Who Joins Texas A&M Football in the SEC in 2024?
Conference realignment has come back in a huge way over the last few years for the first time since Texas A&M football left for the SEC, and this offseason is when all the changes are happening. Next year, you will see Big 10 logos on the field for schools like Southern Cal, UCLA, Oregon, and Washington, and the ACC will add, strangely enough, Stanford, Cal-Berkeley, and SMU.
With all the changes around the country, it can be tough to keep up with who is joining what conference when. So, who will be in the SEC in 2024?
Old Rivals Texas and Oklahoma Following Texas A&M Football to SEC in 2024
This past football season was the final one in which the Aggies stood alone as a team in the SEC and in the state of Texas. The Longhorns apparently got jealous of how well the Aggies were doing and decided to cast off the shackles of the Big 12 in pursuit of A&M, which obviously meant Oklahoma was coming as well.
This move was announced initially during the 2021 SEC Media Days, but the date of the change has shifted around a couple of times since then. The initial date was 2025, but it was reported at one point that the Horns and Sooners were actually targeting a 2023 date to join the nation's premier football conference. Obviously, this did not take place; due to contractual obligations and grants of rights and all those sorts of things with the Big 12, that was scuttled.
After some negotiating involving ESPN (the SEC's new television partner starting this upcoming season), the Longhorns and Sooners were able to set a target date of the fall of 2024. That means that Oklahoma and Texas will be partaking in the SEC slate this fall.
Will the SEC Have Divisions in 2024?
With the additions of Oklahoma and Texas, the SEC is doing away with their East and West divisions. Instead, they have moved, at least temporarily, to a 1-7 scheduling model, which means each team plays one permanent opponent and rotates the other seven.
This model allows teams to play every team in the league within the span of two years. Though the schedule has been unveiled, the permanent opponents have not yet been explicitly mentioned; that said, it's not hard to figure out that if this scheduling model stays, Texas would play OU, Alabama would play Auburn, A&M would play LSU, etc.
This scheduling model could shift at the SEC spring meetings, but that would necessitate also changing from an 8-game conference schedule to a 9-game conference schedule. If this does come to pass, the league would move from a 1-7 model to a 3-6 model: 3 permanent opponents and 6 rotating opponents. Like the 1-7 model, this allows each team to cycle through matchups against every other SEC team in the span of two years; however, this model preserves more rivalries, like Alabama-Tennessee, Auburn-Georgia, and A&M-Texas.
The obvious downside here is that the grind of the SEC is already tough enough with only eight conference games. To move it to nine may not be the most popular proposition among the coaches. This will be an interesting storyline to watch as the middle of the year approaches.