OUR VIEW: Those SEC chants may get louder

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, July 28, 2021

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Unfortunately, as a nation, we’re fairly divided right now. Try to talk to your neighbor about politics or your co-worker about the COVID-19 pandemic, and you might quickly find yourself in a heated discussion with a lot of strong opinions.

Oh, but down South there’s certainly one topic that we never seem to disagree on: SEC football is king and the Ohio States and Oklahomas of the world are outliers when compared to the brand of pigskin we play in front of packed stadiums on Saturdays.

And it’s hard to argue against it considering the strength of the SEC before and after the installation of the College Football Playoff. Those “SEC, SEC, SEC” chants may be annoying to the rest of the country, but they are loud, and they are typically in unison. There’s a lot of pride in it.

And now it’s only going to get louder.

If Texas and Oklahoma join the SEC — and all signs currently point that direction — then we’re going to be looking at college football like we’ve never seen before. We realize the “experts” are already trying to figure out how those teams will fit into the SEC’s East and West divisions (or whether the conference will start from scratch with their addition), but none of that matters right now.

What matters is two of the proudest, strongest football programs in the nation are on the verge of joining the conference that has been the dominant for over a decade. And yes, we realize that Texas isn’t exactly the Colt McCoy or Vince Young-led Longhorns right now, but with the support and finances backing that program it’s always only a matter of time. Oklahoma continues to be a national contender year in and year out.

You can argue all day whether this is good for college football, and whether it means that the next step is toward four super conferences. It might be.

The remaining teams from the Big 12 might soon find themselves in a real-life version of selecting teams for a pick-up basketball game. And there likely won’t be enough spots open for all eight. We can’t say that’s a good thing, and we’re sure fans in places such as Manhattan, Kansas and Lubbock, Texas would agree.

But the positives, at least here in the strong, proud Southeastern Conference, are that we’ll get to see Oklahoma and Texas make trips to Athens, Auburn and Tuscaloosa and vice versa. They’ll be playing at night in Baton Rouge and in The Swamp. We’ll see the SEC we know now make trips to Stillwater and Austin for matchups we almost never see.

It might be bad for college football at the end of the day, but it’s good for fans of the SEC.

For the last decade, it’s felt like every other conference was trying to catch up as Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU and Auburn spent some time at the top of the college football world. Sure, Ohio State, Clemson and others will always be there, but it’s hard to envision five or six ACC or Big Ten teams being playoff contenders year in and year out. That’s the thought the SEC has with this move. The SEC already had a gap over other conferences, and now it appears to have gotten much larger.