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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Eastbound

So as much time as I spent painting Missouri as the next logical addition to the SEC, I'm going to backpedal just a bit. While I still think they make the most sense given all factors, If--and it's a big if--Virginia Tech didn't use up all of their political cloud on the move to the ACC, they'd be a a solid pickup for the SEC.

Let's ignore for a second that this would leapfrog the state of North Carolina (though Clay Travis has a solution for that); Virginia also touches SEC states Tennessee and Kentucky, particularly Southwest VA where Tech is located. Breaking up UNC/Duke/NC State notwithstanding (I think they'd leave Wake behind, but as Clef said, you can try, but you can't divide the tri) Virginia Tech makes a ton of sense. They've got a strong football tradition--probably one of a handful of ACC schools who thinks football before basketball--and expands the SEC footprint, likely capturing eyes in Washington DC, throughout the state of Virginia, and even into NC.

But one of the things that makes Tech make a ton of sense is the foil they provide for Texas A&M. First of all, logistically, adding Virginia Tech over Missouri or another western school allows the SEC to maintain its divisions as we know them; adding two schools in the west redraws the line between the Iron Bowl, and I don't see that happening. But Virginia Tech and Texas A&M also share a military tradition with their respective Corps of Cadets. The SEC could preserve all other crossover rivalries, bring in Virginia Tech and Texas A&M, and start a new crossover: The War of the Corps. While it's not the Army-Navy game, it would give the SEC its own answer.
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