GAINESVILLE — Florida Gators coach Dan Mullen was at his lake house late last month when he first saw a report about Texas and Oklahoma jumping from the Big 12 for the SEC. He didn’t make much of it.
But now that the rumor has become a reality (effective in 2025, if not earlier), Mullen believes the Longhorns and Sooners will be a good fit for his conference.
“You’re looking at two (strong) academic schools, two schools with very strong football traditions, two excellent football programs,” Mullen said. “Very passionate fanbases that really fit what this league is all about. And so it makes sense.
“I think I’ve said this, college football in the next couple years will look differently than maybe what it’s looked like in the past. That’s just going to be another step of it, and (it’s) exciting to have those two great schools and great football programs coming into our league.”
Those two additions will beef up UF’s schedule. We just don’t know how yet. Schedule ideas floating around include keeping the East and West divisions or splitting into four pods of four teams each.
Regardless, it seems unlikely that the SEC will stick with an eight-game conference schedule. Mullen threw out his idea Thursday.
UF and Georgia play at a neutral site (Jacksonville) every year. So do Texas and Oklahoma (Dallas’ Cotton Bowl). Maybe every other team adds one neutral site conference game. That allows the SEC to expand to nine league games (four at home, four on the road and one at a neutral site) without giving an inherent home-road scheduling advantage to anyone.
“It gives you a way to neutralize it and make it all fair for everybody,” Mullen said.
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