With “no guardrails,” how will Arkansas fare in SEC?

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Alabama coach Nick Saban is, for lack of a different term, the sage of the SEC. The things he says about the sport of college football always elicit a response.

So when Saban said “competitive balance” was one of the most important things needed in the sport, analysis pieces were written. Specifically, Saban thinks the notion of super conferences is permanent, which, in turns, throws off that competitive balance.

“We don’t have any guardrails on what we’re doing right now. We have no restrictions on who can do what. Some people are not going to be capable,” Saban said. “The bottom line is we’ll lose some competitive balance, which everything we’ve always done in college football is to maintain [that]. Same scholarships, everybody had to play by the same rules, whether it was recruiting or [something else]. Right now, that’s not how it is.”

Arkansas will be affected. The addition of Texas and Oklahoma at some point in the next three years injects two programs into the league that have, traditionally, been more powerful than the Razorbacks across most major sports.

Their addition, too, could alter the structure internally, meaning the loss of divisions. That might help the Razorbacks, however, because it would allow them, in theory, to play the current East Division teams more often. The East has been weaker than the West in football and baseball most of the last decade-plus.

“With realignment, there’s a lot of tradition in conferences that will no longer exist. I think we’ve gone through that to some degree in the past,” Saban said. “The Oklahoma-Nebraska game used to be a big game, and they’ve not been in the same conference for quite some time now.”

But Arkansas-Texas? Could return. Arkansas-Oklahoma could be massive.

All in all, it remains to be seen how the shake-up will work for Arkansas long term.