Oklahoma and Texas conference realignment rumors, SEC expansion and what it would mean for the Big 12 – The Athletic
ACC and SEC media days overlapped on Wednesday. The Big Ten will get its media days began on Thursday.
As it seems, nonetheless, a lot of the speak throughout the official begin of speaking season surrounds a conference that bought its media days out of the manner final week: the Big 12.
The potential bombshell dropped shortly after 3:30 ET Wednesday, when the Houston Chronicle reported that Oklahoma and Texas had reached out to the SEC about becoming a member of the conference.
Almost instantly, denials, non-denials and “I don’t knows” echoed all through each Birmingham, Ala., and Charlotte, N.C., the respective websites of SEC and ACC media days.
Throw this information — nonetheless critical it is perhaps — on high of what has already been a groundbreaking summer season for school athletics, and all of a sudden a lot of what has been publicly mentioned for the future could possibly be thrown into chaos.
A 12-team College Football Playoff, for one, would look considerably totally different with one in all the Power 5 conferences down its two largest breadwinners. There are different potential implications, too, be it the beginning of a superconference in the SEC or a possible leverage play for the ACC — or one thing else totally. — Matt Fortuna
Latest realignment evaluation and response
Oklahoma and Texas decline to touch upon reviews of their curiosity in becoming a member of SEC
• Texas: “Speculation swirls around collegiate athletics. We will not address rumors or speculation.”
• Oklahoma:“The college athletics landscape is shifting constantly. We don’t address every anonymous rumor.”
Explaining the far-reaching fallout of conference realignment and its impression throughout the sport
(*12*)A Texas and Oklahoma transfer to SEC may outrage Texas A&M, however that’s simply a part of the far-reaching realignment fallout
My story on yesterday’s bombshell and all the shifting components, with reporting assists from my @TheAthleticCFB colleagues: https://t.co/8YPDD3plkx
— Sam Khan Jr. (@skhanjr) July 22, 2021
What you need to count on from the realignment rollercoaster
If historical past is any indication, protection of the potential strikes may get fairly wild.
(*12*)Conference Realignment is again!
Do you want a refresher course??
I wrote an FAQ about Texas, Oklahoma, the SEC and navigate the subsequent a number of weeks (months?) of untamed rumors.https://t.co/jntgZjXNne
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) July 22, 2021
Big 12 blindsided by the report
(*12*)In the Big 12, everybody was getting alongside. Their board and ADs bought by way of 2020 by working collectively. The animosity and management schisms of a decade in the past have been regarded as in the previous.
Clearly, peacetime has come to an finish. https://t.co/fURGcskfrQ
— Max Olson (@max_olson) July 22, 2021
Potential for political roadblocks
As information broke about Oklahoma’s attainable want to maneuver to the SEC, a typical misunderstanding resurfaced on social media relating to the Oklahoma state legislature and its position. The Oklahoma state legislature holds no authority relating to the athletics conference of state colleges. The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University are ruled independently by the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents and the OSU/A&M Board of Regents, respectively.
Chad Alexander is the former Oklahoma Republican Party chairman and lobbied for the University of Oklahoma throughout the final spherical of conference realignment talks. He emphasised in a cellphone interview Wednesday that loads has modified in the final 10 years. Term limits mean the legislature and boards of regents are stuffed with new faces. Longtime presidents David Boren (OU) and Burns Hargis (OSU) have each retired, with Hargis’ retirement coming simply this month.
During the 2011 realignment talks, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have been connected at the hip. Any deal sending the Sooners to the conceptual Pac-16 would have included the Cowboys. Much of that was as a consequence of Boren, each due to his relationship with Hargis, and due to Boren’s normal philosophy that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State ought to compete in the similar conference.
Joseph Harroz Jr., the present OU president, labored a few years for Boren, however his philosophy on that topic is unclear.
Oklahoma State’s fiery assertion Wednesday after information broke is an indication of simply how vital it is to stay connected to the Sooners — and additionally signifies that it may not really feel protected in any authorized sense ought to OU resolve to make a transfer.
Still, count on there to be vital political stress from state lawmakers with ties to Oklahoma State. It’s additionally price noting that Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt is an Oklahoma State alumnus, though he hasn’t made any public statements about this case.
Alexander and different sources informed The Athletic that even when the state legislature have been to go a regulation mandating that OU and OSU stay in the similar conference and even when the governor signed it, it most likely wouldn’t maintain up in courtroom due to the manner college governance is organized in the state. — Jason Kersey
Texas A&M’s on-the-record objection to the potential strikes
(*12*)”We love being the only school in the state of Texas in the SEC…we’re going to maintain that position, but we’re also going to make sure that we’re a leader in college athletics and we’ll see what the future holds.”
-Aggie AD Ross Bjork weighs in on Texas and Oklahoma pic.twitter.com/BcGI8Pz1Xp
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) July 21, 2021
Texas A&M is the solely college thus far whose officers have provided any definitive on-the-record opinion about this risk. Athletic director Ross Bjork made it fairly clear Wednesday that Texas A&M desires to be the solely SEC college in the Lone Star State. The transfer to interrupt from the Big 12 additionally was a transfer to distinguish the program. Bjork reiterated this to me Wednesday evening on the cellphone simply earlier than he and Texas A&M’s contingent took off after spending Wednesday at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala.
But in case you’re the SEC, how do you say no to including two megabrands to an already stacked catalogue? The league wants 11 colleges to vote sure to increase invites to broaden, and it’s unclear who else would be prepared to vote no moreover Texas A&M. Former Big 12 member Missouri? Former Southwest Conference member Arkansas? Maybe. The timing of the leak of the information appears to be an try and sluggish a really quick prepare. — Andy Staples
The remainder of the Big 12 reacts
(*12*)Talking to Big 12 sources in the present day, I anticipated to listen to fury and vitriol. But the preliminary response was extra puzzlement than the rest.
Why would OU and Texas depart? Why now?
On the Big 12’s realignment blindside: https://t.co/HLKFDGu4DI
— Max Olson (@max_olson) July 22, 2021
This present iteration of the Big 12’s board has been by all accounts fairly collegial in nature. This group labored along with commissioner Bob Bowlsby to avoid wasting the league’s soccer season final August, coming to settlement on a plan to remain the course regardless of their differing viewpoints. The animosity and management schisms of a decade in the past in the warmth of realignment mania, which devolved into fears, threats and departures, have been regarded as lengthy in the previous. And Oklahoma president Joseph Harroz and Texas president Jay Hartzell are mainly the newcomers in the room, as each have been elevated to these roles from interim standing in 2020.
Alas, peacetime on this league has doubtless come to an finish. And Oklahoma, Texas and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey responding with no denials and no remark solely reinforces the suspicion amongst conference friends that that is greater than just a bit smoke. — Max Olson
What would have to occur for new colleges to be admitted to the SEC?
(*12*)Here is the SEC bylaw on extending an invite to broaden.
In a 14-team league, 11 “yes” votes are wanted to broaden. pic.twitter.com/p8wCOGy6DL
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) July 21, 2021
SEC bylaws being what they’re, 11 of the 14 present colleges would want to substantiate the addition of a brand new member. Reality being what it is, the conference wouldn’t need expansion to go by the pores and skin of an 11-3 vote. The league placed on a united entrance beneath the late, nice commissioner Mike Slive and the vibe has continued beneath Greg Sankey. That’s as a result of the SEC actually takes care of its members, providing granite-solid stability and mega earnings.
If Texas A&M, Arkansas and Mizzou vigorously objected to Texas and Oklahoma becoming a member of the league, their voices would carry weight. Schools like LSU, Alabama and Florida additionally stand to face a harder time recruiting the state of Texas if the Longhorns get to flash the SEC model. Ultimately, there could also be monetary incentives too huge to disregard in realignment — and followers of the Razorbacks and Aggies really may welcome the rebirth of rivalries. Whatever the end result, Sankey will work to insure a consensus. — G. Allan Taylor
Adding Texas and Oklahoma may resolve a few of the SEC’s present scheduling points
If the SEC added Texas and Oklahoma there would be loads of large points to deal with, however one would be straightforward: The division setup. In reality, it would resolve a number of the conference’s present scheduling dilemmas.
Texas and Oklahoma would be a part of the West, clearly, however Missouri may be a part of them, and together with Arkansas you’d have a mini-Big Eight/Southwest Conference reunion. Then you progress Alabama and Auburn to the East, night up the divisions, in addition to fixing a scheduling headache: Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-Georgia, presently a pair of cross-division annual rivalries, are actually common division video games. Voila!
Or the SEC may get much more artistic, and go to 4 divisions or pods, which would enable extra scheduling flexibility. Right now the conference, wedded to division-based scheduling, has too many groups that not often face one another: Georgia has but to go to Texas A&M, for occasion, since the Aggies joined the league in 2012. If every workforce solely has three everlasting opponents and then rotates the different 5, that isn’t an issue anymore. In reality, it’s a significantly better resolution than two eight-team divisions — or the present two seven-team divisions.
It is probably not the sole purpose so as to add Texas and Oklahoma, however it’s a pleasant byproduct. — Seth Emerson
What would including Texas and Oklahoma mean for SEC recruiting?
At the second, Texas highschool stars have just one in-state possibility in the event that they wished to remain residence and play in the SEC: Texas A&M.
More SEC choices inside the area means the Aggies would lose their Lone Star State edge.
(*12*)Wasserman: Texas A&M’s recruiting nightmare — Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC
through @TheAthletic https://t.co/EzCnRU24np
— Ari Wasserman (@AriWasserman) July 22, 2021
Group of 5 response
I requested Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson if the Texas/Oklahoma information and upcoming conference TV offers may result in one other wave of conference realignment.
“Texas, Oklahoma, potentially could be a tipping point,” he mentioned.
Like everybody else, Thompson didn’t know a lot about the information apart from what he heard from associates when the report dropped.
“I’ve had a couple commissioner friends ask for a chance to talk and compare notes. It’s normal business. We’re all reading this stuff like, ‘What the heck, what do you know about this?’” — Chris Vannini
(Top picture: Andrew Dieb / USA TODAY Sports)
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