ATHENS — Texas and Oklahoma will most certainly accept invitations today the SEC voted to extend on Thursday, changing the face of college football and likely triggering more movement.
For every action, there’s a reaction, and in this case, the fallout will be extensive.
The Longhorns and Sooners are contracted to be in the Big 12 until June of 2025, but it’s not out of the question they make the move sooner.
The schools would have to pay an estimated $75 to $85 million in penalties to break the agreement in place, or, hope the Big 12 breaks apart before the end of the contract.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby has accused ESPN of encouraging other conferences to pilfer teams from what remains of his league, which is now down to eight teams.
Here are three key takeaways from today’s pending addition of Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC:
1. SEC realignment
First things first, exactly how is this going to go down?
If the SEC is finished adding teams and maintains its two-division structure, things will get political and interesting quickly.
Texas and Oklahoma are two schools used to throwing their weight around and getting their way, and it’s a sure bet they’d prefer to see Alabama and Auburn moved to the East Division. That would leave LSU and Texas A&M has their biggest obstacles to a league championship game.
Such an alignment would change the face of the league and not necessarily for the better. But could divisional alignment have already been brokered behind closed doors? It’s a fair question to ask after the back-door manner Texas and Oklahoma joined the league.
2. We aren’t done yet
There will be more movement in the wake of Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC — has to be.
The first question is: Is the SEC finished? It would seem 16 teams is about as big as a college football league should be, but money has a way of influencing decisions, and if the SEC could get bigger and better league presidents might not be able to resist.
Comments from Florida State president John Thrasher leaves room for speculation.
“I don’t want Florida State to be left behind,” Thrasher told the Tallahassee Democrat.
“I consider us as part of the ACC, but I also know that we have a marquee name, Clemson has a marquee name. I think there might be people coming after us.”
3. Recruiting implications
Georgia has made important headway into Texas, as evidenced by projected starters Jalen Kimber and Lewis Cine in the secondary.
And, while there might not be immediate implications with the addition fo Texas and Oklahoma, the Bulldogs will ultimately lose a Lone State State recruit or two that wants to play in the SEC and can now stay closer to home
It’s also worth noting the NIL potential players who chose Texas, in particular, figure to have. The start of Texas has four of the 30 largest metropolitan areas join the nation. Austin ranks 29th — higher than any of the SEC’s immediate markets.
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