National analyst believes South Carolina football is one of the teams hurt most by league expansion

CBS Sports' Barrett Sallee believes the SEC adding Texas and Oklahoma hurts the South Carolina football program in a big way.
South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer
South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer / ALEX HICKS JR./STAFF / USA TODAY NETWORK

On Monday, the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners officially joined the SEC. Conference expansion is a major talking point ahead of the 2024 season as it has affected all of the major leagues across the country. One national analyst believes that the growth of the SEC from 14 teams to 16 teams is going to hurt the South Carolina football program disproportionately.

Barrett Sallee, a long-time sports media voice in SEC country, spoke on the issue on his podcast Smothered & Covered. Talking about the Gamecocks, he said, "What's the ceiling now? Because before, I thought it was 9-3...right now, popping up and contending every three of four years, that's probably a pipe dream...for South Carolina, a Florida bowl...that's what the expectation should be."

He added that USC was already hurt "by A&M and Missouri coming into the SEC, but now, it's going to be a tough test...with the new kids in town." Essentially, in Sallee's assessment, Carolina's place as a bottom half of the SEC school historically makes life difficult, and adding Texas and Oklahoma (two historically big-time programs) only buries the team even further.

Sallee also said that he thinks Carolina is going to be used by players as a developmental program in the NIL and transfer portal era of college football. He argues that the Gamecocks don't deserve that treatment but that situations like the ones with MarShawn Lloyd and Juice Wells (players leaving for bigger programs and/or bigger paydays) could become more frequent.

South Carolina football fans certainly hope that Sallee's pessimistic view of the program's future in the SEC is misguided. The 2024 season will go a long way in determining if the Gamecocks can start to climb the ladder that is the SEC hierarchy or if they are heading in the opposite direction.

Shane Beamer and the Gamecocks face a tough schedule (as always), and that slate will kick off on August 31st with a home contest against the Old Dominion Monarchs.

Next. South Carolina Football: Early prediction puts Gamecocks in Florida bowl game. South Carolina Football: Early prediction puts Gamecocks in Florida bowl game. dark