August 15th, 2011 – By Bryan Cross
All reports pointed toward expansion in the Southeastern Conference leading into this past weekend, with Texas A&M joining up.
But those reports apparently failed to consider the fact that the SEC had yet to meet, and officially invite the Aggies.
As of Sunday, the SEC announced that they have no immediate plans to expand beyond the 12 current schools that make up the conference, keeping the East and West divisions the same for the time being.
However, the conference left open the possibility to expand in the future.
“We recognize, however, that future conditions may make it advantageous to expand the number of institutions in the league,” Florida President Bernie Machen stated. “We discussed criteria and process associated with expansion. No action was taken with respect to any institution including Texas A&M.”
This comes at a time that other conferences have made moves to realign and form new divisions.
Most notably, the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences will look a lot different for the upcoming College Football Season after expanding.
The former Pac-10 added Utah and Colorado to the conference, to form a North and South division, as well as adding a championship game.
The same goes for the Big Ten, who brought in Nebraska. With the addition of the Cornhuskers, the Legends and Leaders divisions were formed, and like the Pac 12, the Big Ten will also feature a championship game at the end of the season.
But with Colorado and Nebraska jumping ship in the Big XII conference, there was a potential report that the conference on the whole could disband.
But Texas and Oklahoma, who were both courted by the SEC, remained loyal to the Big XII.
At least for now.
“(Texas A&M) did approach the SEC, not the other way around,” remarked Arkansas chancellor Dave Gearhart said. “I’m not really sure of all the reasons for that. I’m sure that there’s a lot of speculation on behalf of a lot of people that what caused them to do that. The bottom line is they did approach the SEC.”
The discussions as far as expansion will like calm down for the upcoming season, with the SEC having won the last five BCS Championship games.
College Football Betting Lines have set a number of teams in the SEC as potential championship candidates on online sportsbooks.