Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC would end College Football as we currently know it
"It's the end of the world as we know it," Michael Stipe/REM, from 1987.
Apropos for College Football? Well, we may just find out here in the very near future on the heels of the shocking (or not) report (paywall) that Big 12 stalwarts Oklahoma and Texas may have already engaged the SEC about moving to their conference.
And yes, if it were to actually happen, it would dramatically change the world of College Football in a multitude of ways.
Think about it like this. We currently have five "power conferences". Of those five, four of them are almost regularly assured of berths in the current College Football playoff system.
You can almost always pencil in some combination of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oklahoma as being in the playoff. Everyone else, including Texas, is playing for runner up. Think about that. Now we're down to three (the Pac 12 hasn't contended in years).
Now--another issue, losing Oklahoma and Texas--likely spells doom for what's left of the Big 12. With only nine teams right now, they'd shrink to seven. Both schools are the flagships of what currently constitutes the Big 12.
What else is there? Well, think of it like this. What if the Red Sox, Yankees, Los Angeles Angeles and Chicago White Sox left to form their own MLB division of rich teams? And what if the Dodgers, Mets, Cubs and Phillies joined them? That's what the reconstituted SEC would be.
The College Football Playoff? Well, they've proposed expanding to 12 games, what if all of a sudden we've got four or five SEC teams competing? Great for the SEC? Not so great for everyone else.
We're talking about having at least eight of the top 20 athletic budgets in the country in ONE conference.
The Big 10 wouldn't stand a chance. Outside of Clemson, the ACC already doesn't. Power 5 schools, yeah, good luck.
Now, this is by no means a "done deal". There are ZERO chances Texas A&M or Missouri vote to allow either school in their conference. None. If two more SEC teams say no, than it likely is over before it ever gets started.
None of this could even take place before 2025 when the Big 12 TV contract expires. That puts pressure on everyone. How much is ESPN willing to pay to have an expanded SEC? They aren't directly involved with the Big 12, though they "own" the Texas Longhorn Network. And at the end of the day, truly, this whole conversation is about exactly one thing---TV Money.
I'm not even going to get into how this would likely make Greg Sankey more powerful than Mark Emmert. The NCAA oversight of the Power Five would end. There would be nothing the NCAA could do to question any of these programs about, well, anything.
Suddenly we'd be left with an inflated SEC, with three other "power" conferences and a whole bunch of Group of Five teams. How are we going to keep that interesting and balanced? Especially when you have an expanded SEC bringing in somewhere near $100 million per school per season, which is more than the budget of 80% of Division 1 football?
The idea of Texas and Oklahoma going to the SEC truly is the "Chaos Theory" or "Dogs and Cats living together, mass hysteria" come to life. It's a life I for one don't want to see. Though it is probably inevitable.
Why is it inevitable? Because I...or probably you and definitely not the NCAA or Big 12 will have enough money to stop it.