Could Texas and Oklahoma really be thinking about moving to the SEC? It’s reportedly being discussed in a potential college sports shocker.
College Football Daily Cavalcade: Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC?
Sorry if this take sucks, it’s not my fault …
I’m too busy sticking my tongue out at all those Big 12ers who hard-honked at me for suggesting that other Power Five conferences should go after Texas and Oklahoma.
And built into the deal would be the death penalty to anyone caught doing the Horns Down hand thingy.
So here I am on a delightful July day, doing everything I can to ignore the blather of media days – and having a hard time with that thanks to all the oxygen the college football media types give to Mike Leach for saying silly things – and then the good people of the Houston Chronicle dropped this little nuclear nugget …
Texas and Oklahoma are reportedly playing footsie with the SEC.
— Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman) July 21, 2021
On the plus side, that totally hijacked all the Mike Leach-being-cheeky stuff from SEC media days, and also on the positive, we get the fun of talking college football expansion – which I actually love.
Normally I might cynically blow this off as some sort of stunt to get everyone all hot and bothered, but as it turns out, it might not be all that crazy.
If there was ever a time for this to happen, right now would be perfect considering the seismic shifts happening in college sports to make this potentially work, starting with …
1. College Football Playoff expansion.
Remember, expansion is a business story, not a sports one.
Whether or not Texas and Oklahoma would win anything in the SEC is immaterial. Everyone would make more money, and that goes triple-true if the almost-certain move of taking the CFP up to 12 teams gets approved.
When/if that happens, all of a sudden, you can theoretically lose three games and still be in the mix to win the national title – especially considering that in a loaded SEC, those losses would likely come to other teams in the top 12.
We’re all going to have to get used to the idea that soon you won’t have to be close to perfect to be a part of the college football championship picture.
However, of course …
2. It’s all about the money.
The rich would like to have more money. That’s why they’re rich. They’re better at getting more money than the not-rich, and with this move everyone involved would make lots and lots and lots of money. Oh yeah, and …
3. The players are going to want to make money.
Well that kicked in fast.
One minute no one knows what NIL means, the next moment the Alabama quarterback is supposedly going to bring in a cool million in endorsements.
You want the best players? You give them the best sponsorship opportunities in the biggest spotlight games. A ridiculously loaded SEC with Texas and Oklahoma would bring more money, more agents, more attention, and more deals for the top players on the top teams. Again, everyone makes more money.
Speaking of more money …
4. TV deals will still matter … sort of.
The idea of TV markets don’t mean quite what they used to, and normal TV deals aren’t going to be the same in a streaming world with everyone under the age of near-death blowing off the normal network channels to watch someone on YouTube ordering Starbucks.
The conferences haven’t quite figured out how to make their home networks really rock.
The Big Ten Network is a cash machine for what it does, but it’s not Netflix. The SEC Network with Texas and Oklahoma could all of a sudden change the game and how the consumption of sports works by reconfiguring its deals. It would back up the Brinks truck with deals from the normal network players along with amazing options from the streaming companies.
But you, Joe Q. Sportsfan, don’t really care about that. What about the on-field stuff. How would this really work?
If I had to speculate on Step 193 in all of this, forget the banter about eliminating two divisions and making the league one big SEC glob. If the conference added two more teams – especially Texas and Oklahoma – to get to 16, my knee-jerk guess would be for a move to four divisions of four and a four-team SEC Conference mini-playoff. And why?
(No, you don’t need me to actually type the words “to make more money,” do you?)
East: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Vanderbilt
Mideast: LSU, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee
West: Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, Ole Miss
Southwest: Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M
Or, this could be just a super-flex by the Big 12’s two big powerhouses to expand their respective brands, increase their influence, and/or up their price and deal for where I really think they might be headed (totally irresponsible speculation alert) …
Media days just got real.