Muschamp SEC Teleconference Q&A

As the Gators head into Saturday's game against UAB, Will Muschamp spent Wednesday morning's SEC Teleconference answering questions about the addition of Texas A&M to the SEC. Muschamp also said that he expects the SEC to continue expanding, and that the addition of Texas A&M could open a door for SEC schools to begin recruiting Texas.

Opening Statement: "We came out of it pretty good as far as injuries are concered. At this time, A.C. Leonard is the only player who is definitely out this weekend. I'm pleased with where we are and looking forward to UAB."

Q: "What's your reaction to Texas A&M being invited to the league, and is your preference a 14-team or 16-team league?"

A: "I've been busy getting ready for the game, so I don't know what all is going on, but whatever Dr. (Bernie) Machen and our administration support, I'll sign off. A&M has a great tradition and an outstanding program. I really think we're heading to 16-team leagues eventually. I think there will be four of them. Whatever our conference decides, I'm fine on it."

Q: "Is 16 teams too many?"

A: "I obviously haven't put any thought into it, but I think eventually it's heading to that point."

Q: "How close are you with Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley?"

A: "We worked together at LSU and with the Dolphins. He's a good friend and still is except for that Saturday in the fall. His family is great people. When you spend as much time as we do as coaches, you spend so much time interacting and families get close when families are away. There's no question we all had a great relationship."

Q: "The 16-team idea has been kicked around for a while, but what's the point that we're at right now?"

A: "Two springs ago there was a lot of talk, but from listening to what's going on in college athletics, it all comes back to money and TV contracts. The more teams you have, the more exposure you have. The more of a television audience you have, the more television stats you can go to. Obviously, that brings more money to your conference and schools. That's why I think eventually that's where it'll head."

Q: "Will A&M be a good fit?"

A: "Yeah, their game day atmosphere is a bunch like the SEC. They have a great backing and tradition. The recruiting base is somewhat similar in that they do go into Louisiana. They continue to recruit Louisiana."

Q: "Texas and Florida turnout more high school players than any other two states. How similar are they from what you've seen?"

A: "It's the two most talented states with high school players. There are great coaches and players in both states. When I was in Texas, we started in Texas. At Florida, we start in Florida. We can recruit enough players in the state of Florida to win a championship. I know that. There are huge similarities between the two."

Q: "Will you go recruit in Texas if A&M comes to the SEC?"

A: "We recruit the state of Florida first, and then our region. If (A&M joined), it would certainly help open up some things. At the end of the day, there are kids in that state who will be Longhorns. Oklahoma has a stronghold in Dallas and East Texas. There are kids that are going to be Sooners. Texas A&M will sign their share of players."

Q: "Does the opening up of Texas really do anything to change how the SEC schools are able to have success recruiting there?"

A: "Think back to win Arkansas was in the Southwest conference and all the players they had from the Dallas area. That's where their games were played. The exposure and being constantly on television, I think it will certainly help the (SEC West) schools."

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