With news breaking that Texas and Oklahoma have interest in joining the SEC, the entire conference is in limbo as the 2021 SEC Media Days come to a close on Thursday.
The interest between the two Big-12 schools was first reported by the Houston Chronicle, a calculated move to stir up the conference during the SEC’s annual event in Hoover, Alabama.
With possible expansion on the horizon, there are plenty of options to where this could all go, especially if the SEC decides to go full-on super-conference.
With Texas and Oklahoma poking and prodding the SEC about joining the distinguished conference, the alignment within the conference could look much different, especially with a recent push to eliminate the cross-divisional games.
During the 2021 SEC Media Days, Florida Head Coach Dan Mullen addressed this potential issue.
“I don’t want to get the commissioner in trouble here, but I’d love to maybe do away with the permanent crossover team so you get these types of games more often,” Mullen told the media about facing Alabama on Monday. “I think for the players, for the fan bases, I really think it’s exciting to see some more maybe mixing up of the teams from the west and playing two different teams each year instead of a permanent crossover.”
While Mullen has a point, it would be a travesty to see games like Florida vs LSU not get played every year, especially with how the rivalry has taken off within the last 10-15 seasons. Other games like “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” (Auburn vs Georgia) would be played less, so other SEC East teams could play SEC West teams more often.
If Texas and OU were to join the conference, it could cause the SEC to look in another direction to schedule games, one that could look more like a pod-system with smaller divisions and more rotating opponents, much like Mullen is calling for. This proposed system could see Florida keep its regular Georgia rivalry, but also get to play against other schools such as Alabama, Auburn and Texas A&M more than once or twice in ten years.
Either way, a new look with more rotating opponents or pods would be welcomed, bringing more competition to an already top-heavy conference.
Although there are plenty of obstacles and contractual obligations before Texas and Oklahoma could be added to the conference, the idea is fun to think about, especially if the SEC were to change their current scheduling practices. Some of the most recognized names in the sport already slug it out in the Southeast and adding in two other major college football brands would only further the SEC’s stronghold on College Football as we know it.
Not to mention by the time this move could become a reality, the College Football Playoff Committee is looking towards their expansion practices, causing a shift across the sport. The future of College Football will look much different than it currently does, causing both anxiety and excitement as the 2021 season rolls closer.
Stay tuned to Gators Territory.