2. SEC expands further by raiding the ACC
- Florida State, Clemson, Virginia Tech and a North Carolina school join SEC
- League moves to four divisions with five teams
- Vols in a league with Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Virginia Tech and North Carolina school
Okay, now we’ve gotten crazy, but this seems to be a serious thought. If it does end up happening, Tennessee football will be in by far the best situation of any of the schools in the SEC that come with the expectations the Vols have. Imagine what we just said but instead of four teams to a division, it’s five teams with four new ACC schools added.
Take it with a grain of salt, but shortly after this expansion talk started, there was a tweet from Jack McGuire of of Barstool Sports that the SEC was in serious talks with the Clemson Tigers, Florida State Seminoles, Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines to join. That would clearly mean they want 20 teams.
If this were to happen, Clemson and FSU would likely take it seriously despite FSU’s rejection in 1992. Michigan and Ohio State would likely stay in the Big Ten, though. They have too many benefits there. Should Clemson and FSU join while Michigan and OSU don’t then the SEC has to look elsewhere to expand.
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Although TV markets are overrated at that point, they would still likely want one school in the North Carolina market, either the N.C. State Wolfpack or North Carolina Tar Heels. Then the Virginia Tech Hokies, a brand on their own, would be added. N.C. State would get the call as UNC’s fate is tied to the Duke Blue Devils, and Duke and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons are too small.
All of a sudden, the SEC has a clean setup for five teams each to four divisions, and UT would get the easiest draw. The original SWC and Big Eight schools would be in one divisions in the Texas Longhorns, Texas A&M Aggies, Missouri Tigers, Arkansas Razorbacks and Oklahoma Sooners.
Meanwhile, the charter members from the West would be in a division in the LSU Tigers, Ole Miss Rebels, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers. Finally, the southern Atlantic schools would make for a brutal division in the Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs and South Carolina Gamecocks to go with FSU and Clemson.
That leaves the Vols to be in a division with Virginia Tech, N.C. State, the Vanderbilt Commodores and Kentucky Wildcats. They’d once again be grouped in with Vandy and Kentucky, and with so many teams, they can only play the powerhouse teams from other divisions so many times.
Taking all that into account, Tennessee football’s schedule would be a massive advantage relative to the SEC. The Vols would add a natural rival in Virginia Tech, one that would be legendary for all fans involved. Everybody should root for this on Rocky Top. It’d rock the landscape of the sport, but it’d be an easy path to a division title every year.