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? 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 SEC 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 winners.
This is how Texas returns to national prominence. The Longhorns will receive a major recruiting boost from joining the SEC, just as Texas A&M did. Texas A&M significantly enhanced its public profile since establishing itself as the flagship SEC team in the state of Texas. The Aggies greatly benefitted from telling in-state recruits that they did not need to leave the state of Texas to play in the SEC. A&M will no longer have that advantage if Texas and Oklahoma join the conference. Although Texas and Oklahoma are already considered to be recruiting powers, the move to the SEC should bolster their public profile amongst recruits. Now, high school phenoms from Texas can make money from the NIL, remain close to home, and play in the third best conference in football. (After the NFC and AFC, of course.) The lights are brightest in the SEC, and the stands will be jam-packed with fans and scouts alike. It’s a win-win for future NFL prospects, who want to stay close to home. It’s a gigantic win for Texas recruiting because they can tell top-tier national recruits that income tax doesn’t apply to NIL money in the state of Texas. As such, it’s a major victory for Longhorn fans, who are dying to return to national title contention. Dealing a blow to in-state rival Texas A&M doesn’t hurt, either.
Side note: Texas baseball, meet SEC baseball.
College Football Fans
Do y’all remember the 2019 LSU-Texas game? How about the 2018 Oklahoma-Georgia Rose Bowl Game? Or, the Oklahoma-Alabama Orange Bowl the following season? Imagine those high-profile games on an annual basis. The matchups wouldn’t be neutral sites, either. How fun would Texas traveling to Gainesville be? Or, Alabama playing in Norman? How about Georgia visiting Austin? Or, Oklahoma making the trip to Death Valley? New faces in new places. It would be madness. Who doesn’t want more top 10 matchups? Adding two marquee football programs to the SEC would be a ratings bonanza. College football fans stand to benefit the most. We get postseason quality games during the regular season. Year after year after year.
Future SEC Recruits
Did someone say ratings bonanza? The SEC would move to renegotiate its TV deals immediately. It’s going to be a cash cow. With money pouring in and competition mounting in conference, boosters for the truly premier college football programs will shell out the big bucks for the top high school football talent. I mean, let’s be real here: Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, who has yet to start a game for the Crimson Tide, has reportedly brought in almost a million dollars, according to head coach Nick Saban. Can you imagine what the bidding war for Arch Manning will be? We’ve entered a new age of college football: the NIL era.
Check out my Biggest Losers article.