BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – LSU coach Les Miles said Wednesday he would like to see Texas A&M join the Southeastern Conference, but that part of him will be sad to see some traditional Big 12 Conference rivalries disappear.
The SEC has approved the addition of Texas A&M, but legal hurdles may stand in the way of the Aggies leaving the Big 12.
“It’s a great opportunity to be involved with the prospective student-athletes in the state of Texas,” Miles said.
“If A&M joins the conference, I think it’ll be a great opportunity for the local media in Texas to see the in-state conference being the SEC. I think when the media covers a conference game, with the interest because there’s now a conference school in that state, that will give great opportunities for schools in our conference, certainly LSU, to get into Texas.”
The coach said he also envisions a trend toward “mega-conferences” based less on geography and more on TV markets.
“There’s so much state and school loyalty that it will survive the reconfiguring of boundaries and the new opponents. It will still be very good football and very good for our country and good for student-athletes. But if you’re a traditionalist and you like the old, this school plays that school and I enjoyed that trip … across town or across the state to get to my in-state rival. I think you lose a little something.”
He said the building of mega-conferences ultimately will mean some great old rivalries and traditions in college football will be lost.
“It was just a matter of time. I suspect there will eventually be … those monster conferences, and those opportunities to be in playoffs and those opportunities to play in the championship game. So it might well pare down the numbers very effectively. But if you play in a mega-conference, then certainly if you stand atop one of the mega-conferences, then it would give you a great opportunity to play in the (national) title game.”
“I also think that it’s sad because historically there’s a Big 8 Conference that eventually led to a Big 12 Conference that had great historic boundaries and rivalries that are not represented by what are TV markets and television sets. So that being said, we’d like to welcome any new members in, if the conference sees fit.”
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