The Athletic Director R.C. Johnson from the University of Memphis was recently interviewed by a local tv channel and the subject came up about conference realignment. When asked about moving here was his answer. "Ultimately we would like to be in the SEC. That's where we think we belong geographically. We think we deserve to be." Even typing that just now I almost laughed until I cried or fainted not sure which. I do agree with one thing he said, geographically it makes all the sense in the world. They have been mentioned in talks with the Big East which is their best hope if they hope to change conferences. The conference moves are all driven by football and Memphis, while they have a program, would never be invited to the SEC.
Other than having a basketball program that has made some noise over the past few years, there has not been a lot to cheer about at Memphis. Their athletic facilities are depleted and are in bad need of upgrades, again other than basketball where they play in the FedEx Forum where the Memphis Grizzlies play. The Liberty Bowl is run down and has lost its luster. There have been talks about upgrading the stadium, that is a must to move up to big boy football. This program can be good if the school took it seriously and put money here like they did for basketball. There are plenty of good football players in the Southeast to go around if they started to have some edges in recruiting. Mr. Johnson look at the blueprint from TCU on how to reinvent your program, they have proven it can be done. Here are some stats over the past few years for this 'storied' program:
-2 bowl games since 1980
-131-222-6 record since 1980 (worse than Vanderbilt)
-8 times with winning seasons since 1980
-Never won a Conference USA division since joining the league in 1996
Do we really need another Tigers in the SEC? Between Auburn, LSU and maybe adding Clemson, there are plenty of Tigers to go around. Not only do they not deserve to move to the SEC, they probably do not deserve to go anywhere other than Division I-AA or FCS.