With the recent announcement that the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma will be joining the SEC, it left many scratching their heads. With the addition of the 2 schools in 2025, the SEC will have 16 teams in the conference. This would make them by far the largest among the Power Five conferences. Not only that, but the SEC has won 7 out of the last 11 National Championships, making them the most powerful conference in college football.
Whether expansion is good or bad is up to each individual’s opinion. Some have speculated that the move is all about money, which quite frankly is very likely. Others though have wondered if the increase in competition amongst the SEC will finally bring some parity to a league that desperately needs it. Read on to see what we think about what this means for college football.
SEC Expansion – The Good
Let’s face it. Unless you are a fan of the Crimson Tide, you are probably tired of seeing them in the National Champions. It’s reminiscent of the Patriots and Tom Brady – when the Superbowl wasn’t even fun to watch because you knew exactly what would happen.
Adding Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC would bring about some much-needed competition. Oklahoma, which is one of the all-time powerhouses in football, would be sure to challenge Alabama, LSU, and Florida regularly. And Texas is no slouch either. Although not having much success recently, they have a history of some very good football and have the name recognition to land some good recruits going forward.
Another plus would be the opportunity for schools outside of the SEC to play the teams. SEC rules state that 8 games must be played within conference and the rest outside. With an additional 2 teams to the conference, that will be about 8 more opportunities for schools in other conferences to get a win against the SEC.
The final positive will be for Texas and Oklahoma themselves. Not only will they gain much stronger opponents than they had in the Big 12, but they will also receive a much bigger chunk of money for their participation. Starting in 2024, the SEC is expected to raise the annual allotment to schools to over $60 million each. This money comes from TV deals and is much more than the $30 million the Big 12 was paying.
SEC Expansion: The Bad
While we finally may be getting away from having Alabama always playing in the Natty, adding Texas and Oklahoma brings us one step closer to nearly guaranteeing an SEC presence in the game. Since 2010, there has only been 1 National Championship game that didn’t feature an SEC team. Add in another powerhouse or two, and this is likely to continue.
Although previously we mentioned the increase in competition within the SEC due to the move, it may turn out to be the exact opposite. Remember that the SEC limits each team to 8 in-conference games per season. With 16 teams in the conference, this will mean many teams will only see each other every other season. This will also reduce the chances the not-so-great teams have of winning. If you thought Vanderbilt and Ole Miss had trouble being relevant in the SEC before, wait until Texas and Oklahoma get added to the mix.
Finally, let’s bring some good old-fashioned speculation into the mix. With the exodus of Texas and Oklahoma, what becomes of the Big 12? While realignment is always a guarantee in college football, the competitiveness of the rest of the Power Five is questionable. Yes, after the announcement of the schools leaving, the Big 12 one-upped them and invited 4 schools to join the conference. But none of those schools are exactly juggernauts. It will be interesting to see what becomes of this once great conference.
SEC Expansion: The Who Cares?
With all the above said, you may be like many other football fans. Who cares? If you like competitive football, it won’t matter to you. If you like to sit on the couch on Saturdays and turn the TV to whatever game is on at the moment, it won’t matter to you.
At the end of the day, both of the schools will be receiving more money, which is good for the schools, players, coaches, and students. The big move doesn’t occur until 2025 anyway, so there is plenty of time to go. Who knows, maybe the Big 12 starts winning all the championships, and Texas and Oklahoma will be regretting their decision. Anything is possible. It just isn’t likely.
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