SEC Expansion: How Oklahoma and Oklahoma State Can Join the Conference

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SEC Expansion: How Oklahoma and Oklahoma State Can Join the Conference
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Expansion rumors in college athletics are back. Sixteen-team super conferences may not be too far way. Texas A&M's move to the SEC seems imminent. The Texas A&M Board of Regents is scheduled to discuss the issue on Monday and a decision could be finalized the same day. 

However, the SEC is also courting Florida State at the same time. Getting the Aggies and Seminoles would add two strong football programs to what is already the premier conference in the land. The conference would also not have to change its divisional structure if both are added. Texas A&M would be in the SEC West and Florida State would go to the SEC East.

College football may be headed to super conferences, but the SEC, or anyone for that matter, is going to have to get to 14 teams before 16 teams.

If the SEC is able to bring in both Texas A&M and Florida State, its dream scenario would then be to go after Oklahoma and Virginia Tech. Once again, the nation's best conference gets even stronger and its divisional structure would not be altered. The Sooners would join the Aggies in the SEC West and the Hokies would go to the SEC East with the Seminoles.

Virginia Tech would expand the SEC northward and getting Oklahoma gives the conference a stronger foothold in the state of Texas. A lot of Sooner alumni and players are from the Lone Star State as well.

 

SEC West

Alabama

Arkansas

Auburn

LSU 

Mississippi

Mississippi State

Oklahoma

Texas A&M

 

SEC East

Florida

Florida State

Georgia

Kentucky

Tennessee

South Carolina

Vanderbilt

Virginia Tech

 

As much as SEC commissioner Mike Slive would love for this happen, several setbacks could prevent it.

In any conference expansion scenario, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State would likely come as a package deal. There would be a lot of pressure from the state legislators and individuals like T. Boone Pickens to keep them together. This is a big reason why both schools could end up in an expanded Pac-12.

Virginia Tech AD Jim Weaver has already shut down the rumors of his school leaving the ACC, but so has Florida State president Eric Barron.

High ranking officials generally deny rumors of this kind, even if the scenario is likely to happen. It's similar to an upcoming free-agent player who talks in circles about his real motives. The player will praise his current team and act like he isn't even thinking about going to another franchise.

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If the Hokies truly don't have any intention of joining the SEC, one alternative could be for the conference to go after both schools from the Sooner State in order to get 16 schools.

Just like in Norman, a lot of Oklahoma State alumni and players also hail from across the border in Texas. Getting the Cowboys would help expand the SEC's footprint even more in the Lone Star State.

This is an expansion scenario that Mack Brown and the Longhorns would dread.

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State would undoubtedly be placed in the SEC West with Texas A&M. In any 16-team expansion scenario some school(s) will have go to the SEC East.

The most discussed idea has been to move Auburn or Alabama to the eastern division. Many fans in the state of Alabama would hate to see the Crimson Tide and War Eagle in separate divisions, but the Iron Bowl would not be in danger. There could be a second Iron Bowl, but it's also likely these teams wouldn't be meeting in Atlanta every year. 

Rivalries that could be in danger are the Third Saturday in October and the Saban Bowl. On the other hand, new rivalries could emerge like Alabama-Oklahoma and Auburn-Florida State.

If the SEC is serious about eventually adding Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, both Alabama schools could move to the east, and Florida State could move to the west.

Auburn and Alabama would not be separated in the divisions, preventing any concern some fans would have about Iron Bowl II. Florida State would have to travel a lot further for road games, but they don't have a big rival in the SEC outside of Gainesville.

Even if the Seminoles went to the SEC West, their annual matchup with the Gators for the Governor's Cup would be preserved, just as the Iron Bowl would remain even with both schools in different divisions.

 

SEC West

Arkansas

Florida State

LSU 

Mississippi

Mississippi State

Oklahoma

Oklahoma State

Texas A&M

 

SEC East

Alabama

Auburn

Florida

Georgia

Kentucky

Tennessee

South Carolina

Vanderbilt

 

There are lot of rumors right now about further expansion in college athletics. Texas A&M seems to be the next domino that will fall. The future of the Big 12 is very much in doubt and the Aggies aren't the only ones that could be on the way out. They might just be joined in the SEC by the Sooners, as well as the Cowboys.

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