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After the 16pocalypse: The SEC


Although you can make a case that most of the members of my new Big East, ACC, SWC, and Big 9 are better off than they were before (or at least no worse off), and as you'll see later, the new Big Ten and Pac 10 are what they've been for most of their existence. But that means someone suffered a bit, and due to last-mover disadvantage in my post-16pocalypse collapse of the super-conferences, this was the SEC.

Perhaps the SEC should have seen it coming. But the departure of its easternmost members for the new-look ACC, and Arkansas' subsequent departure for the revived SWC, took the conference by surprise. And with the new-look Big East emerging, West Virginia was not an option either. Fortunately Louisville had been left out of the new ACC and the new Big East, so the SEC was able to at least secure a 9th member.

League Name: In the interests of protecting its brand, the conference retained the SEC name despite much of the ACC being southeast of the SEC.

Members: Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky, Louisville, Louisiana State, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt

Advantages: Two elite football powers in Alabama and Tennessee. Two elite basketball powers in Louisville and Kentucky. Auburn-Alabama. Louisville-Kentucky, Quite possibly the most passionate fan bases in football. Louisiana's extremely strong per capita recruiting pipeline.

Disadvantages: No major media markets (biggest is Nashville, and that's barely top-40). No Florida or Texas schools could be a problem for recruiting.

Summary: The loss of the Florida and Georgia schools removed the two largest states from the SEC's traditional area, which means this conference is substantially weaker than it was before its 1995 expansion to 12. But it still has probably the most devoted football fans in the country at most of its schools, and the most devoted basketball fans at the other two (save for a certain bunch in upstate NY, anyway).

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