The state of college football is continuously changing with the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns set to join the SEC in 2025. It wasn’t long ago that the topic of super conferences in college football was being discussed. With Oklahoma and Texas joining the SEC, those discussions are becoming a reality as the SEC will have 16 teams. The impact of the two powerhouse teams will help the entire SEC and their teams in several significant ways. Of all the teams that the new teams impact the most in the SEC, outside of the Arkansas Razorbacks, are the Alabama Crimson Tide. The move arguably benefits Alabama and other high-calibers SEC teams with Oklahoma and Texas joining.
How Oklahoma and Texas Joining the SEC Impacts Alabama
More Competition, More Rewards for Alabama
Oklahoma and Texas have been at the front of some of the top recruiting classes for decades. Alabama has been one of the top recruiting programs since Nick Saban became head coach. With the recruiting process becoming tougher for all of the 16 SEC teams, it will draw out more recruits looking to embrace the challenge. In the 2021 Recruiting Class, the Tide finished out with the top recruiting class of all-time, according to 247Sports. The Sooners finished 10th in the nation (first in the Big 12) and the Longhorns finished 15th in the nation. Four SEC schools finished better than Oklahoma and five finished above Texas. When Oklahoma and Texas go to the SEC, it will only get more difficult for all schools. Alabama will still be favorites to land the star recruits of the future.
Alabama has a chance to grow even more
As the recruiting process picks up more and the SEC continues to expand, the elite teams of the conference will continue to grow. Alabama will continue to grow in revenue as well as their product on-and-off the field. Their facilities and the development of players already match some levels of professional football. Having teams like Oklahoma and Texas will only challenge Alabama to develop in facilities and revenue. According to Football Scoop, Texas is the highest-grossing revenue team in College Football with $156 million since the 2018 fiscal year. Oklahoma is eight all-time in revenue ($94.8 million), while Alabama is ninth all-time ($94.6 million). If Alabama continues to dominate the conference with the addition of Oklahoma and Texas, there will be no doubt that those numbers will rise for the Tide.
Alabama has a chance to turn the Tide on Oklahoma and Texas
Alabama has had a great history of being one of the most dominant programs in the sport of college football. While they had dominant seasons, there have been years where they have lost significant games. 13 FBS programs have a winning record versus the Crimson Tide. Two of those teams with winning records versus Alabama are Oklahoma (3-2-1) and Texas (7-1-1). Alabama, however, has won the last matchups versus Oklahoma and Texas. The Tide defeated the Sooners in the 2018 Capital One Bowl in the playoffs 45-34 against Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Kyler Murray. The Tide defeated the Longhorns in the 2010 BCS National Championship 37-21, their first championship since 1993.
Alabama and Texas have scheduled a home-home matchup in 2022 (Austin) and 2023 (Tuscaloosa). Currently, these games are scheduled as members of the SEC versus the Big 12. The Tide and the Sooners have scheduled a home-home matchup in 2032 (Norman) and 2033 (Tuscaloosa). These matchups will be in question as the Sooners will join the SEC in 2025. The Sooners and the Tide may even be in the same division by 2025. With Oklahoma and Texas moving to the SEC, this will be the chance for coach Saban to fulfill another legacy momentum, pulling out the thorn of the side of Alabama when facing Oklahoma and Texas. The Tide could have a winning record against both Oklahoma and Texas by 2030, two years after Saban’s contract expires.