Today is the day, the University of Oklahoma is officially in THE Southeastern Conference - SEC

Monday, July 1, 2024, officially marks the beginning of the University of Oklahoma's move to the Southeastern Conference. Here is the official Stormin' in Norman introduction to the SEC.
Western Carolina v Arkansas
Western Carolina v Arkansas / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

The time is upon us, Sooner fans; now it gets real. The Sooners are officially in the Southeastern Conference, and it's time to get serious. For the past two years, the University of Oklahoma has been preparing for this transition to the nation's elite conference, and now it's time to get rolling.

The Southeastern Conference is, without question, the most hyper-competitive athletic conference in college athletics. The nation's best teams in every sport reside in the SEC. Over the past twenty years, the SEC has dominated nearly every sport, filled every professional draft, and won the majority of national championships.

Since 2000, the SEC has won 16 of 24 national football championships. The SEC has also had 12 of the previous 24 first-overall NFL Draft selections. The SEC has had 45 lottery picks in the NBA Draft in basketball, not including the Oklahoma and Texas selections. What about Heismans? Since 2000, the SEC has accounted for 13 of the 24 Heisman winners (including Oklahoma's picks). FYI... Texas doesn't have one, I'm just saying.

The Sooner's conference introduction is TOUGH. Oklahoma's 2024 SEC schedule is ranked the hardest in the conference and the 17th toughest in the nation. Oklahoma hosts Tennessee (9/21), South Carolina (10/19), and Alabama (11/23). They go on the road to Auburn (9/28), Ole Miss (10/26), Missouri (11/9), and LSU (11/30). They'll also have the Red River Rivalry against the Longhorns on October 12 in Dallas.

Regarding preseason SEC conference rankings, the Sooners are predicted to finish 7th behind Georgia, Texas, Alabama, Ole Miss, LSU, and Missouri. The Sooners also have two preseason All-SEC selections: LB Danny Stutsman and S Billy Bowman.

When looking at preseason predictions, the SEC currently has 10 of the nation's top-25 preseason teams: (1) Georgia, (4) Texas, (6) Alabama, (7) Oklahoma, (9) Ole Miss, (15) Texas A&M, (19) Florida, (20) LSU, (22) Missouri, and (25) Tennessee. South Carolina just missed the cut for the preseason top-25, coming in at 26.

Jan 9, 2023; Inglewood, CA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Dylan Fairchild (53) against the TCU Horned Frogs during the CFP national championship game at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Five preseason 1st Team All-American selections on the offense are from the SEC, and three preseason 1st Team All-Americans are also from the conference. According to college football guru Phil Steele, the SEC has the top-ranked units in the nation for quarterbacks (Texas), offensive line (Georgia), and special teams (Alabama).

Regarding the most challenging places to play, the SEC has plenty of difficult places to play road games. Texas, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Florida, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss all have the top 25 most difficult places to play in the country.

James Burnip. SEC.
Alabama v Texas A&M / Tim Warner/GettyImages

Finally recruiting. 7 of the nation's top-10 ranked recruits are committed to an SEC program or predicted to commit. Also, since 2017, the SEC has had one of their programs finish the recruiting cycle ranked number one in the country.

Everything about the SEC is difficult. The competition, skill, road environments, and recruiting are all the best in the country. The motto of the SEC is "It just means more," and after looking at these specifics, there's no doubt about that. The Sooners wanted to play with the big boys, and now they'll get the chance. One thing about the Oklahoma Sooners, though, is that they're fearless of the challenge. Since 2007, the Sooners have been 21-9 against the current SEC competition. However, the difficulty increases now because instead of playing an SEC team once or twice a year, the Sooners will get a different SEC power each week.