SEC Football: 4 expansion candidates after Big Ten adds USC, UCLA

Dabo Swinney, Nick Saban, SEC Football
Dabo Swinney, Nick Saban, SEC Football /
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Mandatory Credit: Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports /

Honorable mentions

North Carolina

One of the first schools that comes to mind in terms of some potential natural fits in the SEC is the North Carolina Tar Heels. What UNC brings to the table in terms of being a well-rounded and prominent school across the board in athletics and academics could really be an asset for the SEC.

UNC is a potent football school that also gives the SEC a very prominent athletic department in terms of men’s basketball, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, etc. This would also give the SEC access into a bigger TV market in North Carolina that is otherwise largely owned by the ACC.


It looks like the most valuable schools remaining in the PAC-12 with USC and UCLA leaving for the Big Ten are the Washington Huskies and Oregon Ducks. At the moment, it’s hard to exactly pin down what the most realistic landing spots are for Washington Oregon.

The fact of the matter is, though, that Oregon and Washington are likely going to be a package deal whether they land in the Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, etc.

The SEC would clearly be making a big geographical leap by adding Oregon and Washington. But that would give two more big-time athletic programs with a lot of potential in football over the long haul.

Notre Dame

A major wildcard for multiple power conferences in this round of the realignment conversation is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The ACC is probably on the phones each and every day at this point trying to get Notre Dame locked into the conference in all sports.

Notre Dame would have a hefty price to pay if they left for another conference in all sports such as the Big Ten or SEC. But this would at least be worth a try from the SEC to get another college football blue blood and prominent academic institution such as Notre Dame in the mix.