Big 12 powers Texas, Oklahoma inquire about joining SEC in potentially massive shakeup, per report
With College Football Playoff expansion on the horizon and the sport as a whole undergoing radical change, another round of conference realignment may be on the horizon. Texas and Oklahoma have reportedly “reached out” to the SEC about joining the league should the two Big 12 powerhouses choose to leave their home conference, according to Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle.
Citing “a high-ranking college official with knowledge of the situation,” the Chronicle reports that the SEC could announce the additions of the Longhorns and Sooners “within a couple of weeks.”
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey would not address the report while in attendance at 2021 SEC Media Days on Wednesday.
“No comment on that speculation,” he told CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd. Sankey later added: “We are only worried about the 2021 season. Somebody dropped a report from unnamed people.”
Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork made it clear to gathered media Wednesday that he wants the Aggies to be the only team from the Lone Star State in the conference. Texas A&M and Missouri were the two teams that left the Big 12 for the SEC in the last round of conference realignment nearly a decade ago.
“I haven’t read the article, but if you’re asking me to kind of comment on college athletics, it’s changing,” Bjork told Dodd. “So what does that look like? I don’t know. ... We want to be the only SEC program in the state of Texas. There’s a reason Texas A&M left the Big 12: to stand alone to have our own identity.”
There was talk at that time about Texas and Oklahoma potentially leaving the Big 12 for either the Pac-12 or SEC but nothing came of those discussions as both ultimately remained with the league they have been members of since 1996. Oklahoma was already part of the Big Eight when it transitioned into the Big 12 in 1996 by adding Texas as one of four programs from the defunct Southwest Conference.
Should the Longhorns and Sooners ultimately leave the Big 12, their additions would make the SEC the first 16-team superconference, a development that has been a long-discussed possibility should there be another round of conference realignment.