virginia, and Va. Tech and you have a 16 team super conference in football, and a basketball conference that is worth a lot of money. If the super conferences do align, then it is easy to see Notre Dame playing in the Big East. They already play basketball as a Big East member.

  • I do agree that we need another add in the next year or so to bring balance to the east and west divisions. And I believe I speak for a large majority of SEC fanatics when I say, I would hate to see us dilute the conference with a school with a weak football program. I’ll stick to Football as it is our main course of entertainment and it’s the only program that pays the bills. Baseball and Basketball are great but those programs will grow regardless of inter-conference competition and they may break even in good years.
    I would expect that FSU wants to stay in the ACC because they have a cake walk into BCS bowl games atleast when compared with the SEC schools. Their being allowed to fight way below their weight class. I think they would be a good add as their program is significant and has a competitive tradition, regardless of anyone’s perception of the school’s personality. On the other hand, Vandy simply doesn’t belong in the SEC and they’ve never been able to compete. When was their last winning season? Being in the SEC isn’t really fair to them. Pretty sure they are the only private school in the SEC. Besides, what recruit wants to play for a school that wins 2 games a year? Although it’s not likely, the ideal situation for sports fans would be for FSU & Vandy schools to simply trade places. However, that would still leave the SEC one school short of divisional balance…
    On previous comments: Can’t say that I agree on Mizzou or WV as members of the SEC. But, I guess the NC schools fit geographically. Of the two NC schools, it seems that NC State has been the most competitive, atleast in football. So, if FSU and Vandy traded places, I guess I’d pull for NC State as the next add but only to bring balance to the conference divisions. I think that we eventually do need 14 total members and that means 7 in each division. Once we are there, I say leave it alone!

    • You can’t get rid of Vandy. Every conference needs a private nerd to make them seem like they care about academics. You said the reason they are kept without realizing it. No one cares about their football abilities other than their students. They are strictly an academic commodity.

      • Actually Vandy can rise up on “Any Give’n Saturday” and play ANY SEC school tight! Of course they are considered the doormat of the SEC,but if they would get a decent sized stadium it may inspire some of thier players!! They could make some bank with a larger stadium when BAMA,UT,LSU,FLA,USC&UGA COME CALLIN! Plus, S.Carolina actually had the highest GPA,in SEC ATHLETICS/FOOTBALL!! Believe it or not,I was a bit shocked ! LOL!

  • Clemson would also be a good candidate, maybe even better than NC State.

  • Why automatically assume that we have to grab the extra team from the east? Why not grab Oklahoma? That would surely fit the profile. I think Oklahoma and A&M adds great quality and new markets. There may be a little realignment that needs to take place but there will need to be realignments when we add team 15 and team 16 to the SEC. This may actually force Florida State into joining later as the 15th or 16th. Meanwhile we pick up a consistent top 10 team in Oklahoma.

    • I agree. I would also like to have Oklahoma. But I don’t think they will leave without OSU. They have also reportedly been in talks with the Pac-12 the past few days.

      • OU & OSU are a package deal and the SEC and already told them no. I think the SEC would take OU alone. There are only 3.6 million people in the state. OU is the only real school of value. They are PAC-12 bound.

        The only really interesting thing now is what happens to Texas. How desperate is Texas and how desperate is the ACC.

    • Ask Auburn fans whether they want to go to LSU every other year. I think some people would be mad if you do realignment. Honestly, I think the ones that would be most ok would be Alabama. They could keep an agreement with Auburn to play every year and would gain Tennessee every season in a division that would be a cakewalk compared to the west. That’s just my opinion though.

  • No. No 13th team. No 14th team. No expansion.

    • Kudos!! As charter members ,contrary to the media’s attempt to proselytize the fan bases of our beloved SEC ,expansion WILL ADVERSELY affect our recruiting and simply water down our talent pool and recruiting grounds! My god ,we have twelve teams and of course our string of BCS Champions will end for a year but we will come right back! And lets not forget our national pastime, The gamecocks just garnered the SEC Back to Back CWS CHAMPIONSHIPS in what was the most exciting baseball i’ve seen in YEARS!! Back to Back innings with DBL plays starting at home or the catcher throwing out a base stealer at 2nd! It was enough to bring in scores of new baseball fans as we played Flordia for an all SEC CWS!!! The SEC can and will thrive & expand …but without bringing in teams!!! GO SEC!!!

  • Good article with very good points. I don’t think a lot of the people responding even read the article, they just read the title and the first paragraph…

  • Great article and great points with two exceptions: 1. Tallahassee reminds you of Detroit??? Really? And what, downtown Gainesville is a thriving city like Atlanta? 2. FSU Ladies are far superior then the boys school, not only in numbers but in quality. With that said, you wrote a great article and if the SEC dodges FSU again, at the nod of UF, we hope that we drop the reptile form our schedule and pick up Alabama for the next 30 years. UF can keep their other big rival games: Tennessee: last 20 years UF lost may two games; UGA: UF lost maybe 5 times to them in past 25 years; USC: two losses since they joined and at the hands of the old ball coach. However, UF will always have Miami, urrrrrr…..I mean FIU or FAU.

  • What if the SEC adds Texas A&M and Oklahoma. Then we may also have to take OK State as a package deal in order to acquire OK. If Texas joins the ACC, that will free up FSU to join the SEC. Then Alabama and Auburn could move to the SEC East to keep the conference balanced. In my opinion, Slive is wanting to add higher rated quality teams to the conference instead of adding lower ranked teams just for the numbers.

    • That is an interesting conference. Keep Auburn and LSU playing every year, and I’m liking the idea.

      • You gentlemen are falling for the big carpet being pulled out from under you!! Take a step back and just think about where all this began!! The old Pac-10 started this process with it’s ultimate objective to undermin the mighty and powerful SEC!! Think about it USC was buying Reggie Bush and who knows what else they did beside slither in and steal the young and arrogant Lane Kiffin! Just before he could seal his recruits,many left and follow his trail of BS to So. Cal! The fact is these underhanded outside influences are trying thier best to undermine and cause bitter infighting which goes aginst everything the SEC family stands for!! We are a family of the best schools in the NCAA! We just signed a multi-Billion TV deal with CBS/ESPN and did it with 12 teams ! And the 12 split the booty!! Plus S.Carolina just garnered back to back CWS CHAMPIONSHIPS!! Last year was an all SEC CWS wit Florida!! We are just FINE!!!

  • The SEC doesnt need another heavyweight program. It has enough of them already. The league is strong, but it’s too strong really. Too many excellent teams and enough great match-ups to sustain itself for a generation. No the SEC needs to address another issue. It needs a solid citizen of a school. One that won’t embarass it with a scandal. One that has a strong academic reputation. A school that is perceived as an “easy” win. One that plays in an attractive locale to visit that has some upside potential when given SEC $$$ plus a little history with current SEC members. It needs Tulane. Don’t laugh ! The SEC can afford to add Tulane and would look good doing so. Another Vandy but with more potential. Tulane could be Ole Miss, occasionally good, good enough to be competitive and throw a scare into teams from time to time but certainly beatable.

  • I agree that FSU is a good, solid football program. However, they just don’t add to the monetary and quality for the SEC. I think that is what should be balanced here. One cannot come without the other. Yes FL, Bama, Aubrun has been competing with FSU for recruits for years, but if FSU were to come to the SEC… FSU would be able to add one more thing to offer its recruits…. SEC schedule and notoriety.
    I personally think that IF the SEC is looking to expand (and i abhore i idea of going outside the SEC territories) then I say lets go for Oklahoma and OSU. Two good football programs that bring strength and quality to the SEC AND a market that the SEC isn’t tapped into.

    • Every school in the SEC dips into the SEC talent pool , I know you can add UGA & USC even Vandy & KU,ARK! Then again Fla teams poach Georgia and S.Carolina recruits! Bama pulled out the stops to shoot for Clowney! So it’the Southeast that is rich in major talented recruits!! Though we keep our eyes open in all states!! USC reeled in an olympic ,world class track star who also play football,Damiere Byrd who runs a sub 4.3 !! Keep em in the SEC family and keep the family at 12 teams!!!!! I cannot stress this point enough as it is CRUCIAL AT THIS JUNCTURE!!! WAKE UP AND DO NOT BE PROSELYTIZED BY OUTSIDE INFLUENCES WHO ARE TRYING ANYTHING TO LOWER THE SEC’s STANDARDS!!! If it ain’t broke ,DON’T FIX IT!!!!!!!

      • As much as I liked to keep the SEC the way it is (and believe me I would) the landscape of NCAA football IS changing. Either you can wake up and change with it… or the SEC can get left behind. I’ve a feeling Mike Slive won’t let that happen.

  • You’re being proselytized by the other conferences who have no answer for us(THE SEC)! I find it funny how every team in the world wants in yet eww if we don’t expand it’d fire & brimstone!!! Looks like the other BCS CONF’s are gonna win :-( gonna spell the end of the SEC! Unless we wake up n smell the coffee!!

  • Your comments regarding TV markets are not taking the whole picture “pardon the pun” into play. Yes clearly while “Starkville and Oxford, Mississippi? Auburn and Tuscaloosa, Alabama? Gainesville, Florida? Columbia, South Carolina?” are not major TV markets they represent major TV markets. Meaning “LSU” – 85% of the state follows this one major state school. Ole Miss & Miss St. – 95% of the TV market in Miss. follow those schools, Auburn & Bama – again 95% of the TV market in Ala follow those schools, Vandy & Tenn – 85% of the TV market in Tenn follows those schools and you can say the same for Ark. Where as Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida don’t have those monopoly’s for the most part, but obviously those respective state schools have huge followings in there states so even though the city there are located in is not a big TV market, the state is for the most part which is thought of as a TV market in whole. So having a huge TV following is important to the networks, I should know that is my job. Texas A&M has a huge TV following in Texas and that is what probably is appealing to the SEC along with the obvious benefits of recruiting in Texas.

    But Mark Cuban’s comments are correct in that premier match-ups is what gets the network exec’s all steamy to spend money. And what match-up with ANY team in the SEC is there to get all steamy about with the likes of “Missouri, West Virginia, Va Tech, Maryland, N.C. State etc……” let’s face it you don’t get hot and bothered for any match-up with any current SEC school. But with Florida State you will have annual match-ups with Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and possibly Bama and throw in the annual non-conf game against Miami. The Southeast region will tune in for those games along with the national TV audience.

    What I am saying is without a doubt Mark Cuban is right when he states the reason the SEC is so high on everyone’s radar is the QUALITY of the product and not just the TV markets they are in. And the SEC should look at the Quality of the program they add as the 14th member to keep the product they are putting on the field as the best in the country. If they put the best product on the field then the national TV audience will follow and that is where they will turn that audience into revenue for the conference.

    You are correct Kevin of the options Florida State seems to be HEAD & SHOULDERS above everyone else as the college program to try and get to be the 14th member of the SEC being that Oklahoma & Texas are out of the equation it looks like.

  • Florida State brings a national brand and TV draw to the SEC. It’s an A List program and a natural choice. There’s nothing else out there that really competes with Florida State as an addition that would generate buzz.

    But would the Seminoles join? The ACC is now a league that now incorporates major urban centre on the Atlantic coast. That translates into a lot of cable TV and internet broadcast subscription dollars. The ACC could be a very lucrative league for its members over the next 50 years.

    But, as the article suggests, markets aren’t everything. Having headliners will do a lot of things for you. Florida State is a headliner. Put Florida State against any SEC team and you have a game people around the country will watch.

    I don’t know how the media revenue numbers crunch, but football fans everywhere can see that Florida State and the SEC make an exciting fit for each other. With the SEC needing a #14, the two should definitely be talking to each other. I hope they are.