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An Addition of Oklahoma and Texas Would Establish the SEC as The Premier Conference in College Athletics

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With the latest report by the Houston Chronicle about the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners requesting membership into the Southeastern Conference could bring very good news to Razorback fans.

The SEC would remain the toughest conference in all of college football. The western division could also claim to still be one of the toughest in the country, too.

Arkansas spent most of their early history behind the shadow of Texas during their time in the defunct Southwest Conference. Their exit from the old conference gave the Razorbacks a breath of fresh air but also tougher competition. However, they were still able to recruit the state of Texas with a lack of much competition.

The addition of Texas A&M in 2012 has really hurt the Razorbacks ability to recruit there but adding Texas and Oklahoma could make it even more difficulty. It would also hurt LSU and the Aggies the most as they have been fighting for top Texas talent.

If this indeed continues to grow legs and become official the East and West divisions would obviously need to be given a shakeup. Moving Alabama and Auburn to the East would benefit the Razorbacks more than anything. But would it though?

SEC WEST

  1. Arkansas
  2. LSU
  3. Ole Miss
  4. Mississippi State
  5. Texas A&M
  6. Missouri
  7. Texas
  8. Oklahoma

SEC EAST

  1. Florida
  2. Georgia
  3. Tennessee
  4. Vanderbilt
  5. Kentucky
  6. South Carolina
  7. Alabama
  8. Auburn

Historically, Arkansas has struggled against Texas but leads the series 6-5 in the previous 11 matchups dating back to a 1986 victory over the Longhorns in Austin 21-14.

When it comes to Oklahoma it would make sense regionally for Arkansas to have played the Sooners more than they have. The two teams haven’t met since 2002 and the Sooners boast a 10-4-1 record over the Hogs. The teams played 12 times from 1899-1926 and the Hogs were dominated annually although the Cardinals/Razorbacks were still new to the football thing.

There are a lot of contributing factors moving forward that could hurt Arkansas with NIL but the ability of the current Razorback staff to recruit will be key in the coming years. Especially with the conference potentially expanding. It’s been hard enough to keep up with Texas A&M and LSU. Can Arkansas handle adding two more regional programs to the mix? Something will have to give as Texas usually does have enough talent in its state to go around.

Texas and Oklahoma would definitely bring more money and eyes to the conference but would they be able to win at a high level? It’s definitely possible if the SEC decides to rearrange the conference’s divisions.
Will the conference be perfectly balanced? Likely so. Bringing in two historical football powers to the conference and moving Alabama and Auburn to the West should do that.

Perhaps the West as a whole could be tougher than the East. Top to bottom the West will be could much deeper and full of teams with an actual threat to make a run for the SEC Championship game and College Football Playoff berth each season.

Basketball wise the SEC would be even tougher with the addition of these two teams. The Longhorns and Sooners both have a good history in the Big 12 which has been one of the top conferences for college basketball. They seemed to always get six to seven teams in a year.

This offseason the Sooners and Longhorns upgraded their head coaching positions with Chris Beard (Texas) and Porter Moser (Oklahoma). Both teams have made deep NCAA Tournament runs in recent seasons. That in its own would give the SEC an elite fraternity of current men’s basketball coaches.

Under Eric Musselman, Arkansas could continue to rise as a National and SEC power. If Texas and Oklahoma both join it would make the SEC very top heavy. Also, the conference could see eight to nine NCAA Tournament bids each season.

Imagine how great the recruiting battles will be between Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas will be. With a round-Robin schedule each year it could lead to bragging rights in and intense recruiting stories.

At Texas, Beard has already pieced together arguably the most talented Longhorn roster in quite some time.

During his time at Loyola-Chicago, Moser’s teams played a very fundamentally sound type of ball. Yes, the Big 12 rivals contrast in certain ways but their showdowns this season should be must-watch television. Adding both to the SEC only makes the conference look better than ever similar to football.

The fun is just beginning of “talkin’ season” and fans around the country will be watching this story develop for the next few weeks.

Follow me on Twitter @jacobscottdavis!