The buzz in college football right now is about Texas A&M leaving the Big 12 and possibly joining the ranks of the Southeastern Conference.
If the Aggies bolt for the SEC, then rumors have Oklahoma and Texas looking at heading west and latching on with the Pac-12.
All of this talk made me think about North Carolina’s high school version of the SEC. Right now, the conference has six teams: Hoke County, Lumberton, Pinecrest, Purnell Swett, Scotland County and, of course, Richmond.
However, at one time, the conference included Lee County and Anson County. The core members of the SEC remain together until the North Carolina High School Athletic Association broke up the conference and mixed them in with schools from Fayetteville for a short period of time.
While the breakup created some fantastic matchups, especially in football, the distance between the schools never allowed the Mid-Southeastern or Two Rivers conferences to develop long-lasting rivalries.
And now that the SEC is back in place for its third season, there is a possibility of realignment once again on the horizon.
One of the major obstacles with a small league with only six league schools is there are only five conference games in football and 10 in the other sports. Which means, the majority of the games a team will play in any sport will be nonconference.
This can cause a problem.
The Raiders had a tough time filling their football schedule because in the immediate area, most of the 4A teams are in conferences with seven or eight members. This shrinks the available dates the Raiders and whatever opponent have to work with to schedule a game.
Richmond wasn’t the only school to have difficulty finding opponents. Anson County football coach Luke Hyatt said after Hoke County dropped them off the schedule this year, the Bearcats had to scramble to find a replacement.
Hyatt said he may have a solution to his problem. Hyatt mentioned he and Anson County athletic director Fred Davis have discussed the possibility of petitioning the NCHSAA and moving back up to the 4A ranks, which could signal a return to the SEC.
If Anson joins the conference, that would give the SEC seven teams, leaving it with an odd number, not a good thing when it comes to basketball, baseball and softball schedules.
This means another school should be added to the mix. However, when looking at the landscape, it is tough to find one that geographically fits. Lee County would make sense as a former member, but moving the Yellow Jackets back to the SEC would be difficult because of the travel involved. Currently, Lee County has less than a hour’s drive to the majority of its opponents in the Tri-Nine.
One good reason to pull Lee County back into the SEC is because of the odd number of teams in the Tri-Nine. Which would give the SEC and Tri-Nine eight schools.
While there is no guarantee any of this will happen when the NCHSAA sits down and discusses realignment, it would create a buzz to see the SEC back at eight teams.
Contact Sports editor Shawn Stinson at 997-3111, ext. 14 or firstname.lastname@example.org