It happened very quickly. It began with rumors about Texas and Oklahoma leaving the Big 12 to join the SEC last Wednesday, and late Friday it became official. Texas and Oklahoma would be joining the nation's best football conference as soon as 2022. That would expand the SEC to 16 teams, but according to Jack McGuire of Barstool Sports, there is a possibility that Michigan and Ohio State from the Big Ten and Clemson and Florida State from the ACC are also mulling over a jump to the SEC. That would form a 20 team Super Conference. I can't imagine a Big Ten Conference without the Wolverines or the Buckeyes and why would Clemson want to leave the ACC, where the Tigers have been so dominant for the last decade?
The fact that the Longhorns and Sooners will soon become members of the SEC West is indicative of how college football is changing.
The rich will continue to get richer and that seems to be the main incentive for the SEC expansion. Each of the current 14 member schools received more than $52 million in 2020, while the Big 12 teams raked in less than $40 million each. In other words, it's all about money.
Also, consider this.....Alabama freshman quarterback Bryce Young has already made a million bucks from endorsements and he hasn't even played a game at 'Bama, much less been named the starter. Young became eligible to receive money from endorsements when the NCAA changed the ruling earlier this year and now all NCAA student athletes are allowed to negotiate their own deals. Once again, it's all about money.
If the SEC continues to expand and actually adds Michigan, Ohio State, Clemson and Florida State, the only way the other leagues will be able to survive is to form a second Super Conference. It could include teams from the Big 12, Big Ten and Pac 12. Of course, this is all speculation and isn't likely to actually happen. But last week, I wrote that I didn't see Texas and Oklahoma really becoming the newest members of the SEC and the same day, it became a reality.
The fact that our country is coming off an awful year due to the pandemic seems to have affected everyone's mindset. In other words, the more outrageous the better. No one would have thought Texas and Oklahoma would be leaving the Big 12 to join the SEC, but they are. And if the SEC wants to continue to be outrageous, they will continue to recruit those other aforementioned teams to form that 20 team Super Conference. Then, what's next? I imagine the SEC could think about adding a couple of NFL teams because that's the only way they can get stronger.
Randy Smith can be reached at email@example.com