Where there’s smoke, there appears to be some embers burning at the very least. According to AL.com, multiple college football insiders say that both programs “had already taken steps to facilitate a possible move.”
This news comes out as the SEC holds its annual Media Days. There have been a lot of non-denials, and some angsty responses from Texas A&M, but overall no one has said anything that shoots down the report.
Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News, meanwhile, says that the Big 12’s Board of Directors had a Zoom meeting this week. During that event, there was “no inkling about possible departures” by the Sooners and Longhorns, he says.
Big 12 board of directors held a Zoom meeting this week, I’m told, with no inkling about possible departures by Texas and Oklahoma.
— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) July 21, 2021
CFB insider Pete Thamel says something similar, adding that the “general feel is that Texas was going to essentially explore free agency after this TV deal.” There have been rumors about every Power Five league and even FBS Independence over the last few years, but a jump to the SEC would absolutely do the most to shift the balance of power in the sport.
Any notion of OU and Texas going to the SEC would be news to the Big 12. There’s a feeling it wouldn’t make sense competitively, as there’d be a much more difficult road to the College Football Playoff.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) July 21, 2021
Oklahoma and Texas leaving the Big 12 would destabilize the entire league, and really, the sport as a whole. It is unclear if the Big 12 would be able to survive those moves, the way it did as a 10-team league after losing Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and Texas A&M in the last major round of realignment.
This is going to be the story to follow in college football for the foreseeable future.
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