Another round of possible realignment has been hanging over spring conference meetings this year.
After growing from 12 to 14 teams, some in the Southeastern Conference may not have the stomach to go through another round of expansion after just taking on Texas A&M and Missouri.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt see any reason to expand right now,‚Äù Florida president Bernie Machen said. ‚ÄúI think we‚Äôve got some digestion issues going from 12 to 14. … We‚Äôre negotiating with CBS to expand from 12 to 14. There just doesn‚Äôt seem to be any logistical reason to expand right now. We want to see how 14 works.‚Äù
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity for one isn‚Äôt yearning for adding even more teams.
The SEC has just settled on the scheduling format for the next few years for football and basketball.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs been a topic at every meeting, whether it‚Äôs schedules or finances or travel,‚Äù McGarity said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs just adding so much. We‚Äôre just hoping it settles for a few years, but who knows? Nobody really knows what the landscape is, but at least there‚Äôs some closure now to what‚Äôs happening.‚Äù
They will be celebrating Texas A&M and Missouri joining the SEC at the JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead on Wednesday night.
SEC commissioner Mike Slive, Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin and football coach Kevin Sumlin, Missouri chancellor Brady J. Deaton and football coach Gary Pinkel are scheduled to attend the informational and outreach event. Several hundred alumni from both schools are expected. All SEC alumni groups were invited to attend.
Machen doesn‚Äôt think realignment will be resolved until the future BCS postseason format is settled.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre coming up sort of a major fork in the road with BCS in 2014,‚Äù Machen said. ‚ÄúHow that plays out will either drive or cause a reaction to the realignment issue. I think it‚Äôs going to take another year or so before that gets sorted out.‚Äù
The SEC‚Äôs position is it isn‚Äôt in an ‚Äúexpansionist mode,‚Äù in the words of Slive. Then again, the league wasn‚Äôt in an expansionist mode until Texas A&M and Missouri expressed interest, Slive said.
‚ÄúI was comfortable at 12,‚Äù Slive said.
The SEC expanded anyway.
‚ÄúIf the whole world turned upside down tomorrow, we‚Äôd probably get back in that mode,‚Äù Machen said, ‚Äúbut we think it‚Äôs pretty calm right now as far as where we are.‚Äù
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