Alabama Football: What SEC teams may slam the door on Texas and OU


On a day most attention was expected to be centered on Nick Saban and Alabama Football – other BIG news broke out. BIG, as in news about potentially exiting Big 12 teams Texas and Oklahoma.

On Wednesday, news out of Texas (as originally reported by Brent Swernemen of the Houston Chronicle) was the Longhorns and Sooners are more than just interested in a move to the SEC.

John Talty of provided more information. According to Talty, the potential realignment had been rumored since the start of SEC Media Days on Monday. According to Talty,

"… multiple college football insiders (said) that Texas and Oklahoma had already taken steps to facilitate a possible move and the desired landing place should both leave the Big 12 is the SEC."

What stood out in Talty’s story and other reports was insider conjecture a move could be accomplished, “within a couple (of) weeks.”

Even if there have been real, substantive discussions, the idea a realignment deal could be finalized in a few weeks seems impossible. There are existing television rights and other media deals in place for several more years. As attractive as an expanded SEC would be, conflicts for the existing deals would have to be resolved.

Alabama Football and the Longhorn Network

There is also the Longhorn Network. There is no way the top programs in the SEC will accept any newcomer (and probably any team, ever) having a stand-alone network.

There are other issues. The Longhorn Network was a contributing motivation for Texas A&M to join the SEC. The Aggies would much prefer the advantage they currently have being the only Texas team. As reported by John Talty, Aggies Atletic Director, Ross Bjork said on Wednesday,

"We want to be the only SEC team from the state of Texas."

The Aggies would have little chance of blocking SEC entry by Texas and Oklahoma, without additional resistance from other SEC programs. That resistance might coalesce easily. Programs like Missouri, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Vanderbilt and South Carolina may not be willing to have their stature within the SEC pushed down by two, new, high-profile programs. Some of them might capitulate because an expanded SEC would mean more money for every program. But new money will be coming to SEC programs anyway with the expanded CFB Playoff.

A sixteen-team SEC would also force divisional realignment. Neither of the Big 12 schools will want to get the Missouri treatment and be pushed into the SEC East. Because of more competitive disadvantage in the SEC West, Arkansas and the two Mississippi schools might prefer being moved to the SEC East.

There are other complications. A few years ago the state legislature in Oklahoma stated OU and Oklahoma State would always be members of the same conference. Also, one or more SEC schools might quickly prefer competition as ACC or Big 12 members.

So far, the SEC’s Greg Sankey’s response has been “no comment.”

Next. Tide's strongest and weakest position groups. dark

With future schedule additions in the last couple of years, Alabama Football has shown its desire for regular-season games with Texas and Oklahoma. The Alabama Crimson Tide might be the biggest expansion proponent among current SEC teams.