The SEC blogs on the Fansided network are doing a roundtable to discuss different issues in the conference. The first question in the series is in regard to the obvious hotbed issue of conference expansion and the addition of Texas A&M and Mizzou.
Do you think the addition of Texas A&M and Missouri will change the way people look at SEC basketball?
All For Tennessee: I think Missouri will be a competitively top-tier team in basketball. This is a team that’s had to consistently compete with Kansas in its old conference, so I think they will come in at a different level than most of the SEC. They will lose some players from this year’s squad, however, so next year may be a little more of a struggle and a time to adjust to the new landscape of the SEC.
Ole Hotty Toddy: I believe that Missouri will bring in a bigger crowd of fans to the SEC, as their basketball team is pretty good right now. This may change as they lose some key players next year, but I think the addition will be valued in the coming years. The same goes for Texas A&M; once they get established in the coming years I believe the SEC will welcome them and will help the basketball outlook in the SEC. Kentucky will still be a top team and get the top prospects in my mind, but the additions certainly don’t hurt.
Zoulogy: I don’t really think so, because perceptions take a while to change. Missouri has a really good basketball team this year, and A&M has a pretty good team, but I think it will still be at least another year or two before people recognize that SEC basketball is better now. If – and this is a huge if – Missouri goes all the way to the Championship and wins, then all bets go out the window because the media will hype that up massively. But I ultimately expect this basketball team’s lack of size and depth to catch up to it eventually in tournament play and finish in the Elite Eight.
BamaHammer: Adding Texas A&M and Missouri will only help SEC basketball, probably even more than football, in that it will lend depth and recruiting base to the existing schools. Missouri is a perennial force in national basketball circles, too, so their addition will lend validity to the league when folks try to bash a .500 conference record as it relates to tournament berths.
Hail Florida Hail: Do people look down on SEC basketball? I’d say without the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M it’s far from a bad conference. You have Kentucky’s history and a Florida program that won back-to-back titles not that long ago. That’s not even mentioning 10 other programs. It’s not the ACC or Big East, but I’m not sure people turn their nose down at the SEC either. That said, the Tigers and Aggies only make the conference better. Both have solid histories, and while they aren’t on the level of a Duke or a North Carolina, they’re still good additions. It improves the SEC in basketball, but it’s still a football conference.
Thanks to all the sites that participated. Got questions for the Round Table? E-mail them to [email protected]