The last wave of conference expansion, primarily motivated by sheer greed, has been the most destructive action concerning college football in my lifetime. In its wake, scheduling for both football and basketball in the Southeastern Conference can be described as falling somewhere between ridiculous and nightmarish. And of course, it’s laid bare the money chase that infests every athletic program nowadays, which comes at the cost of ignoring the wishes of much of the conference’s fan bases in various forms. (Noon in Sanford Stadium… doesn’t that send chills up your spine?)
But if you ask the crack pundits at ESPN, it’s all good.
Gained: Missouri, Texas A&M
How it’s worked out: The conference expanded its geographic footprint, and both football programs had success early on (the Aggies started 20-6 in the first two seasons, and Missouri won SEC East titles in 2013 and 2014). In 2014, two years after the schools joined, the SEC Network launched, and it has been successful in terms of distribution and revenue. That has only strengthened the conference. The league outpaces every other in the country when it comes to media-rights revenue distribution. [Emphasis added.]
Woo hoo! What’s good for ESPN is good for the SEC.
The WWL’s article celebrating the first few years of the sixteen-team college football playoff field writes itself, doesn’t it?