Dooley’s Dozen: 12 things Texas, Oklahoma need to know about the SEC

If it feels like forever until the college football season starts again, think how Texas and Oklahoma feel.

Those two programs have been slated for a move to the SEC for what seems like a decade, even though it’s been less than a year since the announcement that the two schools would be switching conferences a year early.

I know SEC fans who believe those guys and gals have no idea what they are getting into. The counter to that would be that they know exactly what they are getting into – cold, hard cash.

But the Dooley’s Dozen is here to spread the news to fans of both schools. It just means more, so be prepared for these 12 things that are coming, Longhorns and Sooners.

The stadiums are a different story

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

With the additions of Texas and Oklahoma, the SEC now has 11 of the top 22 stadiums in terms of butts that can be fitted in seats. The conference they are leaving behind now has 13 stadiums with fewer than 60,000 capacity. The Horns and Sooners are used to playing in front of big crowds, but almost exclusively at home or in Dallas.

The SEC has six of the 10 biggest stadiums in the country.

A lot more people are hoping you fail

Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

It’s a pretty long list that now includes a lot of fans from the SEC. Certainly, the fan bases that were jilted by Texas and Oklahoma are rooting for disasters. But now you add the fanbases of a new conference that – starting in July when it becomes official – are not going to be rooting for you.

Even in bowl games.

You’re going to get your feelings hurt

Annie Rice/Avalanche-Journal
Annie Rice/Avalanche-Journal

Texas fans especially. They get all bent out of shape in Austin when you flash the “Horns Down” symbol. This is the SEC and they will be showing you different ways to use those fingers. And wait until you see where they put you in the stands at some of these places.

It’s a different level of tailgating

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

I have been to a tailgate in Austin and it was pretty nice. But I don’t recall any grilling of alligators. And I have been to the Red River Rivalry. That’s as much about the state fair as the football game. We don’t fry Oreos in this conference at tailgates.

We dunk them in Fireball.

We take all of our sports seriously

Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

As do you two. And certainly nobody in the SEC is thrilled to have Oklahoma softball coming in. But we do pay attention to all of the sports and fund them to excess, including NIL money.

You do know who played for the national title in baseball this year, right?

For example, you’re not escaping a tough basketball conference

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 is having a great year with so many teams ranked. And in this league, it would have been a bit of an escape before the late Mike Slive pushed for basketball to be taken more seriously by everyone, not just Kentucky.

It’s a tough league with tough places to play.

Every city has a story

AP Photo/John Raoux
AP Photo/John Raoux

And I would think that is a positive for those who like to experience something new.

We can give you the guidebook, but you are better off experiencing each one of these other 14 cities yourself, although many of you have been to places like Columbia, Missouri, and College Station, Texas. Wait until you get to experience Athens, Georgia; Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille in Gainesville; Five Points in the other Columbia; Calhoun’s on the Tennessee River.

Our middle is better

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

OK, so the SEC media days are in Dallas this year so Texas fans probably think they are running this league like they did the previous one. Nick Saban may be gone from Alabama, but the SEC offices are still in Birmingham.

Good luck with those appeals.

Recruiting is going to get nastier

Matt Pendleton/Gainesville <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Sun;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Sun</a>
Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun

I get that both schools have been recruiting against the elite programs in the SEC on occasion. But it’s going to get meaner. Fans in this league have no filter on social media.

Deal with it. And coaches are quick to turn in anyone they think might have done something wrong.

The SEC tourney is a Kentucky thing

Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean
Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean

Just to warn you. They take over whatever city is hosting the tournament. You will learn to get angry because you can’t get tickets, let alone a hotel room.

You will learn that Kentucky has fans on press row. And you will learn that the league would rather have Kentucky play in every final than either one of you.

We can’t explain some things

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

So don’t ask.

There is some weirdness in this league, and I may be playing that down a little bit. We can’t explain why there are three Tigers and two Bulldogs or why squirrel brains are considered a delicacy in Kentucky or how Vanderbilt’s football and baseball stadium are attached to each other or Starkville period or why Missouri used to be in the East or what the guy in the bib overalls with a thick Cajun accent and a straw in his mouth is saying or what has happened to Florida football.

We just can’t.

Read more

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Dooley’s Dozen: 12 best moments for Florida Gators athletics in 2023

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Dooley’s Dozen: 12 things that will be difficult to get used to in 2024

Dooley’s Dozen: 12 good Gators teams that should have played in bowls

Dooley’s Dozen: 12 things that went right for Florida football in 2023

Dooley’s Dozen: 12 reasons why this isn’t the low point for Florida football

Dooley’s Dozen: Grading Billy Napier’s 2nd year with Florida football


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