Just How Close Was Clemson To Joining The SEC?

Part of Clemson week ...

With all the recent rumors swirling about the SEC's renewed interest in Texas A&M, the SB Nation SEC conference blog Team Speed Kills examines whether Clemson would have been the 14th team and expansion partner with the Aggies. Via Scout (emphasis added):

"In fact, my source claims that the SEC has/had Clemson ready to go and they were simply waiting to see if Texas A&M could get their ducks in a row and leave the Big 12." 

Team Speed Kills wonders whether Clemson officials or the AD was ever even on board with this proposal. To get an answer, TSK asked DrB of Shakin The Southland whether there was any chatter among the Clemson faithful about a possible SEC invite:

"No, we heard nothing of the sort. Not even my inside sources.

What we know is that President Barker was on Swofford's committee that was exploring what the ACC would need to do if the offer came from the Big 10 or SEC. We've had no inkling at all that the Administration of the University would ever be willing to jump to a (this is what they'd say) "lowly sports conference that would dishonor our academic integrity and hurt our improved national stature."

Meanwhile the AD is all over it if the offer came. They'd be ready to jump real quick. So would I, and most of the fanbase. We have no allegiance to this conference. The bluebloods in charge on the academic side would balk all day long, even with the huge revenue increase, because they want to be like UVA and UNC and Duke and be associated with that academic stature.

That kind of crap has been Clemson's biggest problem for the last 25 years."

So to answer the question -- not all that close to joining the SEC considering that no one even hear about the possibility of an invite. But wow, where's the love here, Clemson?

Let me start by saying that I have a healthy respect for the Clemson football program and I've had a great time on each of my three road trips to Death Valley to see the Eagles play. The fans are extremely welcoming and knowledgeable about college football.

That said, I don't understand why the CU faithful would want to "jump real quick" from the ACC to the SEC. Sure the money is better (though the annual TV payout would likely be less than it is today without a renegotiation of the conference's ESPN and CBS deals) and football is king in the SEC, but I've never quite understood the fan base's fascination with the Southeastern Conference.

Clemson hasn't won the ACC title in football in 20 years. Why would you want to join a tougher football conference? Is Dabo going to suddenly turn things around when facing Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn and LSU week in, week out?

OK, basketball is clearly weaker in the SEC and the Tigers might have a shot at winning the conference title every so often. I get that. But baseball is just as good, if not better than the ACC, and Clemson has won just one conference title (2006) in the last 15 years.

I understand the "grass is always greener" feeling but a move to the SEC just doesn't seem to add up for the Tigers. CU would be less competitive in both football and baseball and probably only moderately more competitive in hoops.

A move like this also doesn't sound very Mike Slive-like. Adding Texas A&M seems like a win-win for both the school and the conference. The SEC gains a foothold in Texas and the Aggies finally get to divorce UT. But Clemson is located in a state that the SEC already has a presence in with South Carolina. Besides, I thought the going rumor for SEC expansion was Texas A&M and Virginia Tech, not Clemson.

Some of these other conference realignment rumors I get. Insanely jealous of Texas and the Longhorn Network? Still room at the inn, SEC? Tired of your conference being run like a basketball league for small, private Catholic schools? Oh hai, ACC! 

This rumor, however, I just don't get. I didn't realize Clemson fans and the AD were having such a miserable time in the ACC.

I mean, I suppose a very small part of me would love to see the Eagles move from the ACC to the Big Ten -- where BC would get to face the likes of Penn State, Michigan, Ohio State and other similar northern programs on the gridiron, join the Big Ten Hockey Conference and give Northwestern company as the only other private school in the conference -- but to say I have absolutely "no allegiance to this conference?" Seems a little harsh, no?

Where's the love?

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