Eight teams that the SEC should pursue if they desire more expansion

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Last summer we saw the SEC throw the first punch in college football expansion when they brought the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns into the fold. That move won’t become official until 2025 at the latest.

One year later the Big Ten went after the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins. With the announcement of that move, both the Big Ten and SEC sit at 14 current members and two more future members to join in 2024 or beyond.

Is conference expansion going to end there? Likely not.

Blake Toppmeyer and John Adams made their case for eight such teams should the SEC look to add more schools to the conference.

Clemson Tigers

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

What Toppmeyer Says…

Clemson is an SEC school residing in the ACC. Simple as that. The Tigers would be a natural fit given their location, culture and football pedigree. Other than Notre Dame, Clemson is the top football brand that’s not a current or future member of the Big Ten and SEC. The Tigers would be good for business and for the conference’s strength.

 

Florida State Seminoles

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

What Adams Says…

Like Clemson, the Seminoles have an SEC-like fan base. And they also national championship potential when the right coach is on the job. Bobby Bowden won two national championships there and Jimbo Fisher won one.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

What Toppmeyer Says…

Like Clemson, the Seminoles have an SEC-like fan base. And they also national championship potential when the right coach is on the job. Bobby Bowden won two national championships there and Jimbo Fisher won one.

North Carolina Tar Heels

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

What Adams Says…

Consider this: The SEC Network is headquartered in Charlotte, but the conference includes no teams from North Carolina. Time to change that. North Carolina is a growing state, and the Tar Heels are a bigtime brand. Better known for basketball, yes, but capable of solid seasons in football.

 

Virginia Tech Hokies

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What Toppmeyer Says…

Like North Carolina, adding Virginia Tech would expand the SEC’s footprint into a neighboring state while not betraying the conference’s well-manicured identity. Watch the Hokies enter Lane Stadium while Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” plays and the crowd goes bananas and tell me this school doesn’t belong in the SEC.

Baylor Bears

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

What Adams Says…

The Bears have won 10 or more games six times in the past 11 years, won a national championship in men’s basketball in 2020-21 and maintained a women’s basketball dynasty under former coach Kim Mulkey.

Miami Hurricanes

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

What Adams Says…

The Hurricanes can compete for a national title if they can consistently recruit the best players in South Florida. Like Florida State, they just need the right coach. Maybe, Mario Cristobal could be that coach.

Central Florida Knights

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

What Toppmeyer Says…

UCF didn’t become an FBS program until 1996, so adding the Knights would be a stretch for a conference built on tradition. But this is a forward-thinking selection. UCF’s enrollment tops 70,000, and its fan base will grow. The Knights (bound for the Big 12 in 2023) have flourished as a Group of Five program in recent seasons. In time, they might not look out of place in the SEC.

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