AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn has not discussed the potential of moving the program to the SEC’s Eastern Division, the Auburn president’s office tells SEC Country.
The statement echoes word from an administrator inside the SEC office that there has been “no discussion” about the move ESPN reporter Chris Low first tweeted could be possible on Wednesday.
“We’re not involved in or aware of any discussions on conference realignment,” an Auburn spokesman in the president’s office told SEC Country.
Four years after Auburn president Jay Gogue said he would not be opposed to the idea of moving to the SEC’s East division, football coach Gus Malzahn seemed to be on board last week, Low reported.
If the SEC shuffles things, @CoachGusMalzahn wouldn't be opposed to Auburn moving to the East. "I think there will be discussion on that."
— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) April 13, 2016
Low later clarified the tweet Thursday morning, saying the question he posed to Malzahn was “hypothetical.”
The move, even if taken seriously by the SEC, is unlikely, though many thought the additions of Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC in 2012 could result in Auburn moving to the SEC East. After all, it made sense geographically. Instead, Missouri was added to the SEC East.
“Most Auburn people say that it would be more logical for Auburn to play in the East,” Gogue told the Auburn Villager in 2014. “We’ve told the SEC we are willing to move to the East.”
What are the key issues, other than upsetting the apple cart in the SEC? Scheduling and the need to play Alabama as a permanent rival. The SEC recently set its schedule rotation through 2025, and there are no plans to add new members.
Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs has not returned SEC Country’s requests for comment.