How many SEC football programs are enough? According to SEC Commissioner, Greg Sankey, the SEC is in no hurry to answer the question. A common presumption is that more is better than less. But more is different from unlimited.
At some point in future growth, there could be too many SEC football teams. Greg Sankey is in no hurry to define what number might be too many.
As college football approaches a Power Four and some wannabe conferences, there are some who believe in a few years the ‘Four’ will become the Power Three, and possibly even the Power Two.
There are multiple reasons why the SEC can afford to be patient. At the same time, patience does not mean being complacent.
A few days ago, the best description of the current realignment situation came from Blake Toppmeyer,
"… don’t assume the SEC itches to sprint toward additional expansion, even as the Pac-12 wobbles, the ACC squabbles and the Big 12 tries to gobble."
Toppmeyer is spot on, but what about the Big Ten? Does a gobbling Big 12, expected to add Arizona and Colorado, concern the B1G? There is recent speculation the Big Ten is still considering adding Washington and Oregon and possibly Cal and Stanford. In the not-distant future, the Pac-12’s foundation will do more than crack. It will crumble. The Huskies and the Ducks will be too attractive for the Big Ten to not swoop in.
If or when the Big Ten moves to 18-20 teams, will the SEC be forced to respond? Speaking to that issue, Greg Sankey told Blake Toppmeyer,
"Why would we be concerned about that? We’re not playing catchup to anyone. … We’re not going to make decisions based just on somebody else’s actions."
SEC Football Expansion Perspective
Sankey’s perspective is sound. Even with a Big Ten of 20 teams (or more), the SEC will continue to have more ‘Big Dog’ programs than any other conference. And if the SEC is unconcerned about what the B1G does, it certainly is even more unconcerned about what happens in Big 12 growth.
A future SEC may include another Texas team or another Oklahoma one, but two to four of the ACC’s teams are the best future fits with the SEC. A lengthy ‘Grant of Rights’ stalemate is holding the ACC together. At some point, that obstacle will cease to be insurmountable, perhaps leading to more than half of the ACC making moves to the Big Ten or the SEC.