After last month’s shocking news that USC and UCLA would be leaving the Pac-12 and joining the Big Ten by the 2024 season, most assumed more groundbreaking college football realignment was imminent. But that might not be the case.
According to a report from Saturday Down South, the SEC presidents do not want the conference to expand further and are content with staying at 16 teams after the addition of Texas and Oklahoma in 2025.
“We’re positioned at 16 (teams) for a robust future,” an SEC athletic director told SDS. “The need just isn’t there.”
Obviously, this all depends on the Big Ten‘s conference realignment moves. If the Big Ten continues to add teams and power begins to shift, the SEC might have no choice but to reconsider this stance.
However, the SEC does not seem to believe there is a move the Big Ten could make that would be seen as threatening – not even the addition of Notre Dame.
“Why? I’ll put our product vs. anyone’s product,” an SEC source told SDS. “So we’re going to just add schools to add schools? There’s no value in that.”
As the college football world heard of this report, they obviously reacted with a healthy bit of skepticism.
Never say never but realignment, outside of if Notre Dame chooses to join the B1G, may be done among the SEC and B1G (and maybe ACC). Focus shifts to the B12 vs P12 war https://t.co/g7SmV8A0Kk
— Tim Thomas (@TimThomasTLP) July 11, 2022
Good. There’s simply no need for any more schools. https://t.co/NtFXoYd99P
— Heath Cline (@heathradio) July 11, 2022
I would like to believe them.
I would also like large, greasy cheeseburgers that are "low fat & low calories" and $2.00/gallon gas. https://t.co/E7CnJT1wqJ
— John M. Bishop (@JohnBishop71) July 11, 2022
If the B1G and SEC are done making moves, that should provide some clarity to remaining PAC-12 schools on how to proceed. Stick together, maybe backfill? Entertain ACC partnership? Or will some members defect and join the Big 12? https://t.co/7Ans25T7Ah
— Brandon Helwig (@UCFSports) July 11, 2022
Makes sense. Pretty much anything beyond this would get really close to diminishing returns on a per school basis. https://t.co/pRYYHRCBTQ
— Gary Segars (@GaryWCE) July 11, 2022
One tiny little piece missing. Most of the schools that the SEC would be interested in (UNC, UVA) are ESPN properties already. Why would ESPN bust up content they have on the cheap just to make the SEC bigger. Doesn’t make sense. https://t.co/jwuJUmlcbM
— bazelwood (@bazelwood) July 11, 2022
Of course, even if the SEC doesn’t expand, that doesn’t mean college football realignment is over. The Big Ten reportedly continues to court Notre Dame and the Big 12 reportedly tried to poach as many as six Pac-12 teams just last week.