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Are Miami, Louisville, UNC or Virginia Tech potential SEC targets?

By Andy Johnston

Will Virginia Tech or Miami join the SEC when it chooses to expand? (AP photo)

Will Virginia Tech or Miami join the SEC when it chooses to expand? (AP photo)

The ACC has changed.

Maryland is gone. Pitt, Syracuse and Louisville are the new residents.

Maryland landed in the Big Ten, which also added Rutgers.

So where will the SEC look if it chooses to add a couple of teams?

The SEC guys at debated this in a column and came up with four potential SEC targets, eliminating Clemson and Florida State.

Greg Ostendorf, who covers Auburn for the website, said the SEC should look to adding Miami and Louisville.

Miami is a no-brainer, he wrote, because it would provide a natural rival for Florida, be “significant for recruiting as local kids would no longer have to leave town to play in the SEC” and create outstanding new games against traditional SEC powers. “… Who wouldn’t want to see Alabama, LSU or Auburn play Miami every couple of years. This should have happened years ago.”

It also would help with alignment, “If the league sticks to its current model, both Louisville and Miami could join the East and allow for Missouri to move over to the West where it belongs,” Ostendorf wrote.

I like his arguments and have long said Miami should be a part of the SEC. It’s always seemed a more natural fit than the ACC, and as Ostendorf pointed out, would benefit league and the school.

Louisville is a strong candidate, but the SEC already has a presence in Kentucky, and the move would seem to benefit the school more than the conference. Plus, Louisville just joined the ACC.

ESPN SEC writer Edward Aschoff wrote that he would like to see Virginia Tech and North Carolina join the SEC, although both have ACC teams as their natural rivals.

Among his reasons, he wrote: “Not only do you have a football team that could compete, UNC would be an excellent addition to most Olympic sports, too,” and “Virginia Tech has the atmosphere and culture that would make the transition over the SEC extremely easy.”

Adding Virginia Tech would help the SEC tap that state for football recruits and perhaps open the Washington TV market, as Aschoff writes.

Louisville and UNC would boost the SEC’s presence in basketball — although both are successful in football — but Miami and Virginia Tech would provide more football oomph.

So how ’bout taking one from idea and ending up with Miami and Virginia Tech.

Or does the SEC need to look west, past Texas A&M and Missouri?