So if you're an SEC football fan, you know about the conference's, well, weird alignment. Namely, the fact that Missouri is an SEC East school and also how Alabama and Auburn, two schools due east of Missouri, are in the SEC West. Basically, this is a pictorial description of what the conference looks like as of now:
Yeah, don't point to this map as a geography lesson for your kids. But there's good news! Our good friend and the founder of this site, Brandon Larrabee, has a solution: Move Auburn and Alabama to the SEC East, and send Mizzou and Vandy out West in return. South Carolina, Florida, and the rest of the East gang get the honor of playing the Tide every single year, and the Tigers get to cut their teeth against the likes of LSU, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M.
If the SEC West is Mad Max: Fury Road, then the SEC East is Downton Abbey -- infighting among the aristocratic and incestuous hierarchy of a nation destined to become a second-tier power that depends on its closest ally for influence and prestige. And while there will almost always be one dominant half in any two-division college football conference, the imbalance between the SEC West and the SEC East is getting dangerous to the competitive balance of the league.
Of course, there are many logistical challenges, such as teams actually wanting it to happen (namely the East teams, and the West teams because they'd be losing its top team), but Brandon makes a good point: the competitive balance between the West and East is quite wide - at the same time, removing Alabama and Auburn, while it would shift the power to the East, could usurp the West. In other words, the SEC would be cutting off its own nose to spite its face, so to speak. I think the casual fan would love to see the Gamecocks play Alabama each year (even though the talent gap right now is massive), but for those who really know the game, they would be able to identify potential drawbacks for the league as a whole.
I'm of the belief that it might be worth a shot. But who knows? Maybe the East finds its footing in the next few years and render the conversation moot. One thing's for sure. The West is recruiting at a much, much higher level than the East right now and that might not change for a little bit.
It's a good read, and there's a lot of meat on the bone, so if you have time to check it out, do so. Let us know in the comments what you think of the idea.