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Paul Finebaum Suggests 3 Other Schools Join The SEC

An extreme closeup of ESPN college football analyst Paul Finebaum from the Cotton Bowl in Texas in 2019.

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 31: TV/radio personality Paul Finebaum of the SEC Network speaks on air before the Goodyear Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium on December 31, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

This past summer, Texas and Oklahoma shocked the world of college football by announcing that they planned to move to the SEC. The reveal sparked plenty of discussion about what other moves could be on the way and if the SEC would try to turn itself into a "mega-conference" of sorts.

Talk of realignment died down during the 2021 college football season, but with the national championship now in the rearview, rumors are starting to pop back up. The latest to stoke the flames is ESPN's Paul Finebaum.

Our guy @Finebaum on CFB expansion and @AuburnMBB inching towards the top spot of college basketball

— McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning (@macandcube) January 17, 2022

">In an appearance on WJOX-FM in Birmingham

Our guy @Finebaum on CFB expansion and @AuburnMBB inching towards the top spot of college basketball

— McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning (@macandcube) January 17, 2022

">Wednesday, Finebaum suggested top programs around the country could begin to look for “an exit strategy” if College Football Playoff expansion talks continue to stall. He believes that the SEC will be more than happy to offer sizable deals to schools willing to jump ship and join the power conference.

"When Texas and Oklahoma joined the SEC back in the summer, I thought that was it (for realignment.) I don't think that's the case anymore. I think the SEC is in such a strong position and I think the world of college football is so upside down based on the attitude like Jim Phillips, Kevin Warren from the Big Ten, and George Kliavkoff from the Pac-12 that I think others are going to look for an exit strategy," Finebaum explained. "Instead of wasting time instead of the College Football Playoff, you have some major universities going 'you know what, what good is this doing us staying in our league that refuses and will not accept change? Let's call the SEC, see what the dollar amount is and get out of where we are."

Finebaum went on to name three schools in particular that could seriously entertain a move to the SEC: Notre Dame, Florida State and Clemson.

"If you're sitting there in a Notre Dame position, why do you join the ACC with that approach?" he asked. "And if you're Clemson or some of these other schools — Florida State in particular — you have to be asking yourself 'why don't we join a super league and really say who cares what the rest of college football does? We're joining the only conference that matters.'"

What Finebaum is suggesting would be a monumental shake-up for college football. However, he seems to think there's a legitimate chance that schools see more opportunity coming out of a move to the SEC than waiting for their current conferences to come around on playoff expansion.

Time will tell if talk of realignment starts to ramp back up this offseason.