The Southeastern Conference (SEC) has officially accepted the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns as members beginning in 2025.
Oklahoma and Texas submitted official requests to join the SEC on Tuesday, July 27. The two schools will become members on July 1, 2025 and will begin competition in all sports for the 2025-26 academic year.
“The Presidents and Chancellors of the Southeastern Conference are pleased to welcome the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas,” said Jere Morehead, President of the University of Georgia and current President of the SEC. “Both universities are prestigious academic institutions with strong athletics programs similar in tradition, culture and success to our current member universities. We look forward to a productive and successful future together beginning in 2025.”
With the addition of Oklahoma and Texas, the SEC will expand from 14 to 16 schools. The Sooners and Longhorns will join Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt.
“This is an important moment for the long-term future of the Southeastern Conference and our member universities,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “Oklahoma and Texas are outstanding academic institutions with two strong athletics programs, which will add to the SEC’s national prominence. Their additions will further enhance the already rich academic, athletic and cultural legacies that have been cultivated throughout the years by our existing 14 members. We look forward to the Sooners and Longhorns competing in our Conference starting in the 2025-26 academic year.”
No announcement has been made on which division Oklahoma and Texas will be placed into, or whether the conference will move to four four-team pods. The SEC could also scrap the divisions altogether.
“The Southeastern Conference’s dedication to the success of our member institutions – and our members’ commitment to one another – has produced a sustained level of excellence unrivaled throughout college sports,” Sankey added. “It is the unity and collaboration of our institutions that makes the SEC special, and Wednesday’s decision of the Texas A&M Board of Regents to approve a vote supportive of Conference membership for their long-time in-state rival is an example of the overall culture of this Conference. I appreciate the opportunity for our Conference to move forward with a spirit of unanimity.”
Hopefully PSU schedules either Texas or Oklahoma now that both teams have lost some out of conference games due to their move.
After seeing the benefit of 10 SEC games this past fall, I think we can expect there to be an increase from 8 to 9 games in the least… and even 10 isn’t out of the question. There would still be room for two OOC games, including one with a traditional rival…
Given a 9 game conference schedule, one could try a 7-2 format, although it takes way long to rotate through all the teams. Even a 10 game conference schedule yielding an 8-3 is a bit better. Keeping traditional rivalries locked in a pod structure of 3-2-2-2 might work with 9 games. With 10 games, you can have a 3-2-2-2+1 “lock of a crossover game not otherwise occurring… All this is why no divisions at all might end up being the way, with 3 locked games plus alternating the other 12 teams 6/6. Which…. is sort of the way the SEC was until the 1980’s!!! Remember, it once had 13 teams but only required at least 6 conference games.
If it’s East/West, I suspect:
West: A&M, “UTex”, OU, Arkansas, Mizzou, LSU, Ole Miss, MSU
East: UA, AU, UGa, UF, SC, “UTen”, UK, Vandy
The only locked games that matter on television are protected this way. No one’s going to cry over MSU/UK not being an annual matchup.
If it’s pods… hey, can the SEC pay for Mizzou to join the B1G Ten with Kansas, or for Vandy to go ACC and go with 15 teams? Because three pods protect the games that matter, and a 4 division – 5 from another pod is a lot simpler to rotate the pod you play from one year to the next.
Pod 1: A&M, UTex, OU, Ark, LSU
Pod 2: MSU, Ole Miss, Vandy, UK, SC
Pod 3: UA, AU, UGa, UF, UTen
Otherwise, there’s no way to do four pods that with four teams and salvage all the traditional games, namely UA-UTen. If Alabama weren’t so insistent on playing them every year… (Auburn hated to lose its annual game with UTen… no, not really)… it would be easier to do this:
Pod A: UA, AU, UGa, UF
Pod B: UTen, UK, Vandy, USC
Pod C: A&M, LSU, UTex, OU
Pod D: MSU, Ole Miss, Mizzou, Ark
You have way too much time on your hands
Wheaton’s Law much?
I agree that Alabama-Tennessee is a Fake “rivalry” game. If the SEC’s so-called cross-division “rivalry” games go away that will be one good thing that happens due to this move. Although I personally prefer division, the 4 team “pods” or “groups” make sense to me.
Alabama and Tennessee have met 103 times. Alabama and Auburn played 85 times. Maybe it’s Alabama and Auburn that’s the fake rivalry game?
Moving to 10 conference games won’t happen until at least the mid-2030’s, as a lot of teams already have 3-4 non-conference games scheduled well into that decade.
Please, stop calling these things “pods”. That word is tacky. What happened to subdivision? Heck, I could go for calling them “blocks” before that tacky word. It’s too covid-y of a word. I hate it.
Okay Fakename McNugget, but pod had been the term used previously with the WAC and in other discussions about scheduling.
I’d be fine with using the other football’s “Group” instead.
So the WAC are the trendsetters? You’re whack, David.
I am curious about the schedule format. To me, the easiest is still east and west. No more permanent games. Makes for easy rotation. Everyone would play everyone in a 4 year span. Don’t like the pods or no format at all. 85% chance of a rematch. Nobody wants to see that.
With a 16-team conference, have two, 8-team divisions. With a 9-game conference schedule, you would play your seven division rivals every year and two cross division opponents each year, rotating through the other division every four years.
Seismic Change – 😊
If they go to nine, just scrap divisions.
Have each team play 5 teams every year. and then the other four rotate every year. So in three years you end up playing every team in conference at least once.
That way you protect rivalries… Georgia, for instance may play fixed games with Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida, Auburn and, Tennessee. Everyone else would rotate through. One year they may get Texas, Mississippi State, MIssouri and Vandy. The next they get LSU, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Ole Miss. Then the third year they get Oklahoma, Alabama and two others that they’ve already played.
Top two teams go to the SEC title game.