Breaking News: Following their departure from the Big 12, Former Alabama OC Steve Sarkisian Opens up About Joining SEC

Following their departure from the Big 12, Texas and Oklahoma were formally admitted into the Southeastern Conference on Monday morning.

Given that it has outperformed all other conferences in terms of NFL draft selections for 18 straight years, it is no secret that SEC football is the dominant force in the sport.

Steve Sarkisian, the head coach of Texas and a former offensive coordinator at Alabama, understands that the SEC is different from all other leagues and that getting into the new 12-team College Football Playoff structure will be difficult as a result.

“We have to assemble a team that, in January, can defeat Georgia, Alabama, and LSU. I would also include Ohio State and Clemson, as those are the teams that nearly always make the playoffs in one way or another.

Last regular season, Sarkisian and Texas completed with an 11-1 record, which included a 34-24 triumph over Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The Longhorns defeated Texas Tech to win the Big 12 Championship, but they lost to second-seeded Washington in the highly anticipated College Football Playoff one game later.

Texas Head Coach, Former Alabama OC Steve Sarkisian Opens up About Joining  SEC

Sarkisian recognizes that having depth throughout the field is a major factor in why an SEC team has been declared the national champions more often than any other conference in the CFP era, despite the fact that Michigan of the Big Ten emerged victorious this past season.

Sarkisian was Alabama’s offensive coordinator in 2019 and 2020; the team has the most CFP national championships to its name. Sarkisian linked the Crimson Tide’s success to having depth in the front five and other positions during his tenure in Tuscaloosa, and he applied it to his Texas club for the 2017 campaign.

Sarkisian remarked, “I remember the offensive line we had at Alabama in 2020.” We also had really skilled players, but the quantity of individuals we had up front was something you just don’t see very often. I am aware that’s why we have been working so hard there (in Texas). When I arrived (at Texas), it was more about the offensive line than the defensive line. We had to undergo a total transformation.”

Early in the previous season, Alabama supporters were somewhat perplexed because, despite being 34.5-point favorites, the Tide defeated USF 17-3 in Week 3 after losing to Texas in Week 2. But Alabama made the necessary adjustments and secured the fourth and last position in the College Football Playoffs. Sarkisian revealed that the issue is increased by the fact that SEC clubs only get stronger as the season progresses.

Sarkisian stated, “We can’t become obsessed with just developing a squad to win the Big 12.” “We need to assemble a squad capable of defeating Alabama in January. Not in September, but in January, be ready to defeat the teams you will need to defeat in order to claim a national championship.”

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Conference Realignment Complete: Texas and Oklahoma Leave Big 12 for SEC

On July 1, the much-awaited addition of Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC became official.

On July 1, a significant realignment of conferences finally became official, capping years of build-up and expectation. Texas and Oklahoma are now formally part of the Southeastern Conference as of Monday.

The two-story sports departments left the Big 12, an exit that was predetermined in 2021 and originally scheduled for 2025. With the addition of the Sooners and Longhorns, the SEC now has 16 teams and their elite varsity programs.

This is by no means the only domino to fall in the last few years. As a matter of fact, the Pac-12’s disintegration and several other changes that have occurred in other major athletic leagues have permanently altered the landscape of collegiate sports.

Of course, Texas and Oklahoma are well-known football brands, but their new league benefits greatly from much more than that.

For instance, Oklahoma has won the previous four consecutive national championships in softball. Texas was ranked first overall in the NCAA softball tournament bracket this past season.

Shortly after the Aggies advanced to the national championship game, Texas executed an incredible maneuver to appoint former Texas A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle. The Texas-Texas A&M rivalry is currently a conference rivalry, among other meetings.

The football schedule has been upended by the Sooners and Longhorns; for Alabama specifically, this means traveling to Oklahoma in November after playing Texas for two seasons in a row.

Following their victory over the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa by double digits, the Longhorns were the only team under Nick Saban’s coaching to qualify for the final four-team college football playoffs last season.