In 2014, Auburn President Jay Gogue told the Auburn Villager that the football program was more than willing to switch over from the SEC West to the East division. The argument was that it be more logical for Auburn to switch sides with Missouri for a number of reasons.
“Most Auburn people say that it would be more logical for Auburn to play in the East,” Dr. Gogue said. “We’ve told the SEC we are willing to move to the East.”
Coach Gus Malzahn seems to be an advocate for the division leap, too, saying back in April that there “will be a discussion” on the topic.
If the SEC shuffles things, @CoachGusMalzahn wouldn't be opposed to Auburn moving to the East. "I think there will be discussion on that."
— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) April 13, 2016
During Tuesday’s SEC spring meetings, the notion was brought up once again, this time to conference commissioner Greg Sankey. He didn’t take long to shoot down the thought.
“I don’t answer hypotheticals, so we’ll continue that tradition as well,” said Sankey. “… We have a long history of divisions,” Sankey said. “It’s worked incredibly well. I think they have meaning for us.”
Despite the NCAA’s recent decision to allow conferences with 10 teams to host a championship game (e.g. the Big 12), the SEC stands firm with its current format with two divisions and seven schools on each side for the presumable future.
“We had great crowds, great success and that dynamic has worked well,” Sankey said. “There’s an ebb and flow between those divisions, but there’s great competition in both and the chance to be in Atlanta means something for both teams — something very meaningful and our membership sees value and seeks to continue that tradition.”