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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SEC Expansion: Is This REALLY What Clemson Wants?

The Texas A&M-to-SEC marathon over last weekend has cause quite an uproar, particularly from TigerTown. Clemson fans are a-flutter over the possibility that they might get an SEC invite.  It's really very simple:  If the A&M domino falls, it will inevitably knock down a few more to get the conference to an even number of teams.

Clemson fans seem to be clamoring for this. But here's a warning:  Be careful what you wish for, because you might get it.

Set aside the obvious arguments, such as how Clemson could hope to compete in the SEC when they have not won a football title in the ACC since 1991. And Clemson's abysmal record against SEC competition (112-160-14 all-time). And the fact that Florida, Alabama and Georgia will be a little tougher than Duke, Wake Forest, and Virginia.

Take a look at the profile for Clemson University, and it's much more Ole Miss/Mississippi State than it is Alabama/Auburn. Clemson is almost identical to those first two schools in enrollment (around 19k); endowment (330 million); and the size of the surrounding town.

Do you happen to know the last time that MSU or Ole Miss won the SEC? That would be the Rebels of 1962. Oh, but State did play in the title game in 1999, so maybe that leaves some hope for the Tigers.

School enrollment and endowment do not guarantee football success, but they sure don't hurt. And both are indicators of a school's ability to raise money. Clemson would be next to last in the SEC in each of those categories.

The SEC is the knockout cheerleader that you pined to date in high school, and you are dying for a shot. But at the 20-year reunion, you realize that looks don't last and you are just fine with what you have.

And if you had made a move to something that looked better on the surface, you would have regretted it down the road.  Tiger fans, just because it looks better now doesn't mean that it is.

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