Texas and Oklahoma joining the Southeastern Conference would be both a good and bad thing for both the conference and the University of Georgia football.
Texas and Oklahoma are both planning to leave the Big-12 conference after the 2025 season, with the most likely destination being the SEC. This information came out of nowhere last week and came as a shock to pretty much everyone. These two schools are the cornerstones of the Big-12 and without them that conference will not be able to continue, more than likely resulting in a number of changes throughout college football.
With that being said, how does this affect the SEC and Georgia football?
Texas and Oklahoma can positively impact Georgia football.
Texas and Oklahoma, two of the most prestigious programs in football, would add even more name recognition to the SEC conference and schedule. In a conference that is already packed with difficult matchups for Georgia, the addition of Texas and Oklahoma will only make the path to a national championship that much harder. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing however.
In the day and age of “strength of schedule” and “quality of opponents,” adding either Texas or Oklahoma to the SEC schedule any given year would add even more respect to Georgia’s schedule. Respect is a proven component of the selection committee when choosing the four best teams for the playoffs, and Georgia would receive that respect by having two new conference foes like Texas and Oklahoma on its schedule.
The last time Georgia and Oklahoma met in the 2017 Rose Bowl, the two teams put on a 54-48 instant classic that should be considered one of the greatest games of all time. The last time Georgia and Texas met in the 2018 Sugar Bowl, the Longhorns won 28-21 in a game dominated by Texas.
Interestingly enough, Georgia already has Oklahoma on the schedule in 2023 and 2031, and Texas in 2028 and 2029. Georgia clearly wants to play these two teams, and they should welcome both with open arms into the conference when it comes to voting the two in.
Adding these two teams to the conference will add a significant level of excitement to the conference, similar to when Missouri and Texas A&M joined in 2012. Georgia already had a taste of Big-12 action, and more games against Texas and Oklahoma should add excitement to the yearly SEC grind.
The negative aspects of Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC on Georgia football.
One aspect to keep in mind is the possible loss of cross division rivalries. “The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” between bitter rivals Georgia and Auburn is a staple of SEC football that is played every year. This is one of the most exciting games of the year for both fan bases, and the possible addition of Texas and Oklahoma could possibly due away with this annual rivalry.
One way the Georgia versus Auburn rivalry can stay in tact is if Texas and Oklahoma are both put in the SEC West, as well as Missouri moving to the SEC West. In turn, Auburn and Alabama would join the SEC East. This would preserve the rivalries with both Auburn and Alabama, while also maintaining the "Iron Bowl." This new SEC East would make it all the more difficult for Georgia to win the SEC however.
Also, the addition of Texas and Oklahoma to Georgia’s schedule, on paper, looks great for reasons mentioned earlier. However, there is a negative aspect to the two schools joining. The SEC schedule is already difficult enough, and adding two more teams who are nowhere near Georgia on the schedule makes it even more difficult for Georgia to get to the SEC Championship and playoffs. The traveling schedule becomes more grueling. Having to go through Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Florida, and Texas A&M is already difficult enough, but adding Texas and Oklahoma into the mix makes the schedule that much more tedious. Georgia wants the respect of the committe by playing the two Big-12 teams, but on the other hand, they both make the schedule that much harder.
If Texas and Oklahoma join the SEC, it wouldn’t be until 2025 at the earliest. This potential move is interesting to think about, and could change not only college football, but collegiate sports overall. For Georgia, there are positives and negatives to this move, but it’s hard not to get excited about seeing the Bulldogs face off against the Longhorns and Sooners on a regular basis as conference foes.
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