Sunday, October 23, 2011

Word from St. Louis: Missouri coming to the SEC East

The latest this morning from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the westward expansion of the SEC as a done deal. Except, Missouri, the conference's new northwestern front, will compete in the SEC East.

That would keep many of the existing rivalries as they are, and Alabama avoids choosing between Tennessee and Auburn for their rivalry game out of the Eastern Division.

One of the most geo-sensible solutions to the addition of Mizzou would have sent the new Tigers to the West and Auburn to the East. But under the current conference rules, a team can keep one team from the other division as a rivalry game. To wit, Auburn and Georgia; LSU and Florida; Alabama and Tennessee. Had Auburn moved east, Alabama most certainly would have kept the Iron Bowl on the schedule, but would have presumably lost its annual "Third Saturday in October" collision with the Vols. And given how bitter the Iron Bowl has become, a surprising number of Alabama fans say they would have been willing to chuck that game for Tennessee. Now they apparently will not have to choose.

Under the current model, Missouri's rival from the West would appear to be Arkansas or Texas A&M, the conference's other recent addition.



EatEmAndSmile said...

I am really hoping this deal doesn't go down. Is this is really the best the SEC can do? For all of the right moves the SEC has made over the years, they are fixing to to make an ACC like mistake. Thanks Slive for diluting the SEC football brand.

My points are
1) MU is not a cultural fit for the SEC

2) The "big TV markets of KC & St. Louis are pro sports cities and are not focused on college sports

3) Have you seen MU's record this year in the Big 12? JC!

4) MU is more of a basketball school and they add nothing, other than a 14th member, to the SEC football experience.

As an Arkansas fan, I do NOT want MU as our permanent east rival. What a boor of a game.

Anonymous said...

Not a huge fan of Mizzou joining the conference. Would have preferred one of the ACC schools (NC State, GA Tech, Clemson) which seem to be a better "fit". But if they are coming I can understand the EAST designation. The better academic schools in that conference are in the EAST also - certainly not happening on the field for the EAST this year.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Mizzou grad...and, while the SEC is the best conference out there, the Tigers will really struggle to win consistently in football. And yes...St. Louis and KC are BIG pro sports markets.

Anonymous said...

I have a much, much, MUCH better idea:

Put both Auburn and 'Bama in the East, and move Vandy to the West.

This places the 6 schools that are the most western- and eastern-longitude lines in the correct divisions, and just switches 'Bama and Vandy (who are only about 5 longitude lines difference to begin with). This keeps more of the most storied traditional rivalries alive (the way 'Bama fans feel about the Tennessee game is roughly equal to how Auburn fans feel about the UGA game). Vandy & Tennessee, now in separate divisions, could continue their game. Games like the Egg Bowl, the Cocktail Party, LSU-Ar-Kansas, the Iron Bowl, and 'Bama-Tennessee and Auburn-UGA would all still be able to be held every year. Auburn's permanent West rival would probably be Misipi State, since they have that second week of the season tradition going. Mizzu and A&M would be natural rivals since they have played most years already.

Of course I'm speaking purely from an Auburn perspective. To us, the Iron Bowl and the UGA game are the 2 biggest games, by a long shot. The Misipi St game is a very distant third. There is no game against a West team we can't live without except 'Bama.

So I say put Mizzu and Vandy in the West, and move 'Bama and Auburn to the East.

Anonymous said...

J, that is a great idea. Mizzou does not fit into the East. Vandy can go either way. Plus I think it makes both sides more balanced in not only football, but in basketball and baseball.

Bud said...

As a geographer I am appalled that U of Missouri would wind up in the SEC East. It is west of the Mississippi River for Pete's sake! This could only make sense in a world where the Big Ten has 12 teams and the Big Twelve has 10 teams (and well on it's way to 8). Maybe we could change the SEC EAST and SEC WEST into some kind of acronyms. Any suggestions would be welcome.

MichaelProcton said...

If the Big Ten gets the Leaders and Legends, how about the Toothless and Unwashed for the SEC? Pregnant and Unwed?