SEC Adding Teams For 2020 Seeming Incredibly Unlikely
Nebraska in the SEC West? Ohio State in the SEC East? Unfortunately, such speculation is much more of internet gossip than it it is euphoric reality. It's just not going to happen.
As rumors of a postponed Big Ten football season swirled into reality, rumors of teams from the Big Ten wanting to individually move to play one season of football in a different conference spiraled.
A handful of coaches from the conference – in particular Ryan Day (Ohio State), Jim Harbaugh (Michigan) and Scott Frost (Nebraska) – became increasingly vocal of their displeasure of the decision the Big Ten was making.
"We want to play a Big Ten schedule," Frost said. "I think the only reason we would look at any other options is if for some reason the Big Ten wasn't playing, and only a handful of teams from the Big Ten wanted to continue playing. I think if that's the case, I think we're prepared to look at any and all options."
"We need to look at every option. If that's the only option at the time, then we need to explore it," Day said, talking playing in a different conference.
The idea seemed like a fun, sexy idea in an offseason of nothing but the opposite. Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State to the SEC East? Nebraska, Wisconsin and Iowa to the SEC West? Yes Please.
Unfortunately, that seems like a pipe dream.
Legally, there would have to be buyouts from each team to the conference, severing both contractual and real-life, historical relationships between conference and institution.
For some schools (see Nebraska, who has been in the Big Ten since only 2011), the historical relationship is relatively irrelevant. Nebraska's historical powerhouse had no Big Ten relationship and they haven't had a ton of success since their conference transition. But guess what? The money is speaking, and they're not going anywhere.
"The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a fully committed member of the Big Ten Conference. "It is an unparalleled athletic and academic alliance," Nebraska chancellor Ronnie Green and president Ted Carter said in a statement on Thursday morning. "This has been a difficult and disappointing week for the Husker family. We look forward to the day when we can cheer on our student athletes, on the field and in the arena."
In an interview since his initial statements, Ohio State coach Ryan Day had similar statements – he's moving on:
“I think we need to try and start in January and play through March," Day said. "Something like an eight-week or nine-week season to create separation between this one and next season. Maybe it allows new guys to come in and essentially play a 2-for-1 in the same calendar year. I think some recruits would be excited about that. I know many of our current players are intrigued by that. But we need to put a plan together quickly, button it up and move forward.”
The SEC is 14 teams and will be 14 teams for 2020. They'll be playing a 10-game season against only themselves and, barring a drastic change in coming days, they're not going to be adding additional teams.
It was a fun thought for 72 hours. But it seems like it was just that, a thought.