Entry of Texas and Oklahoma and the future of SEC football rivalries

SEC Football rivalries will change with the addition of Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC. Consider how much they could change for the Alabama Crimson Tide.

With July comes the official status of the SEC as a 16-team league. The much-ballyhooed addition of the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners will certainly change the SEC football landscape, and other sports as well.

A hot topic is how SEC football rivalries will evolve and develop with future scheduling not yet determined beyond the 2025 season. New rivalries could take hold quickly. In the 2024 season, at least one will immediately be renewed. On Nov. 30, the Longhorns travel to College Station. The Longhorns and the Aggies have played each other 118 times in football. The two have not met since 2011. An oddity in the series is in six seasons between 1900 and 1909, the teams played each other twice in a season.

Alabama Football Rivalries

In the minds of many Alabama Crimson Tide fans, entrenched rivalries exist with Auburn, Tennessee, and LSU. The Georgia Bulldogs are fast approaching the same status. Some Alabama fans contend the Bama vs. LSU rivalry only exits because of Nick Saban. There is more to it than that. The two teams first played in 1895. Except for a five-season gap between 1958 and 1964, the teams have played almost every season going back to 1944. Alabama leads the series 56-27-5 and the main reason is not Nick Saban, but Paul 'Bear' Bryant's dominance over his good friend, and former Kentucky assistant coach Charlie 'Cholly Mac' McClendon's Bengal Tigers teams.

In the minds of many Alabama football fans, Auburn and Tennessee are forever rivals for the Crimson Tide. Alabama has played the Vols 106 times going back to 1901. Like LSU, Alabama has played Auburn 88 times. As intense as the rivalry with Auburn is now, it was worse early in the 20th century. A dispute defined as concern for dangerous sideline behavior by fans resulted in no games between 1907 and 1948. Another reason; possibly the primary one, was the two schools strongly disagreed over the financial arrangements. Eventually, it took the Alabama State Legislature to renew the annual game.

It is possible that SEC football scheduling will derail at least one annual rivalry contest for the Crimson Tide. It will not be Auburn, but it could be Tennessee, LSU, or both.

New Alabama Football rivalries could replace old ones. The Crimson Tide has scores to settle with both Texas and Oklahoma. Alabama has a losing record against the Sooners of 2-3-1. The Tide's record against Texas is worse, at 2-8-1. Nov. 23 in Norman, could be the seed that grows a new Alabama Crimson Tide rivalry.

Note: Team records provided by the outstanding site, mcubed.net

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