It was just a week ago when the Houston Chronicle reported that Texas and Oklahoma are interested and likely to jump ship and join the Southeastern Conference effective July of 2024 or July 2025, which caused a gigantic rift across the entire College Football landscape. Some were angry, some were excited, and many were confused. Confused as to why Texas and Oklahoma would leave the Big 12 for the SEC, confused as to what’s next, and confused as to who you could trust when it comes to conference loyalty?
Quite honestly, with Texas and Oklahoma leaving the Big 12, the entire landscape of College Athletics has completely flipped upside down. Now, I know what you’re thinking. How can Texas and Oklahoma leaving for the SEC be a good thing? Or how does the change that’s coming across the board have any positive impact, what’s so ever? It might not be the most elaborate answer that one is looking for, but it’s an answer that makes sense. For years we have heard the rumors swirling around that a breakaway from the NCAA was in the works, and with the latest developments, one might believe that’s on the horizon. Not to mention the economic impact that moving to the SEC will have not only on the existing members but on Texas and Oklahoma as well. It’s enough of an economic impact to move the needle and forever shape the landscape of College Athletics.
What about the rest of the College Athletics landscape? Well, to be honest, nobody knows. Realistically, the Pac 12 will likely absorb teams like Texas Tech, TCU, and maybe Baylor, with the AAC coming in and replacing the Big 12 as the final Power Five Conference. Some have even started the conversation about Notre Dame joining the ACC as a full-time member starting as early as the 2023 season. West Virginia is likely to join the ACC as well joining their historic rivals in Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
Here’s the deal, no matter if you like it or hate it. Texas and Oklahoma will become members of the Southeastern Conference, and the landscape of College Athletics will forever be changed. It’s best to embrace it because, in the long run, this merger of superpowers will not only add cash flows to these schools, but these potential matchups will be something that no college sports fan has ever dreamed of before. On any given Saturday in any sport, you will see Alabama traveling to Texas to take on the Longhorns or the Sooners football team heading to Athens to take on the Bulldogs in a game that could decide who goes to Atlanta to play for an SEC Championship. Or heck, what about having five to six programs each year in both softball and baseball competing for a World Series. Every game in every sport will matter. No matter if it’s an all-SEC battle or a battle between former foes, every game will matter.
Sit back and enjoy the fun is only beginning. When this thing is all said and done, there’s truly no telling where we’ll all end up.