How Does Texas Stack Up in the SEC?

With Texas and Oklahoma officially sending a letter to the Big 12 today, informing them that they will not renew their grant of rights after the 2025 season, Texas and Oklahoma are officially moving forward with making a transition into the SEC. @tmfduece released an article talking about when Texas might actually make the move, but how will the new SEC look with two more huge programs coming aboard? Will it help Texas with recruits? Grab yourself your favorite beer, cocktail, or a cup of coffee and let’s talk about it!

Conference Matchups

Rumors are swirling all around CFB realignment and what will actually happen still isn’t known. One theory that makes the most sense is that the SEC will take Texas and Oklahoma and create four “pods” or divisions consisting of four teams each. A possible layout of divisions could look something like this:

SEC North: Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Vanderbilt

SEC South: Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Arkansas

SEC East: Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky

SEC West: LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Missouri

With this layout Texas would play each team in their “pod” once a year while playing two teams from the other three pods every year. Giving each team nine conference games every year.

Texas would rekindle their rivalry with Arkansas and Texas A&M while maintaining the “Red River Showdown” every year. A huge win for the Longhorn Faithful and Texas athletics while they pitch the new schedule to future season ticket holders.

Texas has struggled against Oklahoma since 2000, winning only 7 out of the last 22 meetings. They have faired much better versus their little brother in College Station, Texas A&M. Since 2000 Texas leads their head to head series 9-3. Texas and Arkansas have only played five times since 2000 and Arkansas is up 3-2 in the series. However Texas leads the series 56-22 all-time.

Recruiting Boost

There has never been a problem getting young star athletes to call Austin “Home”. Texas is notoriously the king in their state but have recently been met with more resistance. Texas A&M, Ohio State, Alabama, Oklahoma have been poaching more and more four and five star athletes from the state of Texas every year. From 2000 to 2012 Texas had an average recruiting class rank of 6.08 (via 247sports). From 2013 to 2020 Texas fell off slightly and had an average recruiting class rank of 11.25. What is the significance of cutting the last two decades in half between 2012 & 2013 instead of just ending at 2010 & starting again at 2011? The 2012 season was the first season Texas A&M played in the SEC. Texas A&M had an average recruiting class of 21.69 from 2000 to 2012. They improved dramatically from 2013 to 2020 with an average recruiting class of 10.38. You could blame poor coaching and recruiting on Texas’ side while giving the Aggies some praise for their hiring of Jimbo Fisher, a great recruiter, but the contrast from Texas A&M in the Big 12 to the SEC in terms of recruiting is palpable. Texas and Chris Del Conte know this. High school football stars see the SEC as the best of the best and the closest thing to the NFL, which is the dream for so many high school athletes. Another underlying “plus” to joining the SEC is the recruitment of the prodigy at quarterback, Arch Manning. The Manning family is royalty to the football world and they have famously been SEC loyal when choosing their universities. Arch’s grandfather Archie, Uncle Eli, and father Cooper all went to Ole Miss. While Peyton Manning went to Tennessee. This is just a speculation, but I’m sure being in the SEC doesn’t hurt Texas’ chances of landing their best quarterback recruit since Vince Young.

Harris Sewell (Left) and Arch Manning (Right) on their official visit to Texas in June 2021

Recruiting in Texas will see an improvement we can almost guarantee it, but that has not been Texas’ issue the past decade. Coach Sarkisian and his staff absolutely have to develop all of the talent they bring to the 40 acres. Tom Herman failed at developing his talented roster. Coach Sarkisian can not afford to do the same, especially in the hyper-competitive SEC, where half of your conference games could be against top 15 ranked teams. I am a believer in iron sharpening iron and do think there are not many negatives to joining the SEC, level of competition rising should be the least of your worries as a Longhorn fan.

Overall, everyone should be excited about Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC. They will be bringing in even more talented recruits, while playing the best competition in the nation. Coach Sarkisian was once the next big thing in College Football before losing his way, as I talk about here. Hopefully, Sarkisian has grown even more as a coach and a leader of men from back then and is ready to take on one of the hardest, most stressful jobs in college athletics.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this article detailing what it might look like for Texas when they make the leap into the SEC. Please, be sure to follow @Longhorns_atb as we are having a giveaway! Check out our pinned tweet for more details. If you enjoyed this article: Retweet, Like, Share Follow Me @ryfootballscout to spread the word! Thanks again, peace!

#HookEm

Leave a Reply