It's been the talk of the college football world since the news surfaced Wednesday that Texas and Oklahoma could be leaving the Big 12.
Now, according to reports, it's official. Texas and Oklahoma are set to leave the Big 12, as first reported by Horns247.
The story now turns to where will the two powerhouse programs land? All signs point to the Southeastern Conference.
As first reported by Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle, Texas and Oklahoma reached out to the Southeastern Conference about potentially joining the conference, and according to reports, they did so in late December. So far, there have been no official comments from the SEC.
The addition of these teams to the SEC would likely create shockwaves throughout the landscape of college football. If the last round of conference realignment is an accurate predictor for this round, there would be no conference untouched.
SEC Scheduling Could Change Radically
The addition of Oklahoma and Texas would have many effects within the SEC, but the simplest is just a numbers game. The addition of two teams would take the conference from 14 to 16 teams and create the first “super conference” in college athletics, assuming no schools are removed.
In football, the SEC currently has two divisions of seven teams, and the winners of each division play in the SEC Championship Game. Every team plays each of its six division opponents and then two teams from the opposing division: one permanent rivalry game and also a rotational game from the other teams in the division.
It is also worth noting that some schools in the SEC have already scheduled Texas and Oklahoma for home-and-home series in the near future as an out-of-conference opponent. The addition of both these schools would mean a school like Georgia, which has games scheduled with the Longhorns and Sooners in the future would likely have to change their out-of-conference schedules.
With two additional teams potentially joining the conference, there will need to be some divisional realignment. There will have to be either two teams moving into the SEC East — most likely Auburn and Alabama — or there will have to be a total restructuring of the SEC. One potential answer has been the idea of having four divisions within the conference comprised of four teams each.
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