Our verdict is in. After looking at all the possibilities, Tennessee football should oppose the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners in their quest to join the SEC. It’s a tough call on whether or not this would be good for the Vols, but what we know about the bad outweighs the good.
According to Brian Davis of the Austin-American Statesman, league presidents are expected accept those schools with a meeting Thursday. Admittance requires 11 of 14 members to approve. While there’s a possibility that the Texas A&M Aggies and Missouri Tigers oppose it, they would need two other schools to join in. UT should be that other school.
If Rocky Top wants to decrease the brand of Tennessee football while increasing the brand of all the other sports, then this move is fine. However, football is king, and this move will hurt more than help. Here are our five reasons the Vols should oppose this expansion.
5. Texas is toxic
Anybody who has studied the history of Texas knows it’s a conference killer, and the SEC should take that into account. This 11-year-old article by Dave DeBlasio on Bleacher Report details Texas’ maneuvering to kill the Southwest Conference, an 80-plus-year-old league, in the 1990s, leading to the formation of the Big 12 in the first place.
Well, in the 2010s, Texas’ Longhorn Network broke apart the Big Eight roots of the Big 12, which had stood for over 100 years. The Nebraska Cornhuskers joined the Big Ten, the Colorado Buffaloes joined the Pac-12 and Mizzou joined the SEC. Texas A&M also joined the SEC. Now, a Texas move again will kill the Big 12 permanently.
See what happens when Texas joins? They wreck the brand of a conference. That doesn’t even include how Tennessee football could in particular suffer, as the Vols’ UT brand and their association with the color orange now have competition in their own league.