Greg Sankey, Commissioner of the SEC, has weighed in on the changing landscape of college conferences and he’s not shy about his opinion that the SEC remains stronger than the Big 10.
When asked at the SEC Media Day whether the addition of the Sooners and Longhorns “trumps” the additions made by the Big Ten, Sankey responded with a resounding “Yes, those additions actually restore rivalries.”
Sankey pointed to the relative proximity Oklahoma and Texas share with the rest of the conference as a feather in the SEC’s cap for realignment.
“I do have a few letters as to what Southeast means, but we are in the Southeast quadrant of the United States,” he said.
He also doubled down on his confidence in the SEC and the commitment to strategic geographical changes.
“There’s no sense of urgency in our league. No panic in reaction to others’ decisions,” he said. “We know who we are. We are confident in our collective strength.”
Sankey joined the SEC in 2002 as associate commissioner before taking the reins in 2015. In the seven seasons since, the SEC has been represented in the national championship game every year and won five times.
He went on to say, “But I’m not sure I want to use the word trump all the time these days, gotta be careful about that.”
Sankey is not known to be outwardly political, but he reiterated the important role Congress could play in clarifying NIL laws while acknowledging the number of pressing issues leaders face throughout the U.S.
“Go back to March. I made a list in a meeting of matters present, war in Ukraine, the economy, Build Back Better which was introduced and not moved, the differences that exist in Congress.
“The reality was, when I had that conversation in March, I wasn’t looking necessarily to this Congress to be the solution just because of the timing. … We need a bipartisan solution for this national concept to move forward. … But the focus will remain on a national solution, and Congress is the venue for that option.”