So I've heard several candidates come up in the discussion surrounding the SEC's possible expansion. Perhaps we could lure UT-West and TAMU, or the Oklahoma schools. Destroy the ACC by inviting Virginia, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State and/or Miami. Then there are the border schools; I've heard Missouri, various North Carolina schools, and even Maryland or West Virginia. But what about Cincinnati? Louisville? East Carolina? Carson-Newman? I've prepared some packages for addition to the SEC, with possible divisional alignments, just for kicks and giggles.
1. Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State
This is the endgame scenario for college football. Any team making it out of this conference with 1 loss or less would destroy any team in the country, period. We could move the Alabama schools to the East and the 4 noobs to the West to set up two 8 team divisions; setting up four 4-team divisions is also a possibility, along with a North-South Divisional split. Not going to happen, but just imagine it for a second.
2. Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, Florida State
This mixes the monetary and geographical reasons for expansion. Texas A&M gets out from under UTA, and improves its recruiting chances. Cincinnati doesn't add much to athletics other than recent football success, but who knows? Florida State is a great fit, but they did turn down the SEC last time.
3. Georgia Tech, Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Virginia Tech (minus Arkansas)
So if the Big 12 stays together by snatching Arkansas and Utah, then the SEC would have the option of adding 5 teams. This group would destroy the ACC as we know it, more than likely forcing it to join with the Big East. All five are competitive in football, and the basketball and baseball programs aren't bad, either. The divisional situation is a little odd, but try this: South: UF, FSU, UM, LSU; East: UGA, GT, USC, CU; North: UT, UK, VT, VU: West: UA, AU, MS, OM. This is probably the second strongest possibility, but we all know that expan$ion i$ driven by $something el$e.
4. Louisville, UNC, Duke, West Virginia
Football-wise, this doesn't impress. But for Basketball? Wow. This would put an end to the idea of the SEC as just a football conference. UNC hasn't been awful under Butch Davis, Louisville is rebuilding under Charlie Strong, good ol' Cutty is toiling away in Durham, and Stewart hasn't completely messed up West Virginia yet. Again, not likely, but imagine the conference basketball tournament.
So there's four possible scenarios, and I have a fifth, but it's so off-the-wall that I don't see it happening ever. Divide the country into 6 20-team conferences, each with 4 5-team divisions. The division winners play a 4-team playoff for an auto bid to the tournament. After the 6 champs have been seeded, the teams with the next 10 best records would get in. Regular season schedules would consist of the four divisional opponents, two teams from each of the other three divisions within the conference (home-away), and one or two out-of-conference games. Teams that don't make the playoffs would be allowed to schedule exhibition (bowl) games.
Anyways, I obviously have an over-active imagination and way too much time on my hands, but what do you think?