Randy Smith: SEC Expansion Talk Gains Momentum

Friday, July 23, 2021 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
The bombshell report this week in the Houston Chronicle regarding Texas and Oklahoma leaving the Big 12 and joining the SEC has sent shock waves across the college football world and that expansion talk is gaining momentum. In an emergency conference call on Thursday night, all of the leagues' schools participated with the exception of Texas and Oklahoma. That is a sure fire indicator that both schools are serious about joining the Southeastern Conference.

According to reports, the SEC would change drastically. Sixteen teams equals two eight team divisions, with Alabama and Auburn joining the Eastern Division, and Missouri moving to the West with Texas and Oklahoma.
Now, that's one scenario. The SEC Network came up with a completely different alignment. There would be four pods of teams, with Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and South Carolina in Pod A, Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee and Vanderbilt  would make up Pod B. In Pod C, Ole Miss and Mississippi State would join LSU and Texas A&M. Finally in Pod D, would be Arkansas, Missouri,Texas and Oklahoma. I have no idea how you would choose a champion from four different pods but I imagine there is a plan for that as well.

SEC purists will no doubt be against any expansion. After all, the league has dominated college football recently wining 13 national titles since the Bowl Championship Series started in 1998. The SEC makes more money than any other league and their reasoning is simply, we don't need the Longhorns and the Sooners. It could also destroy some old rivalries within the league as well. There is also a big question about how this "super conference" would affect the plan for a 12 team playoff, which is something I support completely.

Not every school in the SEC will support Texas and Oklahoma coming on board. Texas A&M and Missouri are reportedly against the move, and the SEC would only need two more votes to block the plan altogether. The Big 12 conference would be devastated if they lose their two biggest brands and it may provide more opportunities for other schools to leave as well. Perhaps Oklahoma State and Baylor could be the next to leave, perhaps to the Pac 12.  

There has been talk in recent years about the Power Five conferences realigning into a Super Duper conference but that doesn't seem to be feasible. I personally don't believe that Texas and Oklahoma will leave the Big 12 for the SEC, though I wouldn't be opposed to the move at all. And with the 12 team playoff possibilities on the table, that may be too much change in a short amount of time. After all, it's like Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said yesterday, "Be careful what you ask for if you jump into this league." 

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Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com


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