To go or not to go to the SEC, that is the question for Virginia Tech

Posted by Brandon Rink on August 18, 2011 under ACC Baseball, ACC Basketball, ACC Football, Other ACC Coverage | Comments are off for this article

Virginia Tech might be in the unique spot of the only ACC team that the SEC would take because of the reported "gentlemen's agreement" - do they go? (Pic per OrangeandWhite.com)

Editor’s note: I asked Matthew from @hokieguru on Twitter what he would do if he ran the Hokies and Virginia Tech was the only ACC team that could really leave the conference – the 140 character limit wasn’t quite enough to explain his thinking so he’s here for a guest post…

Greetings from the @hokieguru, a regular contributor to the @TalkinACCSports and @accblogger websites.

Texas A&M recently sent some major shockwaves through the college sports’ world with a possible move to the SEC.  While the SEC has held off on expansion for now, the new Texas A&M chancellor is reportedly on board with a move.  Additionally:

So there you have it… Virginia Tech should go to the SEC… it’s as easy as that… no it’s not… lots of positives and negatives about a potential move to the SEC… and that’s the focus of this blog post… what should we do?  Well, let’s talk about it…

Positives

  • A change in Virginia Tech’s conference affiliation would most likely increase its athletic revenue (SEC television negotiations would work in the Hokies’ favor and alumni donations would most likely increase).
  • Virginia Tech football recruiting would improve to a certain degree.  The Hokies would never lose another player to any of the North Carolina schools, and more specifically, would not lose another player in Virginia’s famous 757.  We might be more of a national player here.

Negatives

  • Right now, Virginia Tech is a pretty big fish in a small pond in ACC football (four ACC titles in seven years). Additionally, with our fellow Coastal Division teams having troubles with the NCAA, the Hokies figure to be the odds on favorite for the next 3-4 years to be in the ACC title game.  Matt Zemek of @MattZemek_CFN has said that we are the one team that qualifies as a star right now in the ACC.    Is it worth it to make the move to the SEC with the knowledge that it would be really difficult replicating that success?
  • Save Kentucky, SEC men’s basketball is not good. While Virginia Tech has not made the NCAA tournament in four years, we’ve made a lot of progress.  The ACC never considered us to be a basketball school, but we do have the third most wins in conference play since our inclusion in the league.  SEC men’s basketball might be the worst of the BCS conferences and our men’s hoops recruiting could weaken.
  • How far would that additional SEC revenue go?  The SEC is an airplane league.  The ACC is a bus league.  Virginia Tech would have to fly most of its athletes from its non-revenue sports to SEC locations and that could be quite expensive.
  • Most of the schools in the ACC are a short travel distance from Virginia Tech.  We’ve established really good relationships with our fellow ACC schools.  I think it’s harder to do that with the SEC schools that are farther away.
  • The academics (why most of us go to school) in the ACC are vastly superior to those in the SEC.  The majority of student athletes do not turn pro (yes, you’ve heard this before, but it’s true).  For example, three ACC business schools are in the U.S. News and World Report Top 20 list (and seven in the top 50).  How many from the SEC in the top 20?  Zero (and two in the top 50… and one, Vanderbilt, is a private school).  I am proud of being an alumnus of a conference that values academics.  Our academic partnerships with our fellow ACC schools are second to none.

The bigger question is:  What is John Swofford doing to ensure the ACC’s future viability?  I’d have to say next to nothing.  I don’t see that he has the conference future in mind.

The issue of conference expansion is a tough issue to wrestle with for us Hokies.  I think in our heart of hearts, we don’t want the ACC to disband.  However, we also don’t want to be on the outside looking in… and if we go the SEC, I will support the move 100 percent (even though I don’t want us to go there… there, I said it).

I’m always a Hokie!!! Keep it 110!! Go Hokies!!


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