Mike Slive addresses expansion

SEC commissioner Mike Slive finally spoke about expansion and bringing Texas A&M into the league.

Slive said he hopes that Texas A&M joins the SEC by next season, but the most interesting thing to come from what Slive said was that the SEC has already started looking at scheduling for the 2012-13 season involving 13 conference teams.

Slive is indicating that he is in no rush to add a 14th team once Texas A&M is free of legal issues regarding its departure from the Big 12 and can finally join the SEC.

Thirteen teams will feel odd in the league, but one season wouldn't be too bad. But you have to think that the SEC will even things out sooner rather than later. I doubt the SEC goes more than one season with just 13 teams. The realistic goal for the league has to be 14, or even 16, teams. When talking to SEC coaches last week, most feel that 16-team conferences will become the norm in college football in the very near future.

When that will happen? We aren't sure, but Texas officials met with officials from Oklahoma over the weekend, with Oklahoma reportedly considering a move to the Pac-12. The ball is definitely continuing to roll, it's just a very sluggish roll at this point.

But Slive used the word "when" when referring to Texas A&M, so he feels confident that the Aggies will eventually join.

Slive also said that he didn't really consider expansion until Texas A&M president Dr. Bowen Loftin called him back in July to discuss Texas A&M.

"As I said over the past year or so, the SEC has had no particular interest in expansion," Slive said in a release. "We were, and are, happy with 12 teams. If Texas A&M’s President, Dr. Bowen Loftin had not called me in late July, we had no plans to explore adding an institution.

"However, when President Loftin called we became interested. Texas A&M is an outstanding academic institution with an exceptional athletic program, passionate fans and wonderful traditions. While the SEC wasn't thinking about expansion, it was impossible not to be interested in Texas A&M. As you can see from the unanimous vote of our twelve Presidents/Chancellors, we would very much like to have Texas A&M as a member of our conference."