As the SEC moves toward expansion, already inking deals with Texas and Oklahoma to join the conference in 2025, some questions need answering, chiefly how the South Eastern Conference alignment will look.
The championship game in Atlanta is straightforward in its current format — winner of the West vs. winner of the East. However, with the Longhorns and Sooners joining, there was speculation of where they fit into the two-divsion configuration. Would one join each division, like Missouri and Texas A&M? That would be a wonky geographical fit. Or would they go with the four-team pod model? At that point, some of our favorite rivalry games — Alabama vs. Auburn, Georgia vs. Flordia, etc. — could be in jeopardy.
Well, the most powerful man in college athletics shed some light on the situation. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said the conference is leaning towards having all 16 teams with no divisions, according to Marc Ryan of CBS Sports.
Breaking: SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey says the league is looking at going to to a single division, and is leaning heavily in that direction.
Moving away from two divisions and no four team pod system.
— Marc Ryan (@MarcRyanOnAir) November 17, 2022
It’s not as crazy as it sounds; the Big 12 doesn’t have divisions. Now, obviously, these aren’t official statements and no final decision has been made. However, the most powerful man in the conference said it, so it must be considered the most likely outcome.
It’s not absolutely necessary, but it solves those scheduling and divisional issues. The preservation of the classic rivalries has to be of the utmost importance regardless if the conference does move forward without divisions. Scheduling, tiebreakers, and the road to Atlanta should be secondary to keeping our greatest matchups alive.