A few more opinions on SEC expansion

August 14, 2011 

 

ATHENS - We're still waiting for Texas A&M to officially join the SEC. That hasn't stopped rampant speculation - often in the form of reporting - about which schools would be the league's 14th member. Or 15th and 16th.

A few Georgia assistant coaches have ties to some of those schools mentioned. John Lilly worked at Florida State from 1995-2007, and is all for the Seminoles joining the SEC.

"I got there in '95, a few years after they joined the ACC," Lilly said. "But I do think that probably there was still that faction there even then that was like, 'I wish we had gone into the SEC when we had that chance to make a jump.' Certainly atmosphere, fan base, all those things, tradition and all that the SEC is known for, is there. It'd be great. It'd make a great conference even tougher, quite honestly."

But Florida State goes head-to-head for recruits with some SEC schools, like Georgia. Would allowing the Seminoles to claim the SEC mantle help them on the recruiting trail?

Lilly shrugged that off.

"Florida State's always gonna recruit well, or should," he said. "That's the way we felt when I was there, and I'm sure they still feel that way now. I don't know if that's gonna change anything there. But man, it would do nothing but probably enhance the reputation of the SEC conference. I would think the ACC would hate to see them go."

Then there's Bulldogs defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who played at Virginia Tech. That school has been rumored for the SEC, so I jokingly asked Grantham if he'd place a call to his alma mater and SEC commissioner Mike Slive and try to make a deal.

Grantham laughed.

"Oh, I'm working on the season. I ain't got time for that," he said. "You let me know what happens, I'll read your article, OK."

He was still smiling.

"I'm serious!" he said, then added: "What's happening, really?"

We caught him up to date. Then Grantham mused that he knows Texas A&M assistant coach Dat Nguyen, who played linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys while Grantham was there. But that was clearly the extent of Grantham's insight.

"Hey, you probably know more about that than I do," he said.

I'm not sure that's true. But I have some opinions:

Here's my column from today's paper, where I argue that realignment is fine, as long as it's done smartly. And, as I explain in the column, there are three things I do feel strongly about in the expansion process.

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