MSU doesn't draw a whole lot of fans. You have one of the smallest stadiums in the SEC right now. Compared to my team, UGa, you are a shrimp!! Ole Miss reminds me of UNC football. They're a little more into football than basketball over at Oxford, but it's a close call.
BTW, Nole fan doesn't like Auburn too much at all, and I know that because both he and I have been on this forum for awhile now.
OK D&D, I will not be brash this time (lol). Let's deal with the State of Mississippi. Yes, you are right in that MSU's stadium is smaller by much of the SEC standards. Scott Field, was recently expanded to 52,000; still smaller than the 80,000 plus of UGA. Scott Field was one time considered one of the outstanding stadiums, not because of the seating capacity, but due to its undeground irrigation system. Like UGA, it is right on campus. Ole Miss expanded to 60,000 capacity recently as well. Southern Miss stadium is even smaller than the other two, though upgraded as well.
True, MSU does not have the yester-year glory days of Archie Manning and coach Johnny Vaught. However, MSU is the largest University in Mississippi, slightly bigger than USM, and both larger than Ole Miss. (All Mississippi universities are under 18,000 or so students; but that is reaonable for the dymanics of the State). State is land grant, with programs in agriculture, engineering, education, etc. (much like Auburn, Clemson, TA&M, Purdue--though not as lofty, etc.)
Ole Miss is the notable liberal arts institution, and has the medical and legal professional schools. With the state legislature full of lawyers, guess who has edge in influence?
Southern Miss scares both! They are growing, and located in the somewhat more cosmopolitan section of the state. They have had a very progressive President.
Though the public schools (K-12) are dismal, as with much of elsewhere, the State of Mississippi does have a decent model of higher education, considering their resources, and has better undergraduate academic programs than what their public image suggests.
Mississippi State does not have the oppportunities and ease that exist at places like UGA. The campus is in a rural location, nearly borders the State of Alabama, and 'Bama is just down the road. While Mississippi has some prime indiviuals to recruit, their numbers are not excessive (unlike Florida). They have to recruit against Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, So. Miss, Memphis, LSU and others, in a very narrow base. While they have struggled in football, their men's and women's basketball have been excellent recently, and their baseball program is solid, year after year. MSU is not going to be a sustained power in football, but every four or five years, they will come up with competitive teams that may hang in there for a year or two.
I would not like to see the SEC add Texas or A&M unless there was room. Same with Va Tech (and it would be strategically nice to have them). If Vandy, or MSU, or Arkansas, or South Carolina, left; I would hope it would be by the school's choice; unlike the Temple situation. Stability is important, and schools should not function as if they are about to get booted by their peers; that only encourages cheating and lowering academic standards more. Where would So. Car, MSU, Vandy go? Create another Metro conference? All this to have the longhorns and a fat name?
Each of us could take powers, in or near SEC territory, and boot members and add others to make a more aggressive football league (other than Texas/A&M schools, Miami, FSU, Va Tech---even Southern Miss---could beat much of the SEC frequently). However, there is merit in geographic tightness, neighborhood rivalries,
some interconference overlap, etc.
If the mega conference initiatives are not in perspective, where does it stop? Just go ahead and have a super conference of Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Miami, Oklahoma, Michigan,.....and so forth. Yet, there would be constant debate about booting and adding members of this.