A New Era for College Football
October 26, 2021
The Southeastern Conference (SEC) just gained more power.
Texas and Oklahoma will be joining the SEC in 2025 or sooner. The big questions that the SEC needs to ask are “Who plays who, where, and when?”
Will there be eight games or nine?
Pods or divisions?
Will there be two permanent opponents or three?
Obviously, the historic annual rivalry games will remain the same. Auburn and Alabama. Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
Towards the end of the season, four SEC teams compete against ACC teams. Georgia plays Georgia Tech. South Carolina plays Clemson. Florida plays Florida State. Kentucky plays Louisville.
The question that still remains, what about the rest of the teams? What happens to LSU, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M?
Texas and Oklahoma are expected to keep their iconic game that revolves around the Texas State Fair. Many hope that the famed classic rivalries will still stick around: Florida-Georgia and Auburn-Georgia.
A pod system has been mentioned; meaning divisions would be eliminated. The pod system would create nine conference games instead of eight.
What could a potential SEC pod system look like?
Pod 1: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina
Pod 2: Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Pod 3: LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Texas A&M
Pod 4: Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma
What could a 9-game conference schedule look like?
- Play the three teams in your pod every season.
- Play two games against each of the other pods.
- Host every team at least once every four seasons.
What about the rivalries between teams who are in different pods? Would Auburn and Georgia not play each other every season? The question remains unanswered.
How does this affect the other divisions?
With Oklahoma and Texas going to the SEC, the Big 12 could struggle to have a playoff contender.
Would TCU, Texas Tech, Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, and West Virginia rebuild or would they scatter to other conferences?
Would the Big 12 expand to 16 teams to match the SEC?
What will the American Athletic Conference (AAC) look like with six new teams? More aggressive?
Will the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) struggle?
Will the Pac-12 benefit with Texas and Oklahoma leaving?
There are more questions than answers when regarding the SEC Expansion.
Greg Sankey, SEC commissioner, reportedly said, “I don’t care who you don’t want to play, I care who you do want to play”.
With Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC, the future of the SEC is still up in the air. The SEC has a lot to consider and questions need to be answered. Fans are interested to see how all of this configuration will play out within the next few years. With a new tide turning on college football, many die-hard fans hope that the excitement does not disappear.