Right as Texas A&M reached the stage at SEC Media Days yesterday, a report from The Houston Chronicle that Texas and Oklahoma had reached out to the SEC about joining the conference surfaced. A&M was very clear about the fact that they wanted to be the only school from Texas in the conference, clearly saying they would not be one of the institutions in the conference that would approve the Longhorns and Sooners move to the conference (A school needs 11 of 14 schools in the conference to approve their invitation).
In Hoover, at the SEC Media Days today, the SEC Network crew proposed a new alignment for the league if the Sooners and Longhorns join the conference:
Pod A: Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina
Pod B: Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Pod C: LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Texas A&M
Pod D: Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas
9-game conference schedule
Play 2 games against each of the other pods
Every team will host every team at least once every 4 seasons
This could work because it is a more regional style of football but there would be rivalries separated that are now “interpod” games. Sadly, SECN’s proposal doesn’t include Texas and Texas A&M in the same pod. In my opinion, the SEC Offices will not let that happen. My idea is moving either Arkansas or Missouri to pod C and sending A&M to Pod D. Pod A and Pod B work efficiently, though.
Here is what I like better:
A nine-game conference schedule can be played with this format, even if the SEC retains their division format. Swapping Missouri over to the west for Alabama and Auburn to the east will make for a more balanced conference. Personally, dropping cross-over games would be best for the conference. By adding a ninth (or even tenth) conference game, rotating who you play in the opposite division will make the league scheduling better.