Report: Georgia president Morehead embraces 16-team SEC 

The Southeastern Conference appears to be standing pat in regards to further conference realignment. 

According to Seth Emerson of The Athletic, University of Georgia President Jere Morehead sided with remaining at 16 teams come 2024 when expansion takes a larger effect — as the SEC will include Oklahoma and Texas while the Big Ten increases to 18 schools and Big 12 ups to 16. 

Morehead reportedly said that “there could be scenarios where 18 or 20 (teams) works,” according to Emerson, and he wants to make sure first that Oklahoma, Texas and all student-athletes are able to assimilate and adjust to the changes incoming. 

While the Big 12 and Big Ten conferences have been busy when in comes to expansion, as the former added Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah and the latter will soon include Oregon and Washington in addition to UCLA and USC, the SEC has largely stood clear from further expansion. 

The SEC made major impressions when Oklahoma and Texas announced plans to depart the Big 12 for the conference in 2021. It resulted in a domino effect in that the Power 5 and all college athletics conferences had to take stock of where they envisioned themselves in an ever-changing landscape of college sports. 

Morehead also expressed some intrigue and concern when it comes to geographical aspects of further expansion. Morehead said he has “serious concerns about developing conference alignments that go significantly outside our geographic issue,” according to Emerson. 

Morehead also reportedly said he “personally regret(s)” the impact that the Pac-12 has seen as a result of conference expansion. The Pac-12 is left with four programs — Cal, Oregon State, Stanford and Washington State — as most of its member schools will leave for one conference or another. 

Tuesday marks the deadline for any program to notify the Atlantic Coast Conference its intentions to depart for another conference. While Florida State has reportedly expressed some concern about leaving the ACC, the SEC may be standing firm where it is in terms of what it does next, according to Morehead.