SEC Reportedly Doesn’t Want to Expand Past 16 Teams Despite Conference Realignment Being in Full Swing

by Patrick Norton

The SEC sent the college football world into a frenzy last offseason. Adding the University of Texas and Oklahoma University meant the rebirth of realignment. Final in 2025, the move represents the first hint at Power Five-to-Power Five realignment since Missouri and Texas A&M left the Big 12 for the SEC.

But the conference’s announcement marked only the beginning of a collegiate power shift. One year later, news breaks of an agreement for USC and UCLA to leap toward the Big Ten in 2024. With the Big 12 attempting to recuperate television revenue with the eventual absence of the Sooners and Longhorns, the college scene is completely up for grabs.

The Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC continue jostling for relevancy, but the Big Ten and SEC have separated itself from the pack. And while the coast-to-coast conference expands, the SEC isn’t in a hurry to add anybody else.

According to SEC based site Saturday’s Down South, one conference athletic’s director says the conference likes a 16-team format for the “robust future.” Another source boasts the conference’s strength in value beyond numbers. Regardless of any alignment shift, the source says, “I don’t see any (expansion) move as threatening to us.”

Why would they? The conference is fresh off of owning the rest of the country in the College Football Playoff. Last season’s final saw an all-SEC matchup with the Big Ten’s representative losing by 23 in the semifinal. Michigan’s success wasn’t a fluke, rather the Southeastern Conference offered stronger teams.

Without Adding Teams, SEC Intrigue Remains Atop College Football Landscape

The Alabama Crimson Tide have an affinity for making offseasons interesting. In a Nick Saban-esque “I’m-not-gonna-so-quit-askin'” way, Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher shut down questions about another brewing controversy last month. When Saban sparked a fire, insinuating A&M “bought” recruits through NIL deals, Fisher fired back. The Aggies’ coach said of Saban, “some people think they’re God.”

The Aggies visit Tuscaloosa on October 8 in a matchup certain to provide fireworks.