4 Things You Need To Know About Texas-Oklahoma Move To SEC
The college football world was rocked by the news that Texas and Oklahoma would move from the Big 12 to the SEC. It is obvious that this move will have a huge impact on college football, but let’s spell out a few specific ways in which this matters.
SEC Is Poised To Dominate 12-Team College Football Playoff
The Oklahoma Sooners needed to be in the Big 12 Conference in order to make the College Football Playoff when the playoff was a four-team event. With the move to a 12-team playoff, Oklahoma isn’t hurting its playoff chances by moving to the SEC. The SEC expects to get four, maybe even five, teams into a 12-team playoff, with Oklahoma expecting to be part of the picture. The Sooners aren’t worried about their playoff chances because there will be so many more playoff spots available. The real question is whether Texas – which hasn’t won a conference championship since 2009 – will be able to rise and lift itself to a championship level. The Longhorns are the team which is taking a bigger risk in terms of playoff or championship relevance.
Don’t Expect This Move To Take A Long Time
The Big 12 might contest this move in court, but even though you have been reading that Oklahoma and Texas will move to the SEC in 2025, don’t expect this process to take four years, even with litigation. Oklahoma and Texas aren’t going to subject themselves to a miserable coexistence with the Big 12 for four whole years. The two schools aren’t going to play four lame-duck seasons in the Big 12. They will want to get to the SEC as soon as possible, not in the distant future. They might have to pay the Big 12 a ton of money to do this, and it will be worth it. Expect Texas and Oklahoma to play in the SEC no later than 2023, and possibly as early as 2022.
Conference Realignment Is Not Stable Or Clear
Don’t assume that the eight teams in the Big 12 left behind by Oklahoma and Texas will go to the other power conferences. The Pac-12 has said it doesn’t need to expand. The Big Ten and ACC want Notre Dame but aren’t in any hurry to invite West Virginia, Kansas, Iowa State, or the other leftover schools from the Big 12. If one conference does add a few teams, it might be the AAC, which is a Group of Five conference and not a Power Five conference. Why would the AAC be able to poach Big 12 schools? Simple: ESPN, the TV colossus which had a role in Oklahoma and Texas moving to the SEC – which has a new ESPN/Disney contract coming up – is the exclusive TV rights-holder for the AAC. Fox Sports and CBS are not part of AAC football television. ESPN can give the AAC the money and incentives to make these moves. Ultimately, don’t assume too much about where the other eight Big 12 schools will go.
SEC Changes Will Come
The SEC, by becoming a 16-team conference, will have to make a few obvious changes. First, it will scrap divisions. No more East and West. The top two teams will play in the SEC Championship Game. Second, the regular-season schedule will change. The SEC plays eight conference games. It will have to move up to at least nine, possibly 10, as soon as Oklahoma and Texas play football as SEC members.