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Published: Monday, July 9, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 22:07

First, welcome to the Southeastern Conference. I’m sure I speak for the entire league when I say we are happy to have Texas A&M and Missouri join the SEC and become a part of its rich tradition.Like any change, there are pros and cons that come with the move A&M made from the Big 12 to the SEC. But I’ll start with the good news.

It’s the SEC, the indisputable best conference in all of college football. The league that boasts the last six, I repeat six, national championships and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Being a part of the SEC will help A&M in many ways. The biggest will be recruiting. Just mentioning that you are a part of the SEC will have high school prospects begging to attend your University. The SEC has become the NFL’s minor league and high-profiled recruits want nothing more than national exposure and an opportunity to play at the next level.

It will bring stability to your athletic program. The Big 12 is a respectable conference, but with teams leaving for other leagues and Texas being the big dog, the SEC gives A&M a place it can call home. Yes, there is a hierarchy with Alabama and LSU being on top, but there is no one who is above the league. When an SEC team plays a non-conference game, fans from other schools band together to cheer each other on and chant S-E-C, S-E-C!
The fans are rabid and the atmosphere on Saturday is second to none with tailgating and other pregame rituals.

But there is a bit of bad news.

The SEC is the best conference in the land, but it is also the toughest to win. Teams have to bring their A-games every week to avoid losing. Every game is taken as a small rivalry, so even the bottom dwellers of the league give the Alabamas and LSUs a run for their money.

Also, with success comes envy. As you know, the league has won six straight championships and it has the rest of the college football world upset. That frustration boiled over when two teams from the same conference and same division in that conference played for the national championship.

The Alabama versus LSU BCS Championship game is arguably the biggest reason college football is getting rid of the BCS in favor of a four-team playoff system in 2014. The league showed its dominance by having two teams face off in the biggest game the sport offers.

Now with all that said, A&M has a choice to make. You can be an Ole Miss or a Kentucky of the SEC and consistently finish in the bottom half of the league. You can be Arkansas, a team with a ton of potential that just never finds a way to get past Alabama or LSU. Or you can be Alabama or LSU and compete for a national championship and college football supremacy. The choice is yours.

Marquavius Burnett is the sports editor of The Crimson White, the student newspaper for the University of Alabama.


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