Originally posted on No 2 Minute Warning  |  Last updated 10/5/11

Could southerners grasp the concept of being in “The North?”

Once Texas A&M (and Missouri?) join the SEC, how will the divisions look? Getty Images.

On Tuesday the University of Missouri Board of Curators voted unanimously to Chancellor Brady Deaton to actively pursue new conference alignment options. The move presumable means that Missouri will leave the Big 12, with speculation suggesting that the Tigers will join Texas A&M as the SEC expands to 14 members.

“The Board of Curators delegates to Chancellor Deaton the authority to take any and all actions necessary to fully explore options for conference affiliation and contracts related thereto which best serve the interests of the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Missouri system,” chairman Warren Erdman said.

The athletic directors in the SEC are scheduled to meet Wednesday. It is expected that extending an invitation to Missouri will be discussed.

Missouri has long been the biggest name in SEC expansion rumors, even though SEC commissioner Mike Slive said recently that there was no intention of moving to 14 members following the addition of Texas A&M. Nobody bought that for a second though because a 13-team league just did not make much sense in terms of scheduling. Adding a 14th team solves many problems, even if it means rearranging the divisions slightly in order to preserve traditional rivalries and such.

Here is a look at what the divisions in the SEC could look like with an addition of Missouri:

SEC West

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Auburn
  • LSU
  • Mississippi
  • Mississippi State
  • Texas A&M

SEC East

  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Missouri
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Vanderbilt

Missouri playing in the east division may not make sense in terms of geography, but it would be an easy fix to preserve division rivalries. The conference could employ a north-south division split, but that would likely result in a south heavy division that would feature Alabama, LSU, Auburn, and Florida. Here is a theoretical north-south split:

SEC North

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Missouri
  • Tennessee
  • Vanderbilt

SEC South

  • Auburn
  • Florida
  • LSU
  • Mississippi
  • Mississippi State
  • South Carolina
  • Texas A&M

Under this format a guaranteed inter-division match-up could be used to preserve rivalries that look to be tampered with at first glance. The Big Ten used this idea to keep the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry an annual match-up, as well as some others, and to ensure that Penn State and Nebraska will play annually. In the SEC it would keep Alabama-Auburn and Georgia-Florida alive, and could keep Texas A&M and Arkansas (or Missouri) paired up. Remember, it’s just an idea.

The more likely scenario might be to just throw Missouri in the SEC East, which would keep everything else settled the way it is, with Texas A&M being added to the SEC West.

If the SEC decides to go to 16 members though…well, we will cross that bridge if it becomes a possibility.

 

This article was originally published on Examiner.com.

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