SEC Football dominance not automatic for Texas and Oklahoma

Two new, top SEC football teams could be in for a 2024 reality check.

The addition of Oklahoma and Texas is great for the SEC Football. Their brands are two of the biggest in college football. With 14 teams, the SEC was the toughest and most successful conference. The gap between the SEC and the Big Ten widens with the Horns and the Sooners.

Large celebrations in Austin and Norman followed official entry into the SEC. Both programs are justified in their optimism. The Longhorns made the Playoffs last season. Oklahoma rebounded from a 6-7, 2022 season by going 10-3 in 2023.

No college football fanbase does big talk better than the Longhorns. The Texas AD, Chris Del Conte proudly fuels such brashness. Del Conte recently said for all their SEC opponents a game against Texas will be their "Super Bowl."

Is Texas, and to a lesser degree Oklahoma in for a reality check in the 2024 season? It can be argued that Oklahoma is the 'blue blood' of the pair. The Sooners have more National Championships. Going back to the year the SEC was formed, the Sooners have seven national championships to four for Texas. Current SEC teams have won 16 of the last 23 national championships. The Longhorns (2005) and the Sooners (2000) have just one each. There is no dispute that the level of competition in the SEC is tougher than it was in the Big 12.

From a resources standpoint, Texas is poised to compete as an SEC top dog. Oklahoma is far from a poverty program. But money alone does not buy immediate success in the SEC.

Oklahoma can stand a degree of patience, given the transition from Lincoln Riley to Brent Venables was such a drop-off in wins. The Sooners can continue to trend upward if they fail to make the first 12-team Playoff field. The opposite is true for Texas. Momentum for the Longhorns will take a major hit if Texas does not make the Playoffs. The Horns must become one of the five SEC teams the new Playoff format will likely allow. Alabama and Georgia are projected to take two of the slots. Texas must battle LSU, Ole Miss, Missouri; and possibly Tennessee and Oklahoma for one of the three other slots.

Easier SEC Football paths to the Playoffs

Alabama, Georgia, and Oklahoma have tougher schedules than Texas. But the Longhorns are away to Michigan and Texas A&M, plus having a home date against Georgia and their annual showdown with the Sooners. LSU, Ole Miss, and Missouri have easier paths to a Playoff slot than Texas.

Two things can be true for Texas and Oklahoma. They both should have great SEC futures and 2024 may bring early disappointment.

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