Could Texas and Oklahoma join SEC country? If so, here’s what realignment might look like.
On Wednesday, the Houston Chronicle reported Texas and Oklahoma have contacted the SEC about joining the conference. An attempt at a denial from both schools naturally followed, as did expected reactions.
Texas and Oklahoma are two of the biggest brand names in college football, even if the Sooners are the only of the two who have backed it up with results on the field lately. Their exit would lead to the dismantling of the Big 12, and that’s not an exaggeration. As if it wasn’t already good enough, the SEC would become a super conference with 16 teams. Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork said the Aggies want to be the only SEC team in the state of Texas, after leaving the Big 12 themselves.
What would realignment look like if Texas and Oklahoma join SEC?
If the SEC maintained two football divisions, here’s how they might look like if Texas and Oklahoma were in.
SEC West: Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri
SEC East: Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vanderbilt
Sometimes, media partners help drive stories and narratives. Right on cue, the ESPN-owned SEC Network has already outlined how conference realignment for football could look with Texas and Oklahoma in.
Instead of two divisions, the proposal has four, four-team “pods.” A bump to nine conference games is natural, while maintaining many annual rivalry games (Alabama-Auburn, Oklahoma-Texas, Georgia-Florida, Ole Miss-Mississippi State, Tennessee-Vanderbilt, Georgia-South Carolina).
An interesting new annual game in this SEC pod realignment (which would also come in the aforementioned division reshuffle) is a Big 8 throwback, Oklahoma-Missouri. Some Southwestern Conference throwbacks would also come, annually or not (Texas-Arkansas, Texas A&M-Arkansas). The big crossovers with Texas and Oklahoma in the pod alignment (Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Georgia, Florida) would be interesting, with at least a couple lined up to happen every year.
Of course with the realignment would come the loss of some annual games. Alabama-LSU would not happen every year. Texas and Texas A&M would be in different pods, and play every other year.
Sometimes where there’s smoke there’s fire on these kind of things. Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC is far from a lock to happen, but it’s fun to speculate on how a realigned mega-conference would look.