SEC Plans to Remain at 13, Eyes Still on Missouri
It appears that the SEC will remain at 13 for the time being. That said, all eyes are still on Missouri, who is believed to be the leading candidate for a #14 spot.
WVU to SEC Rumors:
If reports were confirmed, it appears that the new SEC membership of 13 could be adding it’s 14th member earlier than expected. If debunked, we’ll still be playing the waiting game as based on comments from the SEC last night with the TAMU addition, the conference seems content at 13.
Missouri had been the primary target by the SEC for the #14 spot. However, with the Big 12 rediscovery of “unity” (seems to be an annual event), Missouri has had more pressure to remain in the Big 12. Additional legal threats by Big 12 schools towards the SEC have caused Missouri to be a difficult expansion target for the SEC since the onset.
With the SEC seeming to have a “gentleman’s agreement” in which it would not add a 14th school coming from an existing SEC state…and with the ACC’s unity via expansion and an increased exit fee…the SEC candidate pool became much smaller. Powers like Florida St. and Virginia Tech were off the radar, as were Clemson. Oklahoma was a top target last year, but their requirement of Oklahoma St. coming with them makes them a less attractive option as it means expanding to 15 or 16. And Big 12 schools in general remained longshots due to the threat of lawsuits. That left on schools like WVU, Rutgers, Cincinnati in the candidate pool…with WVU seemingly the pick.
The addition of WVU to the SEC would leave the Big East with 6 members.
Additional rumors today claim that Louisville has an invitation to the Big 12, which they would likely accept.
If the Big East were to lose both schools, the conference would be down to 5 members, with Uconn lobbying hard to join the ACC.
The ACC meanwhile, has been working on adding Notre Dame with Uconn likely in tow. There is still a chance though that if Notre Dame officially declines the ACC, that Rutgers and Uconn could be brought in instead.
Such a worst-case-scenario would leave the Big East with only 3 members: USF, Cincinnati and TCU.
TCU is expected to remain in the Mountain West in the event that the Big East lost any of the 7 current members.
The most likely path in this event would be the Big East working with CUSA for that conference to add Cincinnati and USF.
And with the proposed CUSA/MWC football merger in the works, the 14 school CUSA and then 11 school MWC would work as a single football entity.