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Auburn AD Jay Jacobs Sounds Like He's In Support Of Move To SEC East

Late last week, Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs seemed open to the idea of swapping divisions with Mizzou to the SEC East. Now, ahead of this week's SEC spring meetings, he is championing the idea.

The move has been brought up for years, especially in light of the SEC West's recent domination within the league. Alabama has obviously been the biggest factor in that imbalance, but Auburn has been to two recent national titles, LSU is perennially one of the nation's most talented teams, and Ole Miss has had its moments atop the sport.

Former Auburn head coach Pat Dye brought up the idea on his radio show last week, and Jacobs admitted that a switch to the East "made sense." Now, he is doing a lot more than acknowledging the logic in the move.

Jacobs sold the idea to reporters in Florida, citing the breakdown of where Auburn draws its students from as a major point. According to 247Sports, he plans to raise the idea at the spring meetings this week:

“It makes more sense for Auburn from the standpoint of the demographics of our students, not our student-athletes,” Jacobs told reporters. “Six or eight years ago, I looked at all the demographics. Most of all our students come from Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, a few from Mississippi, very few from Louisiana. Since we went to the national championship twice we’ve got more geographical students from all over the place but still the majority of our students come from the southeast.”

He also defended against the notion that he is looking for Auburn to get into the easier division, by saying that the strength of the divisions is very cyclical, citing Florida's two national championships in the years before Saban transformed Alabama into the superpower that it is now.

Of course, something has to give, and in this case it would likely be the annual Iron Bowl, unless Alabama and Tennessee are willing to cut off their annual crossover series. That may prevent the switch from happening, and Jacobs is at peace with the status quo if it comes to that.

“Wherever we land, we land,” he said. “If that means we stay in the West for the next 20 years — however it works out. Whatever we think is best for this league, gives us the best chance to get to the playoffs, that’s what we’re going to do.”

Ultimately, I'm not sure we'll see the SEC willingly give up one of college football's premiere annual rivalries, even if it would make a lot of sense for Auburn and really help Mizzou. Still, the quick shift in Jacobs' tone around the issue is worth noting.