While the Texas A&M Aggies try to negotiate their $28 million Big 12 disassociation fee down to something more like $10 million, let's talk SEC team No. 14. The Virginia Tech Hokies and Missouri Tigers have been frequently discussed targets, with some throwing out the North Carolina Tar Heels but assuming they'd be hard to get due to their ties to the Duke Blue Devils.
CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd speculates the discussion could be down to Virginia Tech, Mizzou, UNC and ... the Maryland Terrapins. Hmmm!
The Terps would be well outside the conference's traditional footprint. Their state doesn't touch any current SEC state, and they'd be the northernmost school in the conference if they were added. It's a large university that would provide the D.C. and Baltimore markets, and SEC affiliation would empower the Terps to pick off more of those eastern Virginia recruits from the Hokies.
I like UNC the best out of this list, and the more you think about it the more you wonder whether they're really all that tied to Duke. An out-of-conference football game between the two would be no problem, while playing basketball once per season would make the sport's best rivalry even more of a big deal. But a college basketball game won't be the only thing to keep a school from joining the SEC, even if it's a game as special as Duke-UNC.
SEC No. 14 down to Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Missouri. May not happen until '13.
For more on the SEC be sure and check out SB Nation's SEC blog Team Speed Kills.