Nick Saban, Nate Oats share thoughts on Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC
The big news in the college athletics world this week is that Oklahoma and Texas have officially applied for membership in the SEC.
That positions the SEC to become an even deeper, more powerful league in football, men’s basketball and every other sport.
On Tuesday during a Habitat for Humanity work day, Alabama football coach Nick Saban held back from weighing in on the potential realignment, deferring to those above him in Alabama’s administration (via 247Sports):
“I don’t really know enough about it,” Saban said. “I know that the conference commissioner and the people that are above me administratively and organizationally, the college presidents or whatever, need to make decisions like this as to how it benefits our conference and how it affects college football as a whole. I don’t really know that I have an answer to that.”
Then, on “The Paul Finebaum Show,” Alabama men’s basketball coach Nate Oats weighed in. He gave a more detailed response, praising both the Texas and Oklahoma men’s basketball programs (via 247Sports):
“I think it makes our league a lot stronger,” Oats said on The Paul Finebaum Show. “Those are two high-level basketball programs. I don’t have anything to do with any of those decisions — when they come in, if they come in, any of that. I think we’ve got the best commissioner in college athletics in Greg Sankey, and I think he’ll make great decisions for our league. But if and when they were to come in our league, I think they’ve got eight combined Final Fours.
“You look at the pros that have come out of both those programs. They’ve got some of the better pros in the NBA right now when you look at Buddy Hield and Trae Young at Oklahoma, Blake Griffin, and Texas has Kevin Durant. Shoot, I grew up in Wisconsin, I’m a Bucks fan, and PJ Tucker helped us win a championship. There’s been some legitimate pros come out of both those programs, they’ve won a lot of games, there’s a lot of tradition.
“I think it’s gonna make our league a lot tougher. I’m looking forward to playing tough teams, but it’ll definitely upgrade the overall talent in our league and make it an even better basketball league.”
There will definitely be more high-level matchups if Texas and Oklahoma both join the SEC. Now, we’ll just have to wait and see how soon those matchups might start taking place.