WVU, Virginia Tech, Kentucky, and Tennessee become divisional rivals for Auburn football in reimagined SEC

Virginia Tech v West Virginia
Virginia Tech v West Virginia / Rob Carr/GettyImages

West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Kentucky, and Tennessee would join Alabama as divisional rivals for Auburn football in On3's Andy Staples' reimagined SEC in a proposed super-league. Staples' new SEC would feature four six-team divisions, while the Big Ten would have a similar competing super conference counterpart.

Staples' super-league, as he explains, would just be for football and would maintain as much of their current forms as possible.

"First, let’s assume the Big Ten and SEC continue to work together but don’t actually merge," Staples prefaced before saying, "It would be cleaner if they did, but we’re now dealing with dueling TV networks. Let’s also assume this is just for football. The other sports remain governed by the NCAA as we know it, and their championship formats remain the same even if some schools change conferences.

"Let’s also be realistic and assume the Big Ten and SEC won’t be kicking out anyone currently residing in the league. That’s going to frustrate fans who think their team deserves a spot over, say, Indiana or Vanderbilt. Leagues kicking out teams is probably less likely than the biggest brands leaving to form their own league."

How a champion is decided in reimagined super-league Auburn football made the cut for

Staples' super-league would come together like how a pro sports league determines its champions: with the winners of both conferences coming together after their own playoff brackets.

"A three-round, eight-team tournament in each league would feature the four division winners and the four teams with the next-best records," Staples prefaced before saying, "The SEC could play the first two rounds on campus and crown its champion in Atlanta (or New Orleans, or Houston, or wherever). The Big Ten could play its first two rounds at home and crown its champion in Indianapolis (or Los Angeles or wherever). Then the champions of each league would meet at a neutral site and play for the national title."

CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd said that the Big Ten and SEC were just a Notre Dame addition away from branching off to stage a playoff back in 2022, Staples has now taken that idea a step further with a full-on imagining of how it would work.

Hard to think that with us now in the era of direct pay-to-play NIL payments from schools to recruits, this won't be an inevitability sooner than later.