Skip to main content

Florida's Mullen says OU, Texas put SEC on verge of "mega-conference" status

Dan Mullen doesn't think any conferences can stack up on the football field right now to the SEC. Adding Oklahoma and Texas? Well, Mullen said that's super-conference stuff.

Dan Mullen is entering his 17th consecutive season coaching in the Southeastern Conference, the first four as Urban Meyer's Florida offensive coordinator and the ensuing 13 as head coach at first Mississippi State and since 2018 at Florida.

Mullen knows the league. And the Gators' head man said Thursday that if the SEC isn't already a “mega-conference” right now, it will be when the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns come aboard.

Both current Big 12 residents have been unanimously voted to be accepted into the SEC.

“The recruiting impact is strengthening the league,” Mullen said as his fourth Gators' squad prepared to start its preseason camp. “I mean, you're looking right now and I don't know if there's really a league in college football that could compete top to bottom with the SEC top to bottom before those teams coming in and now it's going to be even a stronger footprint of teams.

“I guess if you throw them into it, you're going back before 2006. Texas, they won 2005 and Oklahoma, they won 2000. So you're really looking since the turn of the century now, teams that are going to be in this league have been some of the most powerful teams in college football and you look at OU's run of going to the College Football Playoffs over the last several years.

“It is … I know the term is there aren't mega-conferences yet, but when you look we're as close as we could be to that now and then you add those two teams, I mean it is certainly the strongest conference in all of college football.”

Mullen already had pointed to the SEC's overall dominance of the past 15 years, especially in football where the league has claimed 11 of national titles since Meyer and Mullen kick-started the spree with Florida's 2006 crown.

“I think you look and the tradition that the Southeastern Conference has, of the schools, you want to say just the power academically, the power athletically that the conference has,” Mullen said. “The competitive nature and being a championship-level conference. The number of championships over the last 20 years now, I guess going back to 2006, the streak of championships in this league is pretty special.

“And you're looking at two academic schools, two schools with very strong football traditions, two excellent football programs, very passionate fan bases that really fit what this league is all about.

“Makes sense.”

Mullen also indicated he doesn't believe the sport is finished with its seismic changes.

“I think I've said this, college football will look differently than maybe what it's looked like in the past,” he said. “That's just going to be another step of it. Excited to have those two great schools and two football programs coming into our league.”