Realignment in college football has been one of the most discussed topics among fans every offseason for the past decade, so seeing an idea proposed isn’t unusual. Seeing an idea gain steam like this, however, is definitely unusual and it could lead to some interesting talks in the future.
Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs spoke with reporters on Wednesday at the SEC’s spring meetings in Destin, and the topic of Auburn moving to the SEC East — a hot topic in recent weeks — came up yet again. However, Jacobs said the topic was more than just lip service, as he plans to bring up realignment during this week’s meetings.
“It makes more sense for Auburn from the standpoint of the demographics of our students, not our student-athletes,” Jacobs told reporters. “Six or eight years ago, I looked at all the demographics. Most of all our students come from Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, a few from Mississippi, very few from Louisiana. Since we went to the national championship twice we’ve got more geographical students from all over the place but still the majority of our students come from the southeast.”
Generally the proposed swap here is Auburn moving East while Missouri (who joined the SEC in 2012) moves West. The move makes sense as Auburn does fit in more with the East, and Missouri not being in the West division is just an affront to anyone that can look at a map.
The obvious concern here is what would happen to the annual game against Alabama, but it figures that the Iron Bowl can be preserved as a cross-division rivalry. However, things could get weird if the game’s date remains the same, as it would then be possible that the two teams could play in back-to-back week’s if both win their respective divisions and qualify for the SEC Championship game.
At this point, though, there are no concrete plans set for Auburn to make the jump. However, the talk of SEC realignment has definitely made the jump from “fan speculation” to “potentially possible” with Jacobs’ statement and planned discussions.