Earlier today, James wrote extensively about conference expansion and a potential move to the SEC, and as long as the rumor mill is churning, I might as well add my two cents. Granted this is all extremely hypothetical since I don't believe the SEC would ever turn a serious eye toward NC State. It is fun to ponder, though, and I completely agree with James' opinion here:
All that said…would State make that leap? Should they?
I think the answer is a clear "Yes" if given that opportunity.
While we pine for the venerable ACC of yesteryear and curse the thought of leaving a league founded in large part because of the vision of Everette Case and N.C. State, the cold, hard facts are these: Expansion is inevitable, and there will be those left out who suffer tremendous financial consequences because of it.
I'm a little surprised at how easy this decision was for me; in general I am staunchly against any sort of change in sports because it violates my nostalgic inclinations and I am a romantic sap when it comes to tradition. I'm the kind of guy who keeps ticket stubs from any sporting event he goes to. Even the yellow student tickets from when I was in school. Why they were yellow, I do not know. So on some level it would pain me to see State walk away from so much history with the Big Four and the rest of the ACC's founding members. But as James points out, this is no time for romantic crap--it's about money and securing a stable future for NC State athletics.
Do we really want to cast our lot with the S.S. Swofford? Ifis running the show, I might feel differently about hitting the eject button, but as it is I have no confidence in Swofford and in turn worry quite a bit about the ACC's long term viability and/or interestingness. If the ACC ends up in a reactive mode--and it will, because the financial dominoes have fallen and Swoff hasn't the leverage to proactively add schools that would genuinely improve the league's financial standing--preserving tradition isn't worth having to exist in a league with Central Florida and Memphis or Pittsburgh and West Virginia. It doesn't matter to me that some of them bring valuable properties; they can't fully compensate for whichever programs get poached, and mostly I just don't care in the slightest about watching my team play any of them.
So I, for two, would welcome our new SEC overlords. If they could give us a few years to get a football staff in place that has a big time SEC recruiting mentality, that's all the better, because we're ill-suited for this transition now. And if you're in the SEC you have to have a character for a football coach or you just look weirdly normal. That's no way to make a first impression.