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What Are the SEC Options for Potential Restructuring of Conference with Texas, Oklahoma Additions?

Four team "pods," eight team divisions among the possibilities for incorporating Texas and Oklahoma into conference

The biggest bombshell since NIL was officially passed fell on the SEC on Wednesdsay when it was reported by the Houston Chronicle that Texas and Oklahoma had reached out to the SEC about joining the conference. 

Further reporting from Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger indicated that both schools have delivered an "exit strategy" to the Big 12 and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey just declined to comment on the "speculation." Additionally, WFAA reporter Jason Whitely in Dallas reports that both Oklahoma and Texas will send letters declining to renew their TV contracts with the Big 12, which are set to end in 2025. 

It would be the first step in potentially petitioning the SEC to join the highly praised conference. As the news began to ripple through college athletics and gain even more steam, the Big 12 held a meeting between the other schools about plans should Oklahoma and Texas leave the conference, a conversation that neither school was a part of.

There are many steps that need to be taken for this potential expansion becoming reality, starting with a 3/4 vote from the current SEC schools about allowing the likes of Texas and Oklahoma into the conference. Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork has already spoke publicly on the potential addition of the two programs. 

“We want to be the only SEC program in the state of Texas,” Bjork said to reporters.

With the future of the NCAA very much up in the air, the potential addition of Oklahoma and Texas could create the first "superconference" in college athletics. And of course with the speculation also comes potential ways in which it could work. Even the SEC Network on Thursday morning released an idea on how incorporating the Longhorns and Sooners would look.

Its structure would include four "pods" with the following four teams making up one of these pods:

LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Texas A&M

Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina

Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Vanderbilt

Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas

The proposed theory is that each team would play the other three in their own pod every year and two games against each of the other pods that would switch off year to year. It would make for a total of nine conference games and with some conferences exploring the idea of expanding the schedule to nine or 10 conference games each year, it would make sense. 

Of course another option for football would be to just tack on Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC West and slide two teams over to the SEC East. Again, these are just theorized ideas and nothing will come close to being concrete until a million other steps are passed first. 

With the Big 12 TV contracts for both schools not set to expire until 2025, there's time to figure all of this out. 

But it's still never too early to think about and adding two schools with the rich sports histories of Texas and Oklahoma to the conference, which would make the SEC that much more of the most dominant conference it already is.