here's one i hate to bring up. it borders on red state/blue state insanity and i don't want to get into an insulting, conceited and smug one-upsmanship.
that said, there is certainly a perception that the SEC feels the way that Gunner describes. The universities, of course, take themselves seriously, but they see SEC membership about sports and athletics only and could well live without Vandy.
but look at the Big Ten. There is no way that it would take a 12th member in that would not be a good academic fit as well as athletic. In fact, the Big Ten, as a conference, often stresses academics over athletics and makes no bones about the fact that it would accept a lower return for sports to keep integrity and academic image high.
Two conferences, each with all public universities (except for one in each)...yet the philosophy is so different.
I can't help but feel some of the philosophy behind this is part of the divide we have in our country today.
I'm sorry; that may sound smug on my part and probably is, but I do believe the record is in place for both the B10 and SEC
The Big10 academic consortium is recognized. However, to suggest the Big10 is mostly about academics over athletics, there are other opinions.
The Big10 schools pump a lot of money into fb et. al. Compare the expenditures, that's the bottom line in measuring values in this. Certainly, Ohio State in the last few years has embarked on some questionable fb activities that challenges the notion that academics trumps athletics in the quest to find that edge.