Updated: Aug 17, 2021
On Wednesday, reports of Texas and Oklahoma potentially joining the SEC sent shockwaves across the college football landscape. Would the Longhorns and Sooners really abandon the Big 12 for greener pastures? Why exactly would Texas, flush with money from the Longhorn Network, leave a conference in which they receive a lion’s share of the revenue? What is the impetus for such a move? Would the Big 12 quickly dissolve? Would there be a domino effect across the college football world? Has the age of college football super conferences finally arrived? Is the Power Five now the Power Four? Would Texas and Oklahoma join the SEC West and push Alabama and Auburn to the east? What would be the ramifications of such a move? Will rivalries be lost? And when would this actually happen anyway? Two years from now? Three? Speculation has been swirling across social media and college football message boards. Although there are plenty of questions that still need answers, one thing is for sure: some walk away winners from such a groundbreaking move, while others walk away losers. Here is the list of the biggest losers from the SEC.
Texas A&M left the Big 12 to escape the shadow of big brother Texas. Although A&M has significantly reduced the revenue gap between the two schools, Texas is still the biggest brand in college football. Whereas A&M could once tell recruits that College Station was the only place in Texas they could go to play football in the SEC, that will no longer be the case. Rest assured, the Aggies will try to stop this move from happening. This couldn’t come at a worse time. Texas A&M is fresh off their best season in years. They’ve yet to appear in the SEC Championship Game, but they have positioned themselves well to contend in the future. The recent NIL news provided A&M with a significant recruiting advantage, too. Any NIL money that A&M players receive is not taxable in the state of Texas. If Texas and Oklahoma enter the fold and convince A&M recruits to play elsewhere, the Aggies will walk away the biggest losers.
Alabama is king, and it’s good to be king. The Crimson Tide has dominated the SEC under head coach Nick Saban. Why would the program want any change to the status quo? Titans of industry don’t want competition; they seek to destroy it. It threatens their grip on power. Texas and Oklahoma are two premier programs, who stand to benefit greatly from joining the SEC. Texas A&M made a ton of money from entering the conference and received a major boost in recruiting. Texas and Oklahoma will be no different. After all, these are two programs that Alabama has met in the postseason during the Nick Saban tenure. How would adding more competition help Alabama stay on top?
If Texas and Oklahoma really do join the SEC, you could easily see the league office send Alabama and Auburn to the SEC East. Under this scenario, Georgia would square off against Alabama, Florida, and Auburn in the regular season and then likely match up with Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, or LSU in the SEC Championship Game. What a gauntlet. All seven of those teams could be top 10 teams. This is the schedule BEFORE the College Football Playoff. For a school that can’t ever seem to win the big game, adding Alabama and other potential roadblocks to the mix is less than ideal.
Check out my Biggest Winners article.