One of the biggest pieces of news in collegiate athletics in the past years has been conference realignment. Rumors and rumblings are a regular occurrence in the college sports world, but it’s become very real especially in recent months with brazen new TV deals and wild realignment news.
The headliners in recent times have been the moves made by current Pac-12 teams, with all but two of those teams heading to the ACC, Big 12, or Big Ten for next season. These are moves that make little to no sense geographically but are strictly about security for those programs, with super-conferences and mega-funded TV deals inspiring all of these moves.
What actually jumpstarted the current run of realignment was a move made by the SEC over a year ago, when the conference announced it would add Oklahoma and Texas from the Big 12. Two high-profile programs would abandon longtime conference rivals and help bolster an already juicy SEC Basketball, with this move having a significant impact in college football, as well as in a few other sports.
No matter how you feel about realignment or react to the news we’ve heard, this is very real and is the future of college sports. The Pac-12 as we know it will cease to exist in nine months and that might not be the only league that falls apart in the coming years. These programs and executives are chasing the big bucks and you never know which league may fall victim next. It’s a major reason why the ACC recently announced their additions of California, Stanford, and SMU, adding to their membership in case they themselves are raided.
Moving proactively is important and that’s why we’re checking out the SEC again today. It was their additions of Oklahoma and Texas that seemed to jumpstart this madness, bringing them to 16 teams. What if they want to add more members to the league, perhaps reaching an even 18 or 20? Today we’ll be looking at ten potential programs that the SEC could look to add, presenting them strictly in alphabetical order, not based on preference level.