If you talk to the right people then Oklahoma moving from the Big XII to the SEC is inevitable. To those folk, it is not a question of if the Sooners will move, but when. This talk was brought back to the forefront this week when Paul Finebaum suggested that the Sooners “desperately” wanted to leave the conference.
With that in mind here are a few pros and cons for this potential move:
PRO – A Big Name Program
One of the biggest attractions here is that Oklahoma is a big name program with a history of sustained success over the last few decades. There is no reason to think that a switch to the SEC would see a drop in the level of play and it would be a coup for the league to capture the team that has won the last two Big XII titles. OU is on the edge of the top 5 in most preseason rankings for the 2017 season.
CON – Uneven Team Numbers
Adding Oklahoma would give the SEC 15 teams. This is far from ideal and would most likely never happen. As a result, the Sooners would have to come as part of a package deal with another school. The logical choice here would be Oklahoma State, a school that doesn’t have the same historical pedigree as their in-state rivals, but that has been very successful recently under head coach Mike Gundy. The Cowboys are ranked in the 10-12 range in most polls for the 2017 season.
Neither – Distance
Some have said that the distance between the two Oklahoma schools and the other SEC members would be an issue. If we are being honest though we are long past the point in time when distance was even a consideration in conference membership, especially at the Power 5 level.
PRO – Increased Revenues
We all know that any expansion is driven by money. More schools (profitable schools) equals more league revenue. The carrot of Oklahoma being hung in front of network execs as a SEC school would make the next TV deal for the league very, very interesting.
CON – Divisional Split
It might be hard to keep everyone happy here. The SEC West is already the more loaded conference and adding OU and OSU into the mix with Auburn, Alabama, and LSU would create one heck of a conference schedule. The other option here would be to move ‘Bama and Auburn to the SEC East, creating some instant parity between the divisions.