Report: SEC Presidents Prefer Conference Remains at 16 Teams Instead of Expanding

Doric SamJuly 11, 2022

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 30: A general view of the field and Southeastern Conference logo before the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators on October 30, 2021 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After the recent jumps by USC and UCLA from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten, there had been some speculation that the SEC would look to continue to expand.

However, it appears that is no longer the case as CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd confirmed a report from Matt Hayes of Saturday Down South stating that the SEC will remain at 16 teams after the additions of Oklahoma and Texas in 2025.

In the era of conference realignment, there may have been an attraction to continue adding new schools. However, Hayes noted that current SEC school presidents and athletic directors prefer that the conference remains at 16 teams.

"We're positioned at 16 [teams] for a robust future," an anonymous SEC athletic director told Hayes. "The need just isn't there."

Texas and Oklahoma are schools that are perennially competitive across multiple sports, so adding them was a no-brainer after they explored their exits from the Big 12. Also, if the SEC didn't add them, any other conference would have jumped at the opportunity.

The SEC has won the last three football national championships, so there isn't a pressing need to add schools in order to keep up with the arms race between conferences. It appears that school administrators in the SEC aren't threatened by any further realignment and are confident in their standing in the current college football landscape.

When asked about whether the possibility of the Big Ten adding Notre Dame would be a threatening move for the SEC, a conference source responded, "Why? I’ll put our product vs. anyone’s product. So we’re going to just add schools to add schools? There’s no value in that."