Football brought Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC. The basketball Tigers and Aggies got dragged along in the bargain.
Still, both are welcome additions, to hear the SEC basketball coaches tell it Monday in a teleconference.
In the penthouse, Kentucky's John Calipari is all open arms.
"They're gonna have a huge impact on what happens,'' Calipari said. "Now all of a sudden the strength of the league goes up.
"If the league expands again and adds two more teams, I'd be fine with that.''
All the better to prepare the Wildcats for the NCAA tournament. That's Calipari's reasoning.
At the other end of the totem pole, I'm not sure Tony Barbee at Auburn or Mississippi State's new guy, Rick Ray, are as enthusiastic at having two additional hurdles to clear in their rebuilding efforts.
Mizzou and Texas A&M have, of recent vintage, been consistent NCAA tournament teams. Both fan bases were accustomed to success in the Big 12 Conference.
But the Big 12 import that will have the biggest impact on the residents of Thompson-Boling Arena might be neither Tiger nor Aggie.
Consider the Frank Martin factor.
South Carolina hired Martin away from Kansas State in March, after yet another season deteriorated into irrelevancy.
Back in 2007 Martin was something of a surprise hire at Kansas State after his boss, Bob Huggins, bolted to West Virginia. But Martin went 117-54 in five years at K-State, including four NCAA tournament trips.
Nobody doubts him now.
"His record speaks for itself,'' said Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy. "I think he's one of the best coaches in college basketball.''
With Pat Summitt's retirement, the SEC needed a new "Stare" and the intense, 45-year-old Martin has a doozy.
"He imposes his will
from day one and I'm sure he's doing that right now,'' said Kennedy. "I don't have any doubts he'll have that program winning soon and winning big.''
If Kennedy is prophetic, South Carolina's winning will have to come at someone's expense. Might that someone be, in part, Tennessee?
Since Bruce Pearl arrived in 2005 to revive UT's fortunes, the Vols have absolutely owned the Gamecocks.
Cuonzo Martin took up where Pearl left off, sweeping Carolina last year to run the Vols' streak to 11-0 and 14-2 since the 2005-06 season.
As basketball programs go, South Carolina has its challenges. But it could be a sleeping giant, much like UT was when Pearl arrived. The Gamecocks have a fine arena, at least modest tradition and a fan base that is rabid about football and baseball.
Martin doesn't have much to work with initially, returning only one of the top four scorers from a 2-14 SEC club.
At least he has a head start, thanks to new NCAA legislation that allows limited summer instruction with his players.
"It's huge,'' Martin said. "It's the best rule that's been put out there.
"Everybody has to go win in the way they believe in how it should be done. This way is different than how the guys who are here played. Trust in a new system takes time.''
If Martin can approximate what he achieved at K-State, Columbia will no longer be a reliably safe port in the storm for visitors like Tennessee.
The presence of a new Martin means Cuonzo Martin's job has gotten tougher.